Lime interview - Books & Spoken Word
EDITOR - Vernia Mengot
In celebration of the ‘Ready’ EP we caught up with G.R.E.Ed.S (Generating Rhymes to Engage the EnlighteneD Soul)
to talk all about his work within the London poetry scene. His rhythmic journey through spoken word, writing and his thoughts about the month of love...
Tell us about your younger years and how your journey initially took off as a multi-talented artist?
So my mum has always told me that I’ve always had something. I was originally born in Nigeria; I made my way to England aged six. She told me I was always inclined to be involved in entertainment. I have always been into music, but it all started from DJ’ing, from there I wanted to start in other areas of music such as writing and producing. I started writing and it blossomed as the years went by. In terms of poetry it got serious in 2007.
You recently took to the stage with The Remedies to perform your spoken word hip-hop show, what makes you stand out from others in the London poetry scene?
I think G.R.E.Ed.S and The Remedies as a sound is doing something very fresh and vibrant. There’s a certain energy that you have to come and experience live. The EP is indie; it’s rock and hip-hop. I feel like we have grasped this at a good time. The Remedies play for other artists but when they play for G.R.E.Ed.S it’s a different sound. The way people react is off of the back of that.
How did you come about your collaboration with The Remedies?
Well in 2008, I was approached to perform and it was suggested that I should put my poetry with music. Ash heads The Remedies. So initially I was going to do poetry with him playing the sax. Then I was booked again for another set, this time rather than just use Ash, we thought why not just use the whole band. It was one of the most of standout performances. It was the starting point of progression with music. That was a journey from dead on really and the rest is history.
You have been included in the shortlist for MTV Brand New Unsigned 2012. How much does this mean to you?
It felt good. It was surprise; the thing is not to sound negative. I knew it would be a long shot to win, as there were people that have been doing this for a while so their fan base is insane. It was good to be in that position; win or lose. It was a good feeling. It was a bigger step. It was pushing the envelope for poetry/ spoken word as it is underground. It was going be a hard task just to get people to understand poetry/spoken word for what is.
Tell us about your track ‘Ready’?
I had the original beat made by Nutty P for roughly seven months and I didn’t know what to do with it. Then one day I had enough; I locked myself in my room and I started playing it over and over. I had a piece that I had written already and it went well with the song. I played it to the guys and they composed the produced version. The first time we previewed the song I didn’t want to get off stage. People loved it.
How did you come up with the name for your debut album ‘Volume of Silence’?
I felt like even the quietest person can still have a lot of volume. The title is for everyone and the imagery of the album cover also has a lot to say.
So far on your journey what has been your biggest challenge?
Wow, my biggest challenge I’ll say for the best part is the motivation. When I’m performing; trying to break down what poetry means and how it is received. People listen to some of my music, but they won’t be open to playing it on radio because its poetry and spoken word, so it’s hard for me to market. Nobody would know what to expect. It’s those kinds of pre judgements; because it’s not mainstream it is hard to embed that into people’s heads that poetry is quite cool; you can play it on your iPod like any other music.
Musically, who inspires you and where do you draw inspiration from?
I listened to a lot Busta Rhymes from way back in the day, 2pac, Jay Z, Mos Def and Common. I like different styles and different artists. UK wise after I was familiarised with the scene, when I heard Ty I was thrown back, his album made me think whoa he’s like me. I thought I can literally listen to you and relate to you. A side from that in terms of spoken word and poetry; I’m thankful for the senior poets who acknowledge me and talk to me. It’s another thing to come and do your thing but it’s another to pay respect to those who have been on the scene for longer. Definitely the senior poets inspire me as well as my common peers.
What does 2012 hold for you?
I want to take my writing and approach theatres and see if they can take it on and produce it into something beautiful. I have neglected my blog so much. People don’t see as much of my poems. So definitely want to focus on the writing. Music is not a priority. But I am featuring on some songs with other artists.
What can your fans expect in the future?
I have a title for an album but I’m not going make it this year. One thing people can expect is progression because I’m not going to repeat what I’ve done already.
THE LOVE ISSUE
Being Valentine’s Day this month, any special plans?
No, Not yet. Soon and closer to the date there might be. I’m currently in love with the launch at the moment.
Is it better to love or be loved?
It’s better to love. If you have an understanding then your heart is purer. For me to be loved your just receiving it so you may not understand it, if you know how to love there is more of a balance.
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