Interview: Introducing @ShareefaEnergy


Shareefa Energy is Unsigned Hype Spoken Word Poet of the Year 2014 and her Meandou pro­duced Reas­on­ing with Self EP will be launched at D’Gaf in Strat­ford, Lon­don on the 21st of July.

Q. Who is your favour­ite fic­tion­al char­ac­ter and why?

Mat­ilda, the girl with a big energy who makes things hap­pen.

Q. Why do you write?

As an out­let and expres­sion and to file and organ­ise the frantic thoughts in my head. Writ­ing is ther­apy.

Q. You talk about being the change you want to see your­self. What are you try­ing to change about your own self now/ or in the near future?

I’m try­ing to be more reflect­ive, respons­ible and to take myself ser­i­ously. Try­ing to come from a point of bal­ance than reac­tion which is easy to fall into when being right­fully upset with the inequal­it­ies and sub­con­scious real­it­ies some of us recog­nise in this world.

Q. What are some of your favour­ite books and what could a new read­er take away from them? ‘

Women Who Run With The Wolves’ by Clarissa Pinkola Estes has sup­por­ted my jour­ney. She tells great tales and explains them in a way it is easy to relate her mes­sage to your life. A book to read with respect for the wis­dom of the writer. I’ve learnt to study her words and carry her in my bag as an eld­er sis­ter. My oth­er favour­ite books are by Frantz Fan­on. He delves deep into the psy­cho­logy of col­on­ised people which can only be appre­ci­ated by poets who are every­day soci­olo­gists, always ana­lys­ing and attempt­ing to make sense whilst ask­ing why. ‘Ban­dit Queen’, based on the life of Phoolan Devi. I have been inspired by the fire in Indi­an women who stand up for them­selves, des­pite being the out­cast in their com­munity.

Q. What is your favour­ite food?

I would say lasagne which was always my typ­ic­al answer since school. But as I won­der… my favour­ite food would have to be my grandmother’s biry­ani.

Q. What are some of your favour­ite music albums?

Raw Slice of Real­ity by Lenea Herew, No Longer At Ease by Nneka. The Mise­du­ca­tion of Lauryn Hill was always a favour­ite dur­ing my early 20s, full of guid­ance. I really appre­ci­ate the Pearls of Islam, these sis­ters keep me groun­ded and humble. Reflec­tions by Eye­s­is-Star and I‑deal is great too. The Con­tents Page by El Crisis, an intro­duc­tion to a big jour­ney. Most of my favour­ite artists are unsup­por­ted to invest in their art and do not have albums yet.

Q. Your EP is spoken word on music. Which poets do you look up to that have released sim­il­ar pro­jects format wise?

To be hon­est, this pro­ject was a pro­ject I had­n’t thought of till Meandou approached me to col­lab­or­ate and cre­ate a pro­duc­tion. I only really saw myself as a writer than a vocal­ist, but I’ve enjoyed record­ing my art in the stu­dio non­ethe­less and look for­ward to shar­ing it. Writer­Jones is a great poet based in Ports­mouth in the US whose words and flow I admire ever since I was intro­duced to his work along the jour­ney. We shall be work­ing togeth­er insha’Al­lah in the near future so watch this space.

Q. What will people take away/what do you want them to take away from you EP launch event?

My EP is inten­ded to bene­fit many people, espe­cially young women. I feel it is my role as a 25 year old woman and eld­er sis­ter to play my role by shar­ing my exper­i­ences, per­spect­ive and thoughts i’ve spent a long time com­ing to terms with. I want my sis­ters to know there are women they can reach out to and to also give us justice as women by anoth­er female artist based in Lon­don to be remind­ing people women are equally tal­en­ted. I also feel I am blessed to have a beau­ti­ful rela­tion­ship with my broth­ers so hope I can use this gift to com­mu­nic­ate respect­fully a woman’s per­spect­ive. I want to remind people a shift in our minds and refus­ing to give power to fear is pos­sible, whilst remind­ing myself.

Q. You can time travel to any point in his­tory. Where do you go?

Back to Gujar­at in India, before the Brit­ish col­on­ised us. To be allowed to be a young Indi­an woman without all this land and iden­tity con­fu­sion, without our his­tory being dis­tor­ted and brushed under the car­pet as though our struggle is only eco­nom­ic.

Q. You get to invite any one from his­tory to a din­ner party. Which 4 people are at your table?

Phoolan Devi, Fela Kuti, Khadija RA, the Proph­et PBUH’s wife who no doubt would inspire me with her wis­dom, patience and the mind of a busi­ness woman. Mal­colm X

Q. What are your favour­ite guilty pleas­ures?

Tiram­isu, paprika crisps, paprika and cin­na­mon on everything.



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Wasif Sayyed

Wasif Sayyed

Wasif Sayyed’s many years as a writer, rap­per, pro­moter, ment­or and hip-hop pro­du­cer have shaped him into an enthu­si­ast­ic and insight­ful cul­tur­al cryp­to­graph­er. He loves read­ing and cook­ing, and can hear the whis­per of an unsheathed liquid sword from 50 paces. Twit­ter @WasifScion

About Wasif Sayyed

Wasif Sayyed
Wasif Sayyed's many years as a writer, rapper, promoter, mentor and hip-hop producer have shaped him into an enthusiastic and insightful cultural cryptographer. He loves reading and cooking, and can hear the whisper of an unsheathed liquid sword from 50 paces. Twitter @WasifScion

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