Thursday 22 October, 2020

WATCH: Bajan poet taking on the world

Akeem Chandler-Prescod
(Photo Credit: Akeem Chandler-Prescod Instagram)

Akeem Chandler-Prescod (Photo Credit: Akeem Chandler-Prescod Instagram)

One young Barbadian artist is boldly taking on the rest of the world and encouraging others to similarly take up the mantle. 

Akeem Chandler-Prescod has become a familiar face on the local stage, with his engagingly impactful performances at the National Independence Festival of Creative Arts (NIFCA) being among the highlights of his career.

This 24-year-old spoken word artist is serious about his craft and is not afraid to take on the rest of the world.

In fact, he is among those vying to be crowned the winner of the Summer Poetry Xperience 'Summarising 2018' contest - a competition where persons from all over the world submitted videos of their poetic summary of this year, with only a select few making the cut and actually being eligible to win.

But just how did Akeem even find out about this competition, he told Loop Entertainment about it:

"I learnt about the contest from a fellow poet that lives in the United States, he sent me the link telling me it would be a good opportunity for someone like me. So I checked it out and began writing on the theme."

And he was in no way intimidated by the diverse and experienced group of persons entering. Instead, Akeem saw it as the perfect opportunity to take Barbadian creativity to the world:

"I decided to enter because I find poetry/spoken word in Barbados never really leaves Barbados. 

"Our accent, our delivery, even the content is very unique and niche to us, and many of us don't even explore the potential revenue streams that are out there. So I entered to both promote my self to a wider audience and to promote the craft on a platform where people are actively seeking to consume a poetic product."


One of Akeem Chandler-Prescod's pieces

And this is something he is hoping other local artists will do. 

He encouraged Barbadians to know their craft well and to use technology to find opportunities:

"Local poets definitely need to seek more opportunities like that. Unfortunately, if you ask the average Barbadian to name a spoken word piece from any era they will have difficulty. If you ask the average Barbadian to name a spoken word artist anywhere in the world that is a millionaire they will have difficulty. 

"Local poets need to disseminate their content more both locally and internationally. We live in an era where technology has revolutionised communication and the way we communicate. Opportunities like this is a good way of widening your reach as an artist and the identity of the genre locally. Even if one doesn't win or place there are other benefits that can be derived from such an endeavour."

Click here to check out his entry in the 'Summarising 2018'   Summer Poetry Xperience contest.

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