Best Music Spotlight

Is There A Place For Spoken Word In The Music Industry?

Photograph of the blog post author, Mary Woodcock

Mary Woodcock


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Many talented songwriter’s words have been described as poetic lyricism.  So with this in mind, is there a place for spoken word artists in the music industry?

There is no doubt that spoken word has continuously increased in popularity and continued to progress with regards to mainstream success. This can be seen in the likes of Kate Tempest, George the Poet and Scroobius Pip to name a few. These three poets all have touring success; which includes festivals such as Latitude and Glastonbury. Award nominations; Kate Tempest was nominated for a Mercury Award, George the Poet has been nominated for a Brit, MTV Brand New and BBC’s Sound of ? whilst Scroobius Pip was up for an AIM Award.  One of the many reasons behind their commercial success is their integration with music, all three have experimented as lyricists and have worked with musicians in a successful attempt at getting their work heard by many.

Spoken Word vs Hip Hop

There is, of course, a very blurred line between rappers and spoken word artists. Both eloquently use their words to create a vivid picture and his is seen with Kate Tempest and George the Poet who originally started their careers as rappers, both describing their inner city lifestyles with fluidity and grace, which was a real contrast to what their words actually described. However, when asked how they would refer to themselves, both have stated that they’re spoken word artists. On the counter, if you take Loyle Carner as an example, he has been hailed as London’s rising hip hop artist. The up and coming artist shares similarities with George the Poet and Kate Tempest in that he also has unique lyricism, effortless flow, and paints a very poignant picture, the only difference being, he describes himself as a rapper.  There is an endless list of urban artists, who are influenced by spoken word and have used it to cleverly perfect/adapt their lyrics.

The Benefits of collaboration for Spoken word artists

Spoken word artist benefit massively from collaboration, although they were both respected in their own right Dan Le Sac & Scroobius Pip received a greater reception as a duo it led to numerous award nominations and provided the opportunity to further collaborate with singer-songwriters, they helped bring a wider audience to spoken word and redefined their work as artists.

Here’s another example:

Originally this track was a spoken word piece that was put over a solo piano track, upon collaborating with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. Mary Lambert reached chart success and was still able to keep a poignancy to her lyrics this drew attention to her other works as a singer/poet. Of course all the aforementioned artists are talented in their own right and had the potential to receive the recognition on their own merit, however, they were able to utilise the opportunities that come with collaboration and profit from creative progress.

Why I’m using Music Gateway to collaborate

Music Gateway is the perfect platform to intertwine both music and spoken word, being able to connect with a whole host of talented musicians, artists, producers and the rest on a global scale, allows members to be able to strive for the best possible outcome from the final product. And of course being on a platform with a vast amount of creative individuals, striving for the best outcome is sure to ensure quality and pride in the work created. This is why I’m using Music Gateway for a collaboration project. As a spoken word artist, I enjoy the rhythm and the flow in which you perform, and have always liked the idea of merging my written work with music. In order to do this and develop creatively, I think the best way is to connect with other musicians and producers to create a track, starting completely from scratch, and being completely open to style and what is featured on the track.

Want to get involved:

Spoken word artist looking to collaborate with artists, musicians producers etc to create a track that can feature spoken word.

Can be varying in genre, the idea is to celebrate collaboration maybe get a vocalist on the chorus, feature spoken word artists on a verse etc. Get as many artists involved.

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