Spoken Word Feature

STEPHANIE RENEE…HEARD

SYNTHESIS: The combining of two or more entities to form something new.  

This is what Stephanie Renee calls herself as she fuses her multi-talented craft of songwriting, beautiful vocals, poetic connotations, and dynamic work ethics, into an unadulterated form of pure artistry. This talented mogul, who resides in her native Washington D.C. via Philadelphia, has done it all; from school plays to Spoken Word poetry, from choirs to soloist, from promoter to director to producer. Stephanie has covered much ground in all phases of the media, including working with established artists such as Jill Scott and Patti LaBelle, voice-overs for commercials, and has also ventured into documentary films.

Needless to say, it is an honor, and most definitely apropos to have Stephanie featured as the first SPOKEN WORD…HEARD artist. This “artsy chick” speaks about her introduction into poetry:  

I’ve been a writer and performer all my life, although my preferred mode of communication is music. I didn’t start taking poetry seriously until high school, and never really ventured into spoken word until my college roommates read some of my pieces and told me that I needed to share them with a larger audience. I entered a talent contest on campus with my poetry and won, so from there I was encouraged to keep writing and telling my story to others.  

And with that win, Stephanie’s career began to skyrocket. The encouragement to further her poetic skills opened up the door to new ventures:   

When I first got started, I released 2 chapbooks of my poetry: Honey Drips Slowly and Singing A Black Girl’s Song. In 1999, I co-executive produced and contributed pieces to a CD compilation of Philadelphia poets called MOZAIK, released on my indie label Creator’s Child Music. Then my first solo album, TUNING FORKED TONGUE, in 2003. I’ve done a ton of EPs and singles as a vocalist and spoken word artist that are listed on my artist website, www.StephanieRenee.com. And late last year I recorded my most recent album, HOT LIPS, which is all a cappella music and spoken word.   

With an impressive background, along with the recent release of HOT LIPS…making her influential in her own right, Stephanie also had major influences coming up:   

Poetically, I was completely enchanted by Nikki Giovanni and Maya Angelou when I first read their work, but my palate is very diverse. I enjoy reading any writer who can twist a phrase until it begs for mercy. So Zora Neale Hurston and Toni Morrison had a huge impact on the craft of my pieces, as well as Walter Mosley and Stephen King, and directing Ntozake Shange’s For Colored Girls literally changed my life. Then there was hiphop and all of its rhythmic lyricism, and British pop with its incredible storytelling. I’m all over the place!  

…Which is what make Stephanie great at what she does. Her love and ability to learn from others, and adapt it to her passion for Spoken Word and music, among others, has Stephanie looking towards an unlimited future:  

I have finally begun the process of producing my own tracks, so there’s no telling what I’ll be coming out with next. Georgia Anne Muldrow and Muhsinah have been a big push in that direction. I have a musical to finish, and a bunch of other creative ideas floating around. Poetry always seems to find its way in the mix too. 

With that said, the gift of expressing one’s self through music, writing, and Spoken Word has, and will always be, Stephanie’s passion and desire. And, with the hard work to go along with the joy of expression, comes challenges. Stephanie has a message for anyone seeking an easy route to success:   

The best advice I can give any writer is to READ!!! I have become so disappointed with the overall spoken word scene because we seem to be at a point where everything ghettoized is glorified and no one wants to be articulate and literate any more. No one wants to challenge themselves to write poems that may not use any of the latest song lyrics or catchphrases, but instead taps into the profound legacy of soulfulness that our ancestors passed down to us. I don’t write for applause. I write to lift people’s spirits and reach them in places they may be too afraid to go alone. Spoken words should understand that words are codes that possess an amazing energy. Wasting your gift on sexual or ego gratification does little to honor the impulse to write and communicate something meaningful and true. The universe demands better!  

Stephanie Renee a.k.a Queen Bee a.k.a The VibeMistress a.k.a Da Media Mogul…has SPOKEN. Stephanie finishes up with a recent vibe of her conscience:  

Rebirthed

or unearthed         

no matter the verb-age

i’m just thrilled that my pencil

and pen

are active again  

the lyrical muse and i

have resumed         

pirouetting on ball pointe         

tutu tickled

to spin

on a floorboard

built of Scrabble and saliva         

tapping in         

to the rhythm

of iMac keyboard and mouse click         

guaguancó         

reminiscences

of mi abuelita Maria’s mestizo         

spoken lilt  

chewin on poblanos and jalapeños

spittin hot shit  

i’m back

to being a rhyme freak         

obsessed         

with making the words cum

squeezing my warm moist palm

around a stiff felt tip

til it explodes         

profusely         

prolifically

on this virgin white paper  

saturated with the fallow wetness

of soon-to-be-memorized tongue tricks         

orally superior         

dextrous

syllabic ejaculations   

shootin off

at the mouth

and these relations

are contextual  

i am

shaking off

the dust of indifference   

reconnecting         

with the essence          

of my gift  

writing

singing

rhyming         

in the present  

blasting off

up

and         

over the moon   
 

12/15/09   
 

To know more on Stephanie Renee, you can check her and connect with her on her websites:

http://www.StephanieRenee.com

http://www.twitter.com/StefRenee

http://www.facebook.com/StefRenee

http://www.YouTube.com/StefRenee      

If you are interested in being featured for our Spoken Word…Heard page, please contact us at dmimspovmagazine@yahoo.com or openpoetrycafe@yahoo.com

Before we end today’s blog…

This was a bonus feature for our June 2010 Edition. Contact us to purchase a copy of this magazine!

Signing Off,

Dominique

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