Get to know The Nasty Poet
N: So lets start right back from when you provided that superb mix for us two years ago. What has been the highlights for you since then in music and poetry? S: Feels like time ago! It was I guess, so much as happened. I’ve played in London, Bristol and Oxford since then but I’ve been focused more on poetry. I released my first audiobook which was produced by Blay Vision, it’s called Nasty and it’s the proudest I’ve ever felt.
N: That's so good to hear! I know you kinda already answered this back when you came on the show but what exactly sparked your interest for poetry? How did that begin for you? S: I guess from really little, children’s books are generally all poetry, and then it sort of fizzles out. I used to write a lot of poetry, but I became more involved when I realised I could perform it. There’s nothing more powerful than that audience and artist connection, whichever party you are in.
N: So when you write, is there a common thought process at all? S: I don’t know really. When I get the urge I write, it might be 1 or 2 lines, it may be the whole thing, but I can’t hold back, it’s impulsive. If you deny it, you never know you might have a block for months, and if you really want to put work out you can’t really afford to do it. Another good process is doing commission work, in which someone effectively gives you a brief, it’s a really good exercise and can sometimes produce additional work.
N: Ah that's fair, definitely makes sense to embrace it rather than deny it when it's there, that's some sound advice! Speaking of which for some that is brand new to the world of poetry & spoken word, who would you rate to go check out? Are there many events around people can go to?
S: YES. I have a particular style of poetry I prefer to listen to or watch. I steer clearer away from Spoken Word (I’ll explain). I want to listen to stories, I want to step into their world for a second, I want to move with them. Notice how I sort of bop when I perform, yeh that’s what I want to see. The new funk poetry, that James Massiah work, that Johnny Costi style, I want to roll with Sean Mahoney, and feel with Belinda Zhawi, be moved by Luke Newman and I could listen to Deanna Rodger for days. These are the poets that grew me, and I think they could grow anyone.
N: After you first mentioned those guys to me I went and checked them out on Instagram, which I kinda found odd at first to look for poets on there but I remembered this article I read in The Guardian time ago and they said some interesting things; one of which was that "Instagram is a commonly used platform to promote creativity and it was a part of poetry's rebirth in society at a time when it was previously reputed to be dead" and they have a point, what do you think?
S: Instagram has definitely had a major effect on poetry, I think especially for the very poetry poets, you only have to look at Rupi Kaur or my favourite Nayirah Waheed to see the massive effect their words and typography have had on social media. But also for the kind of poetry that some of my friends put out, say James for example, we have been able to curate content, from audiobooks to video or advertisements with that human touch, and Instagram has given us that ability to connect our world and the world.
N: So now you're at this point where you have made movements in the poetry community do you find yourself being drawn away from music and djing and more to poetry or is there a natural balance? S: I definitely have been focusing more poetry, but I’m getting back into Music with that lyricism focus and will be starting a show on Foundation FM, a fantastic new station run by incredible women.
N: That would be sick to see! am keen to see how they would work together; Last question I'm afraid, going to end it on a standard one but it's always good to know - where do you see the future taking you? S: I don’t know where the future will take me, but I know now more than ever that I’m stronger and more powerful so It will all be alright!
Massive thanks to Sophie for taking the time to talk to us - you can catch her guest mix on our most recent show here and you can support her through the links below.
Interview by Neil Pruden
Photography by Bare Clips