I had been reading and writing ever since I can remember. I remember the first book I ever read was the Hungry Caterpillar. The first novel I ever had to read was The Lord of the Rings trilogy at the age of 8. I absolutely hated that book but my Aunty was a principal of some school up in Kaitaia and 'made' me read who special leather bound copy.
Mum sold it at a garage sale a few years later. Let's just say my Aunty was not impressed with that. But the words were crazy so I always had a dictionary with me. As I progressed through my years, my Mum took me to a church garage sale in Balmoral (she had a fascination with them). She bought me this cassette tape (since all the books and toys were stink) that had these two guys on the front. The cassette was Eric B. & Rakim's "Let the Rhthym Hit 'Em". I remembered listening to that while trying to record my favourite pop songs of 91 FM.
Rakim had words and a flow I had not heard in the poppy Kriss Kross and songs on radio. From then I listened to a lot more hip hop music. I was encouraged to keep a journal when I was young and in it was my stories and let flows. When I went to high school I started writing rhymes as I started listening to more hip hop. Thankfully, I had supportive friends who allowed me to rap with them. As time went on and we ended up leaving high school, we all managed to stay in contact.
I enrolled at university but dropped out due to having no clue. At this point I did not know what I wanted to do. My mother (being the great stern influence she is) sent me to New York to be taught of my Aunty Eleanor. There she allowed me to find myself and I stumbled across the poetry slam scene with my cousin at a Manhattan cafe.
I had trouble rapping at times. I would rap about 'peculiar' things that would be too much to fit in a bar. So when I heard Slam Poetry I was hooked. I returned back to New Zealand with a new flow and wanting to seek out similar styled poetry. I could not find it. Many Open Mics I went to and it was not that 'flow' i was hungering. I was a missionary in Sydney for 2 years and there I continued to write.
On my return I started watching the Def Jam Poets on YouTube and was still exposed to this great style. Finally in 2009, I read about a Def jam poet named Nikki Patin headlining NZ's Poetry slam troupe that was based on the Def Jam poets - The Literatti. Man how cool was that. I attended the show and was invited to their open mic night that was held at The Thirsty Dog on K'Rd. With jelly like legs I hesistantly performed my first poem called 'Love them More'.
I was invited to participate in their annual Slam and by a fluke won it. I started writing more and entering more slams. I was placed or felt defeat at some of these but it was more fun than anything else. I started meeting great poets and people that took me under their wings or indirectly taught me greatness.
Ever since then I have been in some great festivals, competitions, events and even got to write a book. I have been recorded on a couple of albums and have been able to teach students at various schools and workshops. All of this and still have been wonderfully supported by people sharing the stage with some of the most critically acclaimed and loved. I am even apart of the Literatti who started this all for me. I am finishing a degree I want to do now - English (focusing on creative writing) and Ethnomusicology (specialising in hip hop)What a journey and welcome to my page - as the 'saga continues'.