Wrap Up And Watch Out: G.r.e.ed.s
Introducing fast-rising spoken word artist and performance poet from London, G.R.E.Ed.S. An integral part and fixture in the burgeoning movement that is taking poetry and spoken word to fresh new heights in the capital, G.R.E.Ed.S has already garnered massive airplay and support from BBC 1Xtra, as well as an unforgettable live performance at 'ILuvLive' in 2011. We caught up with him to discuss his art, poetry and more...
The Wrap Up: So, who exactly is G.R.E.Ed.S?
G.R.E.Ed.S: Generating Rhymes to Engage the Enlightened Soul. I specialize in spoken word and poetry.
TWU: How did you get that name and what does it means?
G.R.E.Ed.S: My name was originally given in the early years but, through the last four years of performing, I decided to have a bit more meaning behind the name so I created the acronym G.R.E.Ed.S – Generating Rhymes to Engage the Enlightened Soul. It had to be something that I felt embodies myself and it’s also is kind of universal so there’s no colour to it, no age to it, there’s just literally words and if people like what they hear, if they relate to what is heard, then its fine by me.
TWU: Certain folks may have a certain idea about spoken word and poetry. Could you describe your own style and sound so that those folks can get a clearer better idea?
G.R.E.Ed.S: My style doesn’t follow the norm of what people might class as poetry. My structuring, the way I recite and the way I perform are all different, because it wasn’t off the back of anything. When I started performing, I wasn’t watching anybody because I’ve always been taught to be original in what I’m doing. The only thing I’ve kinda emulated was trying to learn certain rhymes and flows – for instance, learning that fast Busta Rhymes flow.
TWU: What’s the difference between a rapper/MC and a spoken word artist/poet that performs with music?
G.R.E.Ed.S: It’s all about structure! The writing is in a different structure. Poets work and write to silence, that’s our rhythm, while rappers write to structures in terms of beats and the rapper/MC might rhyme within those constraints – they have to rap up to a certain point which is a chorus and then you’ve got a verse again. To a certain degree, poets don’t have that structure because they’ve never had a structure to work with in the first place, other than the structure of silence and writing to a specific kind of ambience. Plus, there is a different style. The closest thing that you might say is ‘poetry’ in the mainstream is The Streets and what Mike Skinner has done.
TWU: Your debut EP, ‘Ready’, is out now. Tell us a bit about the vibe of the EP…
G.R.E.Ed.S: I’m so excited, because it’s a transition. Over the years, my writing has developed, my curiosity of different sounds developed and I wanted to have more fun, so I changed my structure of making music. My first album, ‘Volume In Silence’ (2009), was basically poems with music in the background, whereas with the ‘Ready’ EP, they are songs within a poetry format. The sound is very different and you can expect to hear reggae, rock, indie, hip-hop and soul – which you won’t catch on my first album. It’s a more developed sound and it’s showing the evolution of me. I’m comfortable with the music that I’m making now, and I can explore these different genres in doing so – it’s very much a transition.
TWU: In 2011, you got played on BBC 1Xtra and you were one of the very few spoken word artists to ever perform at 'ILuvLive'. How were those experiences for you?
G.R.E.Ed.S: Getting played on BBC 1Xtra’s ‘Homegrown Show’ was a shock. I was very excited, because I felt like we were getting out there a bit more. I felt that I did it for not just myself, but also the other poets/spoken word artists out there. It felt so good to me and I just want to continue that. I want to hear another one of my songs on the radio; it gave me that hunger to achieve more, so I’m going to keep on pushing myself to make that happen again. The ‘ILuvLive’ moment was different, we knew that once it came around, that it was time to make a statement. I went into ‘ILuvLive’ like a bull, like a full-on bull, because that was the time to not only make a statement for G.R.E.Ed.S and The Remedies, but for poetry and spoken word as a whole. It just felt like it was the right time and place to make a statement and we did a good job.
TWU: Any last words?
G.R.E.Ed.S: www.iamgreeds.com! We’ve got free downloads, new releases, writings and visuals all on there. I just want more people to believe in spoken word.
G.R.E.Ed.S' new EP, 'Ready', is out now.
Stay up to date with G.R.E.Ed.S on Twitter – www.twitter.com/IAmGreeds
Words: Ayodele Adepoju (@WePlugGoodMusic)
Online editing: Joseph 'JP' Patterson (@Jpizzledizzle)