First of all, congratulations on your selection. Can you tell us a little about the project that you entered to this competition?
The project we entered was in commemoration of David Oluwale – a homeless Nigerian who was murdered by the local police in the 1960s in Leeds. We felt that issues of empathy always caused heated discussion but we wanted to highlight the need for a meaningful outcome of sorts, a means of preventing further tragedies like that of David Oluwale's death.
Was the idea of 'changing the world' something you had considered before the competition?
Surely, if one single thing in this world could 'change the world' it would be art. Its ability to grasp complex and global issues and squash them into bitesize images and words that everyone can relate to is something that is critical for helping us move towards a future of understanding and empathy. We believe it can change the world for one person, even for a moment in time.
Why do you think it's important that art attempts to bring about change?
Art is the most honest form of communication. Artists normally partake in an art form because they see it as an honest outlet for themselves. You could argue that it requires honesty or a critical reflection of self and the world. Without honesty and truth telling, we cannot reconcile with the crimes we have committed and that others commit against us. Without this, change is impossible.
Do you have a favourite piece of art — in any art form — that really changed the world for you?
Spoken word has changed us all and has influenced us variously. This art form combines music, art and real life in one — providing a creative combination of our environment, memories and life stories. We use this platform to translate our views in a way people can appreciate and absorb in words.
When did you start making art?
Kim: Tai since 2013, Ade since 2015 and myself from a very young age, but I only really picked up spoken word from October 2015, where my confidence grew from entering a workshop.
What else are you up to right now?
In different ways, we are all trying to develop ourselves through our own art. Writing more poems and pushing ourselves in terms of performance and writing. Grabbing every opportunity to attend open mics and collaborating.
What would be your ideal project to work on?
Tai: The ideal project for me to work on would be an EP where I have unlimited access to a studio and professional/creative support so I can manifest my ideas.
Ade: A poetry exchange from Leeds to Lagos. Leeds to London. Leeds to Gaza.
Kim: Collaborating with other people to combine various talents together to produce life-changing art. A project that entails animal and human rights.
What can we expect from you in the next year or so? Do you have any plans for new projects?
Tai: I'm currently working on spoken word videos and a joint mixtape with some producer/hip hop friends. In the next year or so, you should expect to see me getting a bit more active on SoundCloud and Youtube!
Ade: More collaborations, more films and more poems.
Kim: I am developing my artistic platforms further by performing in open mics and joining in with anything interesting and creative. Currently, I have a channel where spoken word artists can collaborate and produce poetry on a monthly basis. But further to this I would like to expand into spreading the realism of human and animal abuse in our world today.