Monday, March 27, 2006

Interview: Taalam Acey (2003, Verbatim Mag)

Taalam Acey Q&A –

His stare penetrates through the obvious and settles on the rarely seen. Taalam Acey. Member of the 1999 Nuyorican Slam Team, 2000 Grand Slam Champion of London's Paddington Int'l Poetry Festival and the Washington DC Black Words Grand Slam Champion, continues to focus on the little things in life. Things like: semi-fame, small fortune and a conscious effort at raising his daughters. Through the recent release of his 3rd spoken word CD installment "Morally Bankrupt Volume Final: Mood Demistify", Taalam will defy the law of mainstream success. As the executive-producer, the artist and the distributor of his own product, Taalam is assured to make major moves, while enjoying the little things in life.

How did you start performing?
3 years ago, poetry was something I only did on Thursday. Then it became a point where I had something new every two weeks. I started slamming in late1998 at the Nuyorican, got on the 1999 Slam Team and we placed 5th in the Nationals – and that was because of time penalties. I started touring right after that and drove from Jersey to Texas and hit all the spots in between. My first California appearance was in January 2001.

Where are you touring now?
Between Baltimore, Chicago, Texas, Miami and Oakland.

How have you been able to be so successful at booking your own shows?
I get a lot of love and just keep it professional send a press kit to those who give interest. I did a lot of research on the Internet. I’ve got 15 markets between London and San Francisco/Bay Area. The Bay Area is my main market. I was recently blessed to have about 200 people waiting to hear me perform at the Black Box, Oakland, CA.

Advice for those trying to make poetry as a career?
· Keep a schedule – everything is based around your sales
. Keep records of sales. It gives you an idea of where you need to be and are the best spots during different seasons
·If you are talking about eating from it – then you can’t be distracted. Stay organized and you have to plan, not just schedule dates.

What poets or spoken word artists move you?
Mar Hill and Narubi Selah in NJ, NER City, Aman and Seeking in Oakland, Triple Black in Chicago, Jason Carney from Austin, and Liza Jessie Peterson in NYC.

What elements make a good poet?
A good artist has found his or her own voice. When you see someone else doing someone else’s style – you can tell. It takes versatility, tempo, tone and mood. Original concepts – I think that’s the hardest. But I know someone is dope when I contort my face involuntarily (while hearing them read).

How do you feel about plagiarism?

How do you feel about plagiarism?
I think the name of the game is to be prolific. You make sure when you put down the original that it will be better than anyone could ever copy. But I don’t have time to worry about that – I am working on my new CD when cats are biting off of my old CD. And to even think of who is biting means I have to look back – and it’s grow or die.


Shelle said...

his stare penetrates thru the obvious, and settles on the rarely true.
he is one of the best

Mahogany L. Browne said...

fa real...

Angel said...

Co-sign! Co-sign!!!

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