JASMINE WITH POETS AND ORGANISERS OF ”POETRY LUV” AT THE TATE -Workshop leader Nego True, club DJ Anthony Douglas, Brixon based spoken word artist Elijah Kerr and Geoege The Poet. Photo courtesy SAI PHOTOGRAPHY
Started the week at the Tate Britain art gallery where poets Dean Atta and George the Poet were performing in the Turner room to a room packed with hundreds of spoken word fans.
JASMINE WITH JAY DAVIDSON (BBC), COOKIE PRYCE (THE ORCHARD MUSIC) , MYVANWY EVANS (PR) AND JODIE DALMEDA (PR).
Photo courtesy SAI PHOTOGRAPHY
Fusing the mediums of spoken word and poetry set against a backdrop of Turner paintings, Late at Tate Britain housed a captivating poetry event last Friday 7th February as part of National Storytelling Week 14th anniversary.
A diverse audience filled The Clore Gallery and overflowed into it’s adjoining halls to witness the “Love Story” themed poetry performances, which included guest appearances from popular London poets Dean Atta and George The Poet.
JASMINE WITH POET DEAN ATTA AT THE TATE POST SHOW.
Hosted by Poetry Luv, an emerging London poetry night, the event showcased the work of young performers and writers from Lambeth who had attended workshops inside their local library in Clapham as part of the Tell Tales project. Brixon based spoken word artist Elijah Kerr and club DJ Anthony Douglas created Poetry Luv in 2013, to help nurture and showcase young street poets and spoken word artists.
Elijah Kerr is an intriguing story in himself. He is also known as Jaja Soze is a rapper, spoken word artist and former gang leader of South London’s PDC (Peel Dem Crew) who since leaving prison in 2005 has turned the PDC away from crime and reinvented it as a record label from it’s studios in Overton Road in Brixton. Jaja helps young people in the community of Angle Town, Brixton. His projects are largely funded by the Heritage Trust and Arts Council through his company Indigo Youth. Jaja has a new spoken word album due for release in May so you’d think he’d be spending all his free time promoting that, but instead he was spear heading Poetry Luv.
Jaja revealed to me how this former gang leader was inspired to set up Poetry Luv.
‘’I started feeling uninspired by the music industry, and felt that poetry was a powerful tool to help inspire and educate our young people whilst still portraying our art form, so I hooked up with my school mate DJ Mr Play and Poetry Luv was born. We now have a huge following’’.
With Dean Atta and George the Poets popularity and signing to record labels there seems to be a shift back towards poetry being cool for young people again. Jaja states ‘’With artist like myself and George the poet the young people feel a connection as we speak their language whilst articulating it, so others can also understand we mix street culture with education, that’s why it’s becoming so popular. This art form will defo become huge and because it’s becoming popular young kids are starting to write, read and go to library’s to research’’.
Jaja explained how exactly since leaving prison in 2005, he’s turned his old PDC gang away from crime and reinvented it as a record label from its studios in Overton Road in Brixton.
‘’Turning our crew into a record label was a major challenge but we got through it. Now PDC artists like DVS are popping up in the no1 Hip-hop charts and my face is in the local paper for positive stuff. We now sign up-and-coming artists and run workshops in partnership with Lottery Heritage and Youth Music and I will continue to break barriers in order to inspire’’.
Jaja’s final word was of course about his own album out very soon. ‘’All I can say is it’s very powerful hence the title Power, and I hope it inspires and makes a young generation move forward and progress’’.
Workshop leaders Nego True and Sophia Thakur introduced all acts to the packed Turner Room at Tate Britain. Dean Atta said: “Getting the chance to work with young people who might not have had the chance to ever tell their stories is a real gift and I really enjoyed performing alongside them”
COMICS UNCHAINED AT HACKNEY EMPIRE
Two nights later I attended yet another GeeStor (Robbie Gee and Eddie Nestor) production at Hackney Empire where comedians Slim, Richard Blackwood, A Dot comedian, Glenda Jackson and Axel were performing to a packed sold out audience.
JASMINE WITH COMICS UNCHAINED HOST EDDIE KADI AND GEESTOR TOP LADY IN CHARGE-SARAH MOORE.
The night was hosted by the fast witted Eddie Kadi and had boxing legend Lennox Lewis attending to the delight of the crowd. One of the highlights was the velvet voiced singer Jermain Jackman singing for the crowd!
JASMINE WITH COMEDIAN SLIM AND SINGER JERMAINE JACKMAN.
#DIGIDEBATE AT ITV.
Next ITV hosted a debate for young people and broadcast leaders titled ‘’ SOCIAL MEDIA is responsible for messing up a lot of peoples lives. In the past 12 months we’ve seen pop stars sex tapes and regular couples getting busy on public staircases. What is your take on social media-is it a platform for good or evil?’’
JASMINE WITH #DIGIDEBATE CHAIR CHARLENE WHITE AND ATTENDEE ACTOR ADAM DEACON.
Chaired by ITV News anchor Charlene White, panellists included young new sitcom producer Samuel Benta, head of digital at new TV channel London Live- Anna Cronin and SBTV co founder Liam Toothill. BAFTA winning actor Adam Deacon quizzed the panel from the front row of the audience.
CHARLENE WHITE WELCOMES THE #DIGIDEBATE AUDIENCE.
ADAM DEACON SPEAKS ON HIS SOCIAL MEDIA EXPERIENCES BOTH GOOD AND BAD AT THE #DIGIDEBATE.
Anyone and everyone has an opinion on social media nowadays. RICHARD Blackwood told me‘’ I think it’s a Blessing and a curse cause if used right you can turn yourself into a star from your own home but the flip side is everything and everyone is accessible and that is never a good thing!! SLIM added ‘’ Social networking is a bit like Hovis 50 50, it’s made it easier to cheat but easier to get caught. Overall it’s a good platform most embarrassing videos are put up by people’s good friends so I guess it shows you who your friends really are!’’ EDDIE Kadi jumped in ‘’ Social Media if used properly can be extremely beneficial to a business or personality. Though that person has to be able to use their brain. Train your dog well. So it doesn’t end up biting you or leaving waste all over the house.’’
MUSIC ACT DELILAH TALKS ABOUT HER EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIAL MEDIA FROM THE PANEL.
TV magic star Dynamo revealed ‘‘without social media it would’ve been very difficult for me to get out and get my magic out to the public. It was the first option I had because obviously TV companies weren’t really taking notice of a really young kid from Bradford back then and I didn’t really have the resources to make a big massive TV show like I do now but I had a camcorder and a laptop and I had the internet and YouTube and I just put videos on there and they started getting a hundred views if I was lucky and it grew to get millions of views with the help of Twitter and Facebook. So without social media then there is no magic’’.
‘’I think the scariest thing about social media is the fact that nobody has any privacy any more. Every single day there’s some sort of scandal that comes out online and I guess it’s bad for the news as well because the news breaks first on Twitter. So it’s hard to keep secrets but I guess that’s not necessarily a bad thing because sometimes there’s too many secrets kept from us by higher people. If that makes any sense? (wink) ‘’
Olympic athlete Jeanette Kwakye reiterated the pros and cons ‘’I think with social media it’s about getting your campaign out there, putting yourself out there whatever the cause may be. I would like to think that it’s a platform for anybody who’s got talent to showcase it and getting an honest opinion from everyone who’s out there and you know I think people have got jobs from putting their talent out there and I think that for me personally, it’s a good thing and it can only be a good thing. I’m a big social media user, I probably could live without social media but I’d find it quite challenging, but I do love it, I get to connect with a lot of my fans and kept in touch with a lot of friends and family who I haven’t seen in a long time.To be honest I’m actually quite aware of my social footprint, I do think before I post, occasionally I might have a bit of a rant but it’s never to the extent that I could probably go to but always to a level that I think is appropriate and I’m very aware and quite conscious of the people that follow me, especially on my twitter account and I wouldn’t want to get in any kind of trouble. I think the future of social media is it can only get bigger, it can only get better, there’s going to be more ways to interact and I think that we’ll close down on that 6 degrees. You know the 6 degrees of separation that we have? I think we’ll close down on that eventually. Down to 2 or 3 maybe and I think that by being connected as a whole universe is going to be something quite special. I think I am a little bit of a feminist. I’m a big believer in girl power, empowering especially young girls it’s very very important and I’ve been very lucky in my career to come across some amazing women so I think that being part of that kind of thing as well for me is quite special and I’d like to champion that at all times’’.
Chart star Wretch 32 had a balanced opinion
‘’I think social media has changed the world for the better and tiny bit for the worse. The reason I say for the better, I’ve got a little brother who lives in Canada and now we’re buttons away. For the worse because you never know who is on the other end of the buttons, so it can be used well and misused at the same time. Being an artist it’s helped me a lot, obviously going from myspace to twitter to youtube etc. I definitely think it has done more good than bad, but with things as big as the internet and social media there’s always a flip side to it’’.
Pop star Conor Maynard recalled his best social media moment ‘’I think probably the most memorable moment for me was when my fans decided to name themselves, they called themselves the maniacs after Maynard (laughs) but it was the maniacs they went with and that was probably the most memorable and it’s stuck ever since. So that was a big moment for me’’.
TV and film star Ashley Walters lamented the time it takes him away from his loved ones
‘’for me in a family sense it means that we spend less time with our children and they talk to us less about things because they’re on BBM, Whatsapp, instagram, twitter or any of the other social networking sites so far us it’s changed in that way. When it comes to business I think over the last few years I’ve been able to reach parts of the world that I’d never been able to reach before, so it’s progressed my career and our business and stuff like that as well. So having that kind of global reach is an amazing thing. I remember the days where I had to use a phone box to call my mates so I grew up in that era and I think a lot of the kids today like I said our kids they’ve always grown up with computers and whatever so for them they’re a dab hand at it but for us we’ve had to transit with that change, but it’s been a great thing’’.
Hollywood star Idris Elba implored
‘‘the problem I have with social media is that people forget to talk to people in real life. It’s fine talking on twitter or on a text or on instagram but human contact is the best way to communicate your ideas and that’s what I have a problem with. Ultimately I’m a big fan of social media but I do think that people need to talk to each other more. My worst experience of social media is having really defamatory pictures of me put online and people who’ve never even knew I was in social media believing it’s the truth. It’s just awful. I’ve seen this pictures or stories of me on social media and I’m like these are so far from the truth and yet you’re getting people commenting like it’s the truth, so there’s the good and the bad, and the bad is like the devil’’.
After that it was favour for a favour time as ITV News anchor Charlene White asked me to come and sit on a media panel at the University of the arts titled ‘’Charlene and friends’’ for a chat about what we do, how we got to where we are, and advice we’d give to budding journalists. Charlene said we were ‘’a group of my favourite features and entertainment journalists across UK newspaper, TV, magazine and radio’’. Alongside me on the panel were Guardian journalist Simon Hattenstone who once got stoned with Snoop to get a great interview, BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat entertainment presenter/reporter Nesta McGregor who shared his red-carpet bloopers, and Closer Magazine journalist Joanna Abeyie who explained her journey to the top. Like us all who started from the bottom now we’re here, you too could join us.
Keep reading next week for a great opportunity to be a new London vlogstar!