The London poetry scene is growing, and the movements of spoken word artists are correlated to that. Not being content with just putting pen to paper, getting publishing deals, or hitting the stages on the poetry circuit, poets are now releasing and distributing albums like rappers do mixtapes. Writer’s Block catches up with one such artist, Nigerian born Yomi Sode, aka Greeds.
So, exclusively for Writer’s Block, Greeds talks performances, sensitivity, jogging and his upcoming launch night for his debut album ‘Volume in Silence’.
Writer’s Block: So quick history lesson: Where did the name Greeds come from and what got you into poetry?
Greeds: G.R.E.E.D.S stands for Generating Rhymes to Engage the EnlighteneD Soul.
It came at a time when I started doing performance poetry. I sat and broke down what was originally termed Greedy into something more meaningful. As for how I started, I first started off as a rapper. It was cool as it gave me a taste of performing to an audience, but I felt that people were not really listening to me. See as a rapper, the audience can be more interested in the beats and sounds your band is producing than the lyrical content that you are actually delivering. So I decided to perform without any band, sounds, and backing track, just me. Then I started hitting the poetry circuit and enjoyed every second of it.
Writer’s Block: So what’s your experience of being a recognised poet been like so far?
Greeds: Its alright! I mean I don’t mind it but I feel being called a poet comes with some restrictions. You are branded and people assume that because you are a poet you must be conscious and talk about certain subjects. I personally consider myself as an artist.
Alot of people have their doubts on whether poetry can break into the mainstream which really grates me. Spoken word is already in the mainstream, it’s just not packaged that way. Look at the Streets! Mike Skinner at times talks over his beats instead of rapping more in line with the beat. Does anyone call it spoken word or poetry? No! I really want to break these boundaries and reduce limitations.
Writer’s Block: How do you practice performing your pieces?
Greeds: Well I started off just in my house. You know, going through poems in the mirror. See when you can look at your reflection you can adjust your facial expressions, body language and the tone of voice. Now, I go to the park or anywhere else that has an open space. Actually I got some really good advice that I use, especially to help in my delivery of pieces if I am doing a long set.
Writer’s Block: Do share…
Greeds: Jogging! Being a performance poet, means that I must stay in shape, to help me during my sets. Increasing my stamina and staying healthy keeps my vocals clear and strong.(laughs) While I run I perform my poems out load. If anyone wants to hear my poetry sets they need to come jogging with man, you get me! This is serious stuff!
Writer’s Block: So your launch is for your Volume in Silence album. Who is it for? What does it cover?
Greeds: Volume in silence is a concept album. This means that I had an idea personal to myself with a huge feeling that others would be able to relate to it. For example I am quite quiet at times or I know I should air my thoughts more, these are some of the things that not only I say to myself but I hear other people say all the time. This album is for that person and also for the lovers of the art form and will appreciate the fusion with different sounds.
Writer’s Block: Does expressing yourself through creativity mean you have a legion of female fans that deem you the ‘sensitive sort?
Greeds: (laughs) I believe that if you deal with matters of the heart you will connect with another heart out there. Singers do this amazingly and the same goes for poetry because it is just as personal.
“Female fans?” I have people that appreciate my work and I am thankful.
“A sensitive side?” That side has always resided in me and is shown through my pieces. It’s harder for me now to be just numb to situations, I feel, think or see it then I’ll write it.
Writer’s Block: What will the audience expect from your up and coming show?
Greeds: A night that will deliver, in true form. It will be personal, it will be emotionally driven, reminds me of something like an audience with ……… rather than an album launch. The support has been insane. I’m not signed or nothing but the way this project has been dealt with has been something of an Industry standard.
I am looking forward to the night.
More interviews to come!