A former soldier has scaled new heights after selling his university project to an international hip hop star.
Dean Fraser is charting success after he uploaded photos of the handmade guitar he created for his University of Central Lancashire foundation course to his social media accounts.
Little did he know he would soon be selling it to US rap star B.o.B for an undisclosed sum.
Not only did the global star buy Dean’s recycled oak and resin Luminescent guitar, he also commissioned him to create him a bass in the same style - in just five days.
And now the married father-of-seven from Chorley is working on a top secret third guitar for the rapper.
The former Queen’s Lancashire Regiment and 1st and 2nd Battalion Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment non-commissioned officer said: “It’s gratifying that a successful recording artist and producer has recognised the beauty and quality of my work.
“Although I’ve received a lot of positive feedback via my Fraser Guitars Instagram and Facebook pages for the Luminescent guitar, I didn’t anticipate my work would be noticed by staff at B.o.B’s new No Genre label.”
Dean, who took three weeks to design and build the first guitar, discussed his work over video conference with the Airplanes singer.
The 36-year-old said: “B.o.B was enthusiastic about my work. He was looking for innovative designs, a unique and distinctive instrument which he could use on his next project. The Luminescent guitar fulfilled the brief.”
He has had a passion for guitars since he was a youngster, building his first one when he was only 14 and has soeld them ever since.
He scribbles down his designs on bits of paper and car park tickets and continued to design and make guitars during his “down time” from the Army.
A 16-year career in the military, where he was a Combat Infantry Man, later becoming the Unit Pioneer, saw him touring Northern Ireland twice and Canada, Belize, America and Iraq.
However, he was medically discharged in October 2012 after being diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
Dean added: “I’ve built over 100 guitars and sold them worldwide. I see the guitar as a canvas and nature as my inspiration. The aesthetics of the piece must resonate with playability and the quality of the sound. Ensuring the instruments I design, and build, have a practical application is a priority.”
He added: “Health concerns aside, I was lucky the skills I had developed during service were transferable to civilian life. I mastered practical skills during my time with the Army and established a successful business in Fraser Guitars within a month of my discharge. Undertaking my degree at UCLan was a strategic move in order to build upon my current skills by mastering computerised design.”
He added: “I’m looking forward to seeing B.o.B playing my guitar and bass, they both sound as stunning as they look. The pieces were made to be seen and I’ve no doubt the audience B.o.B will attract will be a platform to draw further positive attention to my work, both guitars and otherwise. It’s really such an exciting time.”
Dean originally enrolled at UCLan on a one-year product design foundation degree and will now start on the three year full-time degree in September at the Preston Campus.