Interview with Dorcas Seb
Amber Akaunu 15/05/2019
AA: Introduce yourself!
DS: Hello, my name is Dorcas Seb, I'm a multi-disiciplinary performer that works predominately in theatre, spoken word, music and movement. I recently released my debut album Vice Versa, a political collection of Experimental RnB tracks. I have been in the creative field since the age of 10, where I started poetry and spoken word with Writing's On the Wall's MOBO nominated group of artists, Liverpool Young Writers. Since then I have gone on to work with the likes of Akala, Lady Leshurr, Mz.Bratt and organisations including Eclipse Theatre, 20 Stories High, PurpleCoat Productions and Frantic Assembly. Some of my more recent achievements include working on a relevant theatre piece titled 'I Told My Mum I Was Going On An R.E Trip'. The successful show was adapted and televised for the BBC 2 Performance Live stride, and has recently gone on to be screened at Hot Doc's - a Canadian International Documentary Festival!
AA: What was the first grime song you heard and how did it make you feel?
DS: Tracing down to the very first grime track for me will be difficult but I remember that it was when we got Sky, which enabled us to tune into Channel U - now, these were the days. I remember listening to Jammer’s Murkle Man and thinking “what is this silliness, it’s sick”. The time was also pretty close to the Static Shock days so I was 100% just feeling the music video around a black superhero except he was from the UK.
AA: You not too long ago released your album Vice Versa and on the album you have an wide range of music genres including the song I Will Not Be The One which is a grime Can you tell us a bit more about Vice Versa but in particular I Will Not Be The One - how was it recording it, what is it about etc.
DS: With the album, Vice Versa, holding a concept that narrates a tale where listeners witness its main character becoming progressively politically conscious. The track I Will Not Be The One is the characters breakthrough point where she, now being ‘woke’, musically protests against the powers that govern the masses. It’s me saying: I’ve popped the bubble that you placed me in and with this new awareness and self-control I will not conform.
AA: Grime music is often portrayed negatively in the media, with media outlets and certain politicians proclaiming that the genre of music is a main factor in the rise of knife crime. What is your opinion on this?
DS: Honestly, it’s no shock that another artistic platform that hosts predominantly black artists and attracts black listeners is targeted as a ‘main’ factor of violence. The main factor of knife crime and such is rooted in the systematic issues around race, class and poverty. The equation that creates grime is specific in its beautiful orchestration of real stories that are stemmed within working class neighbourhoods; delivered with authentic rawness and are all blended together under a 140bpm bop. Tales within tracks do encourage the use of knife violence yes and I don’t condone this but my point is that grime, with it’s authentic core, is a reflection of the reality that people are dealing with. A hugely talented drill rapper, Drillminister, released a track called ‘Political Drilling’ which highlighted just how hypocritical some politicians can be about use of violent language. I think as a society we need to all work together to put an end to violence such as knife crime, but self-righteously boxing one genre as ‘a main factor’ isn’t the way to do it.
AA: To our readers who may not know much about grime music can you give us 3 grime artist that you think we should listen to?
DS: I think they should definitely listen to JME, Lethal Bizzle and Tempa T!
AA: Lastly, can you tell us about the Where Are You Now? The State of Grime event with Wow fest?
DS: This event is going to be a fusion of music performances and poetry with an added flavour of discussing the genre, Grime: with its historical development and importance; gaps that need to be bridged and bridges that need to be closed (plus more). The line up looks hella dope and I'm so excited for it.
If you are interested in this event, please click HERE for more information and to book your tickets!