Saturday, 25 April 2015

Who is P.O.P.E??

P.O.P.E, which stands for 'Persistence Overthrows Power Every time" pushes the boundaries within his spoken word and music, creating a powerful meaning to his name. The talented artist looks at different areas of society, and has a keen eye to look through a disguised world, and draws out the problems and issues within his lyrics. A lot of focus is around religion and the contrast between this and faith. With so many news articles and updates of the war of religion, how can one not look at this subject without reflecting upon it.

So let's get to know the man behind the name and his inspiration for his spoken word poetry.

So who is P.O.P.E?
My real name is James Yates Hothersall, but Jamie for short.

What inspires you?
I get inspired by society and how crazy everything is and how it is the 'norm' that we are expected to deal with it. It makes me mad. It's insane!

Why did you go into spoken word?
Since I was a teenager I've always been writing songs. I'm interested in lyrics and how words can mean so much. I suppose I wanted to look at just the lyrics without forming any musical boundaries.

Who would you say your idols are?
I like people who don't conform and have gone against the grain. Musically I would say 'Bob Dylan' and 'Zach de la Rocha'. I also take inspiration from writers such as 'George Orwell' and 'Dostoyevsky'.

So you've got a new video out called 'Simple Simon'. What does it mean?
I wanted to look at how the government show the world what they want us as a society to see. They make it out as if the Iraq War was fine and the 'norm' as they used it as an excuse to gain more oil, but when the youth fight back with riots, they class it as dangerous and out of order. It is hypocrisy at it's finest.
The person who speaks for the country has never had to struggle when they talk about the views of the country, but will never help the people who are struggling and can't afford. Elections mean nothing and whoever comes into power will do exactly the same as the one before them. Just because they have the position of power does not make them right. We have seen dictators in the same positions and they were wrong so what makes them any different.

What do you want to show within your poetry?
I want people to think about my lyrics instead of generic pop songs and to know that I really put thought into them. I also hope it will send the message that you shouldn't be afraid of what people think about you.

What keeps you going with your spoken word?
I like competition and competing against myself. There is nothing better than writing a line that will get people thinking. It's very much like a riddle, you have all the words, you just need the right ones to form that perfect line.

So as you know I'm an Illustrator and a big fan of creativity. So what makes spoken word 'art'?
I'd class it as art because it's creative and you can do whatever you like, our only guidelines are; USE WORDS! With poetry and music you have no boundaries and it's your own imagination from your own perspective. I suppose it's like the first riff you learn on guitar is 'Hey Joe' by "Hendrix'. However you play it no-one can play it like him. Even when broken down to the basics, everyone brings a different sound or perspective to what they create.

Finally, from watching your video we can see how much society bother you, so give us a rant?
What pisses you off and why?
Humans. The majority of people are self absorbed and don't help one another. If people have a problem they should say it instead of keeping quiet and following others like sheep, as it feels like we're taking a step back instead of evolving. Back in the 40s and 50s we had more creativity within music as Swing and Jazz took over. We had the anti- Prohibition where people joined as a mass to change things. Nowadays anything that can be changed for the good is put on the back row, whilst we hear about the elections, fashion and celebrities as headline stories instead of focusing on the real horrors in the world. It angers me. I also believe that people should stop being offended at being offended.

Here's P.O.P.E's latest video 'Simple Simon' You can also find him on Twitter , Soundcloud, Instagram and Facebook

Thank you for taking your time to read this :)

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Friday, 17 April 2015

Start clowning around.....

Back at college, this used to be me. I'd wear whatever i wanted, whenever I wanted and didn't care as much about what people thought. I was in an environment where people didn't care whether you wore the latest fashion brand or whether you had face paint on your face as you walked down the street. It was art college and probably the best few years of my life. Not only for the people I met but for introducing myself to the person I actually was underneath.

After reading 'Plug into your weirdness' by Gala Darling, I realised that I only maintain a little bit of this, but find myself obsessing over social media and how other people think of me. Deep down I know I shouldn't but find it so hard not to.

When you're trying to run a business you surround yourself with twitter, Facebook, Instagram and blogs. You find yourself staring at other people's pictures and wondering why or how they got the many likes they did. It's awful and I hate the fact I do it, but still I carry on. I find myself looking at beauty blogs and model's blogs trying to figure out how to make myself look prettier. Then it dawns on me again!! 'Stop it!!'

Sometimes we need to take a step back and look at the things which made you who you are. Not on the outside but that person whose hiding deep underneath. For me it was always art, weird dancing, photoshoots and dressing up. It was listening to weird music, reading inspiring material and writing. These things came so natural to me and I felt extremely comfortable doing it.
I've lost some of those things along the way, as you grow up you feel as though you need to conform. You see the world through social media and look at your own life through a microscope picking up only on the bad points.

I've spoken to a gentleman for a while now, he's a sweet gentleman and has told me that he wants to undergo a sex change. At first I felt unsure for him, but after a while of talking to him I can now see how excited he is to do this. He knows who he is and knows how to change to be deep down who he feels he wants to be and I admire this. I admire his strength and determination to show the world who he really is.

So with all this thought.... I think it's time to go back to being me.

Thank you for taking your time to read this :)

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Monday, 13 April 2015

Living on the streets...

Copyright of Don Mccullin

Recently I've been watching some awesome documentaries and find myself constantly flicking through youtube, BBC Iplayer and Netflix. 

One of the documentaries that really stood out to me was 'Mcullin'. This film is about a War/ Homeless Photographer called 'Don Mccullin', spoken by Mcculin himself, we hear the stories about how he began photographing his subjects and the reasons on why he carried on through the pain and terror he saw people experience. He shows us the imagery he produced within the years he spent at war and later showed us the faces of the ghosts upon our own streets. Each photograph he took was heart wrenching and I found myself in tears as I saw the pain in each person's eyes, but I admired Mccullin's determination to photograph the pain to show the rest of the world the truth in our society. He tried his best to help them, carrying the injured in the wars and most of all spent his time talking to the people he met on the streets. Showing them that some-one does care and does see them. If you get chance please check this documentary out. You can find it on the UK Netflix. 

Copyright of Mike. F. Shaw (The Forgotten)

This brings me to my next point. Above is a photograph taken by Mike. F. Shaw a professional photographer based in the UK. Recently he has started a Facebook page called 'The Forgotten'. His aim is to 'bring light to those no longer seen', 'to tell their stories' and 'stop people from looking away.'
Mike is driven by his aim and enjoys not only photographing the people he meets but spending time talking to them. It is obvious how much he cares and you can tell from looking at a single photograph that he captures the moment, the emotion and the character of the person in front of him. To that person sat there, a simple hello or even time spent with them will mean the world. What I see Mike doing is beautiful and what humanity needs. Its crazy to think in this day and age that people are still forced to live without shelter and food. 

Copyright of Natasha Aldred 2014

The picture above was taken by me in Manchester, July 2014.  His name was Marco a lovely gentleman who had been living on the streets since christmas day. When he first saw us he was weary but after a while spoke to us with ease. He told us how he'd been beaten up and some lads had broken a couple of his ribs and how he found joy in creating art. Rummaging through my bag i found some spare pencils and a sketchbook and gave him the items. With this he offered to draw us, and we sat listening to his stories as he did with ours. He gave me back the sketchbook after, refusing to take it but leaving the picture in there all signed and dated for us to remember. Shaking his hand we said goodbye and wished him well.

It's crazy how things can snowball. There's no way of knowing your own safety. Imagine yourself without your job and without your family and friends for support. Where could you be? So don't forget this when you see some-one sitting there in the street. Sometimes all it takes is bit of bad luck. Take your time to give them that bit of change. Acknowledge them, a simple hello can brighten up some-one's day. Or sit there and chat to them or simply listen. People take for granted what a simple smile or an ear to listen can do. It means a lot.

I saw a guy not long back in Sheffield and what he said stuck with me. 'It could be you!!!'

Thank you for reading :) 
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