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Metronome Sessions

Suli Breaks

28 November 13 words: Joe Coghlan
"Through the advent of social media, people have realised that they can find information and learn for themselves"
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Suli Breaks. Photo: Oliver May

How did your tour Around the World in 80 days come about and what do you intend to do on your journey?
Saul Klein, the creator of Love Film, came up with the idea while we were chatting. He was really impressed with the way my work had affected people and he thought it would be fantastic if I could travel the world Phileas Fogg style - meeting people and entrepreneurs from all walks of life to share ideas. I'm allowed to use the journey to accomplish whatever I want and I have chosen to make it a discovery trip, keeping inspiration, innovation and imagination at the forefront. Basically, I want to meet people who have found success by following their passion - not what society, school or anyone else has dictated for them. 
Why do you think your spoken word poetry is having such a powerful effect on people?
I cannot definitively say, but I have noticed that the conscious level of society as a whole is rising. I think through the advent of social media, people have realised that they can find information and, more so, learn for themselves. I think this makes us more receptive to different ideas and mediums of conveying information, along with the conventional ones.
What advice would you offer a young person who feels like giving up school?
To remember that regardless of whether results are what you expected, not what you hoped for or even better than you expected, that it is just a start - one area of your destiny. This is just one step in your journey through life and it will only define the destination if you want it to. Society will not only try and dictate your steps, but also where you will end up. However, all you have to do is have faith in your abilities - the choice of whatever you want to be is in your hands. Perseverance is also vital, a lot of doors will slam in your face and it is your job to find new doors and, at times, even create them.
Over the last couple of years we’ve witnessed a number of spoken word videos going viral. What advice would you give to a younger artist who wants their work to achieve the same status?
It had always been my intention to achieve a degree of success which allows my message or work to be appreciated worldwide. Anything I do, I always aim to take it to the furthest extent and explore its fullest potential. My advice is to simply go for it and imagine the impossible.
Your YouTube channel alone has 115 videos, how do you sustain such a high level of creative output?
The freedom of being able to say what I feel and people appreciating it definitely helps me to sustain the high level of creative output that you see today. As an artist, having people listening to what you have to say and caring for your life story is probably the greatest fulfilment you can have.
The UK is currently facing times of austerity yet young artists are growing in strength and number. What are your hopes for young people across the UK over the next few years?  
I would really like to see a change in people’s mentalities rather than the structural institution itself. I think if people can have a better understanding of what the system is about, that will make a big difference.
You have a show with Soweto Kinch at the Nottingham Contemporary this Saturday. What can audience members expect to experience when attending the show?
What I really hope for is the people that come to the show to gain a better understanding of Suli Breaks, as a person as well as an artist. I want them to have a better understanding of my journey and most importantly enjoy the art that is spoken word.
Suli Breaks will be performing at Nottingham Contemporary on Saturday 30 November 2013. £10 advance tickets.

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