WORD AT PLAY – INTRODUCING SPOKEN WORD ARTIST M.ARTZ
Born in Hackney, East London, M.Artz is a fresh, new spoken word artist with a compelling story to tell. His debut EP ‘Grown’ is due for release in the summer time.
Spoken word poetry has a history of being used as an art form and as a tool for voicing deep frustration with society (Gil Scott Heron ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised’ and Martin Luther King ‘I Have a Dream’). During a recent chat with M.Artz we discussed his take on the traditional use of spoken word; “I wouldn’t say I started doing spoken word about social injustice. Generally, yes it can be used in that way, but I am coming from a different angle and like to play around with various topics”. He goes on to explain “I see myself as a reporter, a story teller – that is really my style. I am a person who likes to express myself and music with spoken word are my tools.”
This is very evident considering his tracks ‘Zone 2’ and ‘Something Special’, both of which being almost polar opposite in theme. M.Artz explains “‘Zone 2’ is about gentrification. About a year ago I was invited down to an event called Reclaim Brixton in Windrush Square, Brixton so I thought I’d write something around the whole gentrification thing, that’s how I came up with ‘Zone 2′”.
M.Artz’s current single ‘Something Special’ is very different from ‘Zone 2’. M.Artz explained the concept of both song and video; “‘Something Special’ is a true story of how I met my current partner. I was in a wine bar and saw this beautiful lady and thought to myself, how can I speak to her? It needs to come from the heart. So ‘Something Special’ is about what I was thinking of saying to her before I eventually approach and speak to her.” Continuing to explain on the topic of his ‘Something Special’ video he adds, “I had a concept in mind of how I wanted it to go. I sat with the director and we spoke about ideas. We combined them and the outcome was visually beautiful, it’s not the usual spoken word video. There is a whole concept behind it, I’m telling a story here. We wanted to do something completely different.”
When asked about his motivation to pursue the creative endeavour of spoken word, M.Artz explains; “My journey with spoken word is basically about my love of words and music. A few years ago I decided to start performing and writing and here I am so far. I opened for award winning duo Floetry last December at the Electric in Brixton (after catching the attention of the Floacist, Natalie Stewart at her monthly poetry night now held at Rye Wax Peckham) which was my biggest show to date. That was incredible performing in front of over 1500 people a night.”
Asking about acts he would love to perform with in the future M.Artz says: “I would love to support Jill Scott, Erykah Badu… there are so many, the list is long. This is something I will push for in the future. I always say dare to dream, nothing is impossible.”
Speaking about his musical inspirations, M.Artz loves all genres of music; hip hop. rap, r&b, soul, Jazz. “I am inspired by all music, concepts, beats, words and music. At the moment I’m listening to Jill Scott and Alessia Cara, she’s a great artist. There is a lot of music out there that I’m loving at the moment.”
Asking about his plans for the future, M.Artz is focused on shows and the upcoming release of his debut EP ‘Grown’ . “The EP is going to be a solid body of work, there will be seven solid tracks on there.” When asked about his inspiration to write he answers: “I tend to write at night time when I have space to write. I try to write everyday, though sometimes it doesn’t work out. I normally start with the concept and then listen to music on my headphones, sometimes just an instrumental piece inspires me to start writing and the words start to form themselves.”