Words w/ Friends is one of the most interesting, original and fun projects that I have been involved in so far in my performance career. Having grown up playing in angsty punk bands, shouting obscenities at small crowds of sad teenagers and bleeding on my guitar, it’s fair to say that a spoken word poetry meets lo-fi hip-hop mixtape is not the kind of thing I’m used to. Regardless of that, however, this has been one of the coolest projects I’ve known, both for the poetry and the music.
When I went to record my poem for the first Ww/F we were in Southampton. I slept on an airbed in what was then the living room of The Heartsease Kid. It was the first time I’d met THK and things got off to a rough start when we were playing Monopoly and I not only lost pretty badly but completely fucked him over as well, leading Billy Pilgrim to a smug victory. To this day I don’t believe I have been fully forgiven. Below you can listen to Vol I.
And Vol II is even cooler.
The first project was mostly recorded at Southampton Uni and was just a sort of ‘who do we know who writes poems?’ kind of thing. ‘I do,’ I squeaked from somewhere off screen.
This time, however, the boys wanted to do something special. Vol I did not have a call for submissions, nor was there a release gig. It was cool but it was very much a trial run. Vol II is going to be a big one. To the call for submissions came thousands (probably) of replies, all of which were listened to and analysed and reflected upon with such a depth that even the greatest diver in the world would take one look and say ‘nah mate’, until finally it was narrowed down to the best of the best (have I mentioned I’m on it?) to record their poetry at Drill Hall Studios.
Recording this time was an awesome experience. Most of us went to record in a huge one day session, which was a lot of fun in particular because we got to check out each other’s stuff. Everyone sounded so awesome and we even got to mess around with some fun little extra parts (listen out for Tamar Moshkovitz on Zoka’s track). Furthermore, the beats are sick. THK has really done some cool stuff on this one.
Now that everything’s been recorded, we just have one thing left to do: the release gig. On the night of this very Sunday (26th Nov ’17) we’re throwing a party at the Owl Sanctuary in Norwich. There will be a poetry open mic (so if you’re getting all excited and you wanna join in then come on you little tike, pick up the microphone) and then we’re doing a live performance of the mixtape in it’s entirety and you’ll even be able to buy a CD. You lucky kids. You can find more details about the gig here- Words w/ Friends Vol II release event
See ya Sunday buddy!
– Minty Taylor