"I used to be underrated,
now I take iron,
makes my shit constipated
I'm more concentrated." - (Wyclef, "How Many Mics")
The Last Poets –“Niggas are scared of revolution”
Delving into the lyrics of any given Emcee or Poet is always a fascinating exploration in hearing interpretations, references and understandings, but it's not often that you get to ask the artist themselves to "Rap Genius" favourite lyrics from their own projects.
"Rap Genius" one of your favourite lines from one of your favourite, "Angels" tracks.
Suviana Suvannah: "Like the wise men I walked I watched and I seen, Angelic beings like doves leading on east."
"In the lyric stated above, word for word, what I'm saying is that I was diligent to discover where I found hope. The three wise men in the bible saw a star in the east and went towards it. These wise men were astrologists and studied the star. But the point is that if these wise men were not very sensitive or meticulous in their studies, they would have missed the star in the east. What I'm saying is that in this whole EP, if you are not sensitive to understand the poetry then you will miss out on the theme or the purpose of the poem and so poetry wouldn't mean anything to you."
"Rap Genius" one of your favourite lines from, "DanceNature".
Voice of Silence:
"Swing through the vines of this concrete jungle,
it requires more than six seconds
to appreciate the beauty in these straight lines"
"Although it was difficult to pick just one line from 'DanceNature', I had to break this one down. Cities like Toronto are often referred to as 'concrete jungles', the urban equivalent to a dense jungle, and as monkeys (or even Tarzan) are often typically portrayed swinging on vines through the jungle, I compared this to how we, as people, travel through the city from point A to point B, often not taking in the rest of the city that is bursting with life around us. This also refers to the once-popular social media app, Vine, which allowed users to share six-second short videos to their followers. I find that the trend nowadays is to live the 'fast life', to keep moving all the time, to do as much as you can fit into your day, and to do more than the person beside us, as that is what society supposedly demands from us. But to truly appreciate the beauty of the art that shapes our city and the "straight lines" of the architecture, the buildings, the roads, and the network that forms the foundation of where we live, we need to slow down and take more than 'six seconds' to take in the 'Six' and all it has to offer to us. More often than not, our bodies and minds require the break, the slow days, and the days off to rejuvenate and simply observe the world in which we live and grow, which is further illustrated by the rest of "DanceNature".
Speaking of "The 6ix", How has Toronto (city, culture, lifestyle) influenced your art? Speak on it.
Voice of Silence: "Throughout my childhood and early teenage years, both my parents worked during the day, leaving me to learn and grow more independently." says Voice of Silence, "Since I did not have a computer or a TV back then, I would spend my time poring through maps of Toronto and memorizing the TTC transit map, ingraining the diverse neighbourhoods and culture of the city in my mind as I explored. With my grandfather when I was a child, and alone when I was older, I explored most of the city, its people, and its culture to satisfy my curiosity, and in turn, gained a strong appreciation and love for my hometown. Most of my earlier spoken word poems touched upon topics of diversity and culture that came from my experiences of living in Toronto. One of the main factors behind my confidence and curiosity to present my poetry in a unique way stems from the people I have met in the Toronto arts scene, as everyone is expressing their creativity through different channels and the rich diversity of all the talent in the city, truly inspired me to find my own niche in expressing myself."
"My debut single, 'DanceNature', took me approximately a year to finish writing, as each aspect of the poem was inspired by different experiences I have had around the city throughout the year, from the urban lifestyle downtown to the serenity of the natural green spaces in the suburbs."
Suviana Suvannah: "Toronto has greatly impacted my artwork. I began spoken word poetry by advocating for social justice in my community. I wrote poems about police brutality, social injustice and red tape bureaucracy and other injustices. It has been 5 years since then and Toronto is still impacting my work in a way of lifestyle. I draw so much from friends and colleagues and people in the Torontonian culture. In a way, we are all research analysts of our own human condition and as such we gossip and write about ourselves on social media and various ways of expression. Therefore, I draw from Toronto culture as much as I live in Toronto. Toronto influences my art as much as I allow it to. As much as I receive the culture, my heart is penetrable to be affected by it."
Spoken Word Poet, Spoken Word Artist or Artist - What title is your preference? Why?
Suviana Suvannah: "I am very versatile with what I can do artistically however, I specialize in spoken word poetry, so my preferred title is spoken word artist. The term artist on its own is very general, so I definitely also prefer to use that title to keep my options and opportunities open to other practices that fall in the same category as spoken word because to close in only on 'spoken word artist' is a little too narrow for me to be defined as. I'm a multi-dimensional type of artist, which implies that there are different levels to any art form that I involve myself and different heights that I intend to reach in depth. That definition in itself really exemplifies what I know to be artwork. If I call myself a spoke word poet then I'm only like everybody else."