The Lovely Rebel first appeared on YouTube in 2008, where she shared her earliest works with a small but diehard supportive audience. It didn’t take long for her followership to grow on and offline. The eventuality of such led her to the heart of downtown Atlanta, where at the iconic Apache Cafe’, she nervously lost her “mic virginity” to a packed house. Riotous applause for her candid and beautifully profound expressions erupted as she exited the stage. It was a momentous occasion, indeed, for it takes courage to bare one’s soul before a room full of strangers and with the best-of-the-best poets looking on.
Three minutes and twenty-one seconds was the duration of that remarkable Apache’ performance and a stepping stone to a heightened level of notoriety for the Lovely Rebel. YouTube fans, party promoters, event planners, and venues alike began calling to book the lyricist for various events and feature appearances: Brown Suga Vibe, Flowetic Wednesday, ATL Club Awards, Spoken Chaos, Pass Key Entertainment, Spoken Word Mingle, and The Soul Gathering to name a few. As well, Lovely released a 5-track EP entitled, “I don’t write pretty… I just write life.” to an enthusiastic response, which sold over 250 copies in two weeks.
Today, Lovely Rebel is based in Colorado Springs, where she recently reentered the spoken word performance circuit after an extended hiatus. Audience members who were able to attend her intimate, 3-piece, production listened with rapt and fascinated attention. It was an auspicious event, which gave birth to an on-going open mic showcase entitled “Soul Sunday” that occurs every first Sunday of the month at Club Tilt & Grill.
How did your poetry journey start?
“I believe I was born a writer. I remember writing short stories when I was in elementary school. My mom found one I’d scribbled on a piece of paper and discarded. I remember she woke me during the night after she found it. She told me how good she thought it was, and she talked to me about how I could be anything I wanted when I grew up. But I didn’t start to write real poetry until I found myself trapped in an abusive relationship. Poetry, then, became my means to figuratively escape. That is until I escaped literally.”
How has poetry impacted your life?
“My experiences with heartbreak, abandonment, exploitation, shame, anger, joy, worries, and fears have all been validated through performance poetry. More specifically, it is the audience reactions’ to the things I write that serve as the conduit for that validation. Their responses are tangible reassurances that I am not crazy or alone in my thoughts or struggles. That kind of validation is powerful because it is healing and unifying.”
What did you do to hone your skills?
“Ha-ha! The complete opposite of what all the other poets were doing. I noticed very early on, especially in slam poetry, that nearly all the poets recited their pieces with the same rhythm, same cadence, and often using crazy metaphors which only they understood. I found their deliveries boring, unpredictable, and lacking in substance. Honestly, without even trying, I just told my own stories in a way that is distinct to my personality, and audiences found my delivery captivating. I think the only critical piece of advice I ever received from a dear friend in Atlanta was that I needed to come with “a little mo’ attitude.” That is when I wrote my signature piece, Disbanded.”
How has your poetry impacted others?
“Well, over the years, I’ve received all different kinds of feedback. Teachers have asked to use some of my poems in their lessons, young girls have come to me crying and expressing their gratitude that someone knows their story, others simply enjoy the entertainment value which provocative poetry affords. All in all, people are impacted in one way or another because my poetry is irrefutably real. People connect to realness, or they are moved by it. So, ready or not, here I come.”
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