Many talented songwriters’ words have been described as poetic lyricism. So with this in mind, is there a place for spoken word artists in the music industry?
This article will explore the potential of spoken word in the music industry, looking at both the advantages and the challenges it presents. Finally, we will examine the potential of spoken word in the future of the music industry.
There is no doubt that the spoken word has continuously increased in popularity. This continued to progress with regard to mainstream success. As 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. Nominations for Kate Tempest – a Mercury Award, George the Poet – a Brit, MTV Brand New and BBC’s Sound of? Scroobius Pip – 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 poetry has been used in music for centuries. In the Renaissance period, spoken word was often used in religious music. The words of hymns and canticles are delivered in a spoken or chanted form.
In the 19th century, the use of spoken word in music began to expand. With the introduction of the popular ballad live performances. Ballads often featured a narrative, with the words spoken or sung by a soloist or chorus.
In the 20th century, spoken word found a new home in the form of rap and hip-hop music. This genre of music is often characterized by its use of spoken word. Often with a heavy emphasis on rhyme and wordplay.
In more recent years, spoken word has become increasingly popular in a variety of genres. Many artists have embraced performance poetry. This helps to express their feelings and ideas in a unique and creative way.
Allen Ginsberg was an American poet and one of the leading figures of the Beat Generation. He is best known for his poem, “Howl,” which was published in 1956. It became one of the most iconic works of the Beat era. He was also an advocate for free speech and social justice. He was a major influence on the counterculture of the 1960s.
Ginsberg was a pioneer of spoken word music writer and performer, which combines national poetry and music. He was one of the first spoken word poets to perform with a backing band. The recordings of his works often featured jazz and folk musicians. His influence can be heard in the work of many contemporary spoken word artists.
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. This is seen with Kate Tempest and George the Poet who originally started their careers as rappers. Both described 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 performers. 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.
The Benefits of collaboration for Spoken word artists
Spoken word artists 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 winning 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/performance poet.
Of course, all the aforementioned artists are talented in their own right and had the potential to receive recognition on their own merit, however, they were able to utilise the opportunities that come with collaboration and profit from creative progress.
Advantages vs disadvantages
- Spoken word in the music industry has the power to reach a wider audience, as it can be used to convey a message in an accessible and engaging way.
- It can be used to create a unique sound and style, as spoken word artists can use their own unique vocal delivery and flow to bring their message to life.
- It can be used to bring a sense of emotion and feeling to a song, which can be powerful and captivating.
- It can be difficult to find success as a spoken word artist, as there is a lot of competition in the industry.
- It can be hard to get your message across effectively, as it can be difficult to find the right words and delivery to make your point.
- It can be hard to find the right production and recording techniques to capture and enhance the spoken word performance.
The future of spoken word in the music industry
The potential of spoken word in the future of the music industry is significant. The power of spoken word is its ability to communicate complex emotions and ideas in a direct, powerful way.
In the future, spoken word is used to create powerful music that is both emotionally and intellectually engaging. It could also be used to create music that is socially and politically conscious, and to bring attention to important issues.
Additionally, spoken word is used to create music that is accessible to a wide range of audiences, including those who may not be familiar with traditional music genres. The potential of spoken word in the future of the music industry is vast, and could be a powerful tool for musicians to reach new audiences and create meaningful, powerful music.
Why I’m using Мusic Gateway to collaborate
Мusic 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 Мusic 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.
Our top picks for spoken word artists
George the Poet
Levi the Poet
Spoken word artists 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.