STG x Emmanuel Speaks!
Welcome to the official start of our blog series 'Support The Grind'!
Today we have an interview with spoken word artist Emmanuel Speaks, where he talks on his accomplishments during his career!
Emmanuel is a spoken word artist that speaks on topics and subjects that can be quite difficult and emotional. He has worked with so many different people in aim to create an influence on today's generation, so carry on reading to find out more, and remember, we are bringing support to creativity.
Hey Emmanuel, thank you for being apart of this project! I've been watching your performances for a while so I'm super geeked for this lmao, but first things first, what inspired or influenced you to start doing spoken word?
I got into spoken word after I came across a few videos online when I was 15 years old. I instantly felt a transfixion in the way the style of poetry married heavy subject matter, alongside the wordplay and flow; elements you would expect from rap. I didn’t start writing my own until I was 17. I felt a lot of pressure and emotion as a young man and I guess spoken word helped me to articulate it, tell stories and create art.
You talk about the pressure you face as a young man and how spoken word helped you to articulate that, would you say you use your ethnicity and heritage to drive your poetry as well? I'm thinking back to your pierce 'England Will Be Okay' where you spoke a lot about British identity.
All the time. Pretty much all of my work can be linked back to experience and/or ethnicity/heritage – I seek on it very often.
I really relate to you on that one ahaha, let's talk a bit about your journey and your accomplishments., what was it like to be featured on such popular platforms such as Channel 4 and SBTV?
Channel 4 was surreal because it happened the same year I had started performing. To have my name, face and poetry featured on such a platform, more than anything, was a major motivator. That I could really take my work to the world. When the feature on SBTV came around, it was much the same, a platform that was highly influential for me, growing up, picking up on my work made me really happy. It felt like I was doing the right thing!
What inspired you to do the university tours?
I love the experience of live performance.
My audience were/are in University.
And I wanted that audience to grow. It was a no brainer.
On the topic of your audience, was it difficult to get the audience and the support that you have today?
It certainly wasn’t easy. Sometimes people only see the end products or what you choose to post on social media. Not the countless amount of work, travels, compromises and sacrifices just to get your work seen and heard. Luckily I have an amazing network and support system that helps me to build and grow.
So the question I have been dying to ask, how exactly did you get to where you are today, like what was your journey? Your accomplishments are insane and they're amazing!
Watch my TED Talk ;)
I'm so excited to watch your TED talk! Congratulations by the way, that's an amazing achievement, what was the experience like?
Thank you so much. Doing TEDxLondon has honestly been the best thing I’ve done so far as an artist. Absolutely incredible experience, incredible feedback and an incredible team of people I had the pleasure to meet and work with. The day was inspiring and I didn’t up being as nervy as I thought I might be. Maybe because I was in there from early, so I had the chance to soak it all in and prepare, as I was closing the show.
That's incredible! Before we wrap this up, I just wanna talk about the creative community quickly. A lot of people feel like there can be flaws within the creative community when it comes to supporting one another, what's your take on that?
I don’t think so. I believe we operate in a very collaborative and supportive community. My only concern is not enough key knowledge not being passed down by those who have been privileged enough to make it to the cream of their field.
That's definitely a concern of mine too. Now if other spoken word artists, or upcoming ones, where looking for a piece of advice, what would you say to them?
Network your ass off inside and [more importantly] outside the world of poetry. Don’t sit in a box that doesn’t exist!
Networking is actually so significant! But now for our final question, What do you think the most important part of being a creative is? (e.g. for me it would be staying true to myself so that is reflected in my work and I don’t compromise myself to progress).
Try to push every single boundary you can. You need to constantly be on the prowl for new ways to create and innovate. Don’t get comfortable; only the game changers survive.
Well, thank you so much for being apart of Support The Grind! You are an inspiration and you're incredible at work you do! I wish you nothing but more success, and I can't wait to watch your Ted Talk!
Thank you guys for reading the first episode of Support The Grind! We will be back next week with the next episode! See you then (: