Like a phonetically poetic phoenix rising from its ashes, spoken word movement, Ehalakasa, has revived itself after a three year hiatus with an unharnessed intensity.
It’s first TalkParty comeback show last Sunday night was an unveiling of fresh talent as well as an exhibit of Ehalakasa’s already cultivated artists. Backdropped by the Nubuke Foundation’s dewy garden and humble stage, poets stepped up to the mic with passionately lit tongues and the lyrics of provocation that burned with the genuity of Ehalakasa’s motto – “It lives in us!”
About a dozen members spewed their hearts into the crowd, often with the fierce undertones borne of things left unsaid too often. Identity. Politics. Society. Culture. Modern day frustrations and insightful observations. These young artists possessed not only the bravery and confidence it takes to master the stage, but the courage to dig up topics others find easier to leave buried.
Ehalakasa mainstays brought their souls on stage and shared them through verses that skipped from sarcastic and shocking, controversial and funny, to honest and sensitive.
2016 Poetry Slam Champion, Jewell King, whipped off lyrics, his tongue reminiscent of a semi-automatic shooting out concepts that were right on target.
The raw talent of Akambo stepped up to bat with cheeky satire and his signature lyrical twist on society and politics.
Guest artist Kwame Write, backed by the simple yet fantastically complimentary sounds of the horn and cajón, slayed a bi-lingual multi-piece performance in white pants and dark humour, creating an equinox of taboo topics balanced by rapid vivacity and old-school rap beats.
Mentionable surprise guest was Maras from Paris, who told the crowd, “If you don’t understand, just FEEL it.” He then ran a lyrical, Francophonic marathon, a brilliant word unfurl that must have left him rhythmically gasping for breath. Host and Ehalakasa creator, Sir Black, followed the performance by asking the crowd, “Did you feel it?” They did.
The intimate setting did, however, set the show off-kilter. An appreciative audience though it was, the caliber of performances at Ehalakasa’s Sunday show was deserving of a larger crowd. In short, if you missed it, you missed out.
The good news? The revitalized poetic phoenix is here to stay, and it’s looking for poets and other acts to spread their wings. Open calls are on now until 14 April. TalkParty will be at the Nubuke Foundation on the last Sunday of every month, so mark the next show, April 30th, in your calendars. In ink. Ehalakasa is in flight.
Check out www.ehalakasa.com for more info.
By: Dayna Mahannah
photo : EHALAKASA