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the itch season 1 episode 2: Malaika Kegode

In the second episode of our new series shining a light on new Bristol talent, check out Malaika Kegode performing ‘Music’.

the itch is a collaborative film project between Rife Magazine and the cheeky cactuses at Clockwise. We come across some of the most exciting talent in Bristol, working here at the magazine, and we want to celebrate everything the city has to offer. So, working with Clockwise, we will be shooting and uploading intimate performances, brash outlandish artistic pieces, stand-up, poetry, music, dance, whatever, in the coming months.

An interview with Malaika

Describe Your Poetry.

My poetry is like pouring just the right amount of lemon and lime Solero Shots into your mouth on a hot day. Is that ridiculous? Do you remember them? They were delicious.

I draw inspiration from many different places when I write, I grew up in a very musical household so obviously the music of everyone from Patti Smith to Craig David has motivated my writing in some way! I’m a real pop culture fiend, so I definitely mine for content in everything I watch, listen to and see.

The overarching theme in all my poetry is my love and fascination with people and the stories we all create just by living them. Everything I write comes from truth, and that is really important to me to try and capture.

Where Was Your First Gig?

My first open mic spot was at Taking the Mic in Exeter. I did a little 2 minute poem called “Foibles” which is still on YouTube, and a poem with my ukulele – I can’t remember what that one was called. It was so much fun, a few friends of mine came to watch, I remembered all the words and when I finished I literally skipped off stage and said, “thank you!” which came out as a high pitched squeak.

Needless to say, I was hooked.

What Makes Bristol Special For Spoken Word?

Bristol’s spoken word scene is thriving. It had a history of incredible spoken word artists before it really entered into the mainstream. People like Miles Chambers and Steven Duncan were shouting important words at people on stages when it wasn’t cool yet. And that was cool.

There’s so much going on in Bristol artistically, it’s a city where people feel free to experiment which is crucial for artists. The fact there are so many poetry nights catering to many different tastes and styles is really to Bristol’s credit.

Also Milk Poetry is great.

Which Poets Have Inspired You?

So many! I would put Sally Jenkinson, who was a big player on the spoken word scene when she was still living here, as one of my top inspirations as far as writing goes. Indigo Williams is another poet without whom I don’t think I would be performing. Bohdan Piasecki, Antosh Wojcik and Laurie Bolger are all poets who have inspired me to keep writing and cultivating my style.

My biggest inspiration comes from the poets I see popping up on the scene, working hard at their craft and telling their truth. Poets I consider good friends and who I can see develop right in front of my eyes. Saskia Tomlinson, Sam Grudgings, Tom Dewey, Amani Saeed. The list could go on for miles so I’ll stop there.

What Inspired Your Piece For the itch?

As I mentioned before, I grew up in a musical household. Music was the thing that consistently brought us all together even when things were tough at home, which they could be at times.

The poem is inspired by those moments when someone you love is really sad, but there’s nothing you can say to make it better. So instead you listen to music together, because music has this magical healing quality which can mend something that seems broken beyond repair.

Where Can We Find More Of Your Work?

Follow me on Twitter @MalaikaFKegode and SoundCloud

You can also always find me at Milk Poetry which is every third Monday of the month at The Room Above at The White Bear pub on St Michael’s Hill. Next event is 15th May

There’s also an event coming up at Tobacco Factory Theatres on the 13th June