Tuesday, 30 March 2010

INTERVIEW: Kat Francois | Performance Poet, Writer, Playwright & Comedienne

Short. Sharp. Facts!

Name: Kat Francois
Birthplace: At home, on the stairs, before the ambulance made it, Mablethorpe Road, Fulham, London
Lives: West London
Poetry Deb
ut: Weekend Arts College , when I was really young. First time, very emotional but liberating and wonderful experience.
Awards: BBC3 TV Slam (1st person to win a televised Slam) and World Slam Championships 2005, in Rotterdam, head to head against Poets from all over the world.


ONiT! is excited to see that you're on the line up for Love…Sex…Sensuality…, the forthcoming celebration of all things sensual. We’d love to hear your answers on the following:

Can you tell us how you got involved in this exciting new show?
I was recommended to the organisers, as I host my own show, Word4Word at the Theatre Royal Stratford East.

How long have you been performing Poetry/Spoken Word?
I’m going to really show my age now! I believe I am in my 10th year of performing and my sixth year of doing this on a professional basis. Teaching poetry in the day, performing at night, hosting shows, etc, so yeah, six years since I decided to do this full time.

Who would you cite as your influences?
People around me, my Mum, my upbringing, my people, my black people, the things that we go through on a daily basis, our struggles, triumphs, our successes, they motivate me. The Colour Purple by Alice Walker, an amazing book, one of the first I read as a youngster, which blew me away. A recent book and film, Precious written by Sapphire, which I watched a long time ago. The young people I work with, who keep me on my toes, who challenge, motivate and inspire me, and make me want to get up in the morning and teach, pass on my inspiration for words. I’m also influenced by how my life has been fulfilled, by poetry, writing books, writing plays and performing, I’m a happier person for it.

How would you describe your style as a Performance Artist?
Depends on
what mood you get me in! I can be very intense, dealing with some very intense and challenging subjects. I can be comedic, and very funny. I’m a Gemini, I think I very much have a split personality, so it depends when you catch me, what mood I’m in, as to what you’re going to get. But I like to think that I always give high energy performance and give all of myself.

In order to fully love and appreciate the love of another, we know that you must first love yourself. How would you define self-love?
Treating yourself good and doing what you have to do for yourself to make sure you
can look after everyone else around you. Recognising when you’re in relationships; personal or otherwise, that are negative, or as Oprah likes to say, that are toxic, it’s important to recognise that. Also, do things in your life that make you happy; there are lots of things that I do, but two that I do, just for me. I run, just for me – that’s about no body else. I like to put on my trainers and get out and run.

Just about to do my 2nd marathon, I completed an 18 mile run the other day, it’s really important that I do things that I like. I also ride a little Vespa, but there are a lot of people around me that aren’t too impres
sed about that, my Mum, my partner, but it’s something that I do just for me, for Kat. I love riding it, especially when the weather is warm, it is just amazing, that speed, being out in the open. I think that’s why I like running too, being out in the open. I love the elements, not too cold, not too much rain. To me, that’s what self-love is, doing things that pleases yourself, that are selfless, not selfish.

What can the audience expect from you on the night?
Kat in all her full and utter glory! I will be hosting, holding the night together, and introducing fantastic acts. So they can expect a high energy host, who
will keep them entertained, who’s going to make them laugh, but also who is going to open their eyes to a few things!

Is there a particular piece you are looking forward to performing at ‘Love…Sex…Sensuality…’?
Yes! I’m not going to give away all of my secrets yet… but I’m working on a very special piece at the moment that I will perform on the evening.

Which poem/film/song says 'Love...Sex...Sensuality…' to you?

Oh gosh… erm… Love Jones cos it has the poetry in it, so that for me is a love film.
Things like Love & Basketball, but I don’t really watch too many soppy films though, I’m not really a romantic, romantic person when it comes to films like that!

Complete these sentences:

Love is... the ability to give of yourself unconditionally, but also the ability take without being too selfish

Sex is... total freedom, abandonment, comfortability, expression of sexuality, without inhibitions, uncomfortableness or self-consciousness.

lity... the right to express yourself, whether it’s through food, music or poetry and show the best of yourself. Whether that’s dressing up in some funky, sexy underwear, massage, feeding your partner with fruit, whatever that is, sensuality is expressing that side of you and not being afraid to do that. Men can be sensual too.

What other performances/projects do you have coming up?
A tour called The All Stars with people like Crisis, Kate Tempest and Charlie D
ark, which will be touring the country in the coming months. I’ll be at the Latitude Festival this year, also hosting again at the Glastonbury Festival. I’m also working on publishing as a small publishing press, focusing on publishing a few peoples works, as well as my own collection including a collection for young people as well as a second adult collection.

I’m working on securing some funding for my new one woman play ‘Raising Lazarus’ which is a play about West Indian soldiers who came over to fight for England in the First World War. Not forgetting Word4Word, every third Sunday of the month. Building up Intimates, really trying to create an intimate space at the Poetry Café, for poets to come, perform and converse with the audience, because we don’t always get a chance to do that. Really looking to break into the Comedy market d
uring the year or so, I’m really interested in developing that side of my personality. Working more with music too, and take some singing lessons, because I really can’t sing! I’m looking to work with music a little more and put poetry to music.

*Join Kat Francois as she's interviewed by Vanessa Walters on the Colourful Life radio show, this Thursday 1st April at 12:00 noon GMT. Log on via: or on DAB Radio*

You can see and hear Kat Francois Host and Perform live, at Love…Sex…Sensuality… on Saturday 24th April.

Tickets: Limited early bird tickets available now at the following outlets, priced £8, £10 thereafter


Supertone Records (Brixton) 020 7737 7761 | Everbody’s Music (Tottenham) 020 8802 0146 | Maestro Records (Peckham) 020 7635 7299 | Dub Vendor (Clapham) 020 7233 3757 | Hawkeye Records (Harlesden) 020 8961 0866

Further info: 07984 628 070

Press/Media info: 07790 443 834 | 07958 327 811 |

Friday, 26 March 2010

INTERVIEW: Saran Green | Performance Poet

Short. Sharp. Facts!

Name: Saran Green
Birthplace: United Kingdom
Lives: South London
Poetry Debut: Don’t remember
Awards: Farrago International Slam Champion 2005


ONiT! is excited to see that you're on the line up for
Love…Sex…Sensuality…, the forthcoming celebration of all things sensual. We’d love to hear your answers on the following:

Can you tell us how you got involved in this exciting new show?
Well, my Partna In Rhyme, Comfort, was the one who recommended me to the Promoter.

How long have you been performing Poetry/Spoken Word?
I have been performing poetry for 2 years in Jamaica, and 4 years in the UK, so a total of about 6 yrs.

Who would you cite as your influences?
Lorna Goodison and Jill Scott.

How would you describe your style as a Performance Artist?

My style is varied, not sure I can label it specifically.

In order to fully love and appreciate the love of another, we kno
w that you must first love yourself. How would you define self-love?
Self love begins with being aware of one’s self, good and bad, and accepting and appreciating these strengths and weaknesses.

What can the audience expect from you on the night?

They can expect love, sex and sensuality, [laughs]. They can expect to share in my passion for passion, and my passion of the craft itself.

Is there a particular piece you are looking forward to performing at ‘Love…Sex…Sensuality…’?

No, not really. I'm excited about my set in general, as often times at other events I have to censor my material, so on this night it will be great to just let it all out.

Which poem/film/song says 'Love...Sex...Sensuality…' to you?
Oh, that’s a hard one, right now, the film that comes to mind is ‘Closer’.

Complete these sentences:


Sex is...better good

What other performanc
es/projects do you have coming up?
1st April, I host my own event with my Partna in Rhyme, Comfort, called Rum Punch on @ Rudy’s Revenge, 168 High Holborn, London WC1V. Entry is £5 and the show starts at 7:30pm.

2nd March I am performing at Intimates at the Poetry Café, 22 Betterton Street, WC1. Entry is £5 and the show starts at 7pm.

You can see and hear Saran Green perform live, at Love…Sex…Sensuality… on Saturday 24th April.

Tickets: Limited early bird tickets available now at the following outlets, priced £8, £10 thereafter


Supertone Records (Brixton) 020 7737 7761 | Everbody’s Music (Tottenham) 020 8802 0146 | Maestro Records (Peckham) 020 7635 7299 | Dub Vendor (Clapham) 020 7233 3757 | Hawkeye Records (Harlesden) 020 8961 0866

Further info: 07984 628 070

Press/Media info: 07790 443 834 | 07958 327 811 |

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

EVENT: Rum Punch

Promoted by

ONiT! invites you to join Partnas in Rhyme, at Rum Punch on Thursday, 1st April for an explosive night that’s guaranteed to leave your creative taste buds refreshingly intoxicated and yearning for more.

This months show, hosted by one half of Partnas in Rhyme, Saran Green, they’ll present to you, a full, impressive line up of some of the UK’s most talented Rappers, Poets and Singers, including Feature Performances from Spoken Word Artist, OneNess (of collective Best Kept Secret), and Comedian, Josephine Lacey, as well as a whole heap of fun, jokes, “Shabbas!” and the Open Mic segment, for all you enthusiasts who have some creativity to share (Open Mic is first come, first served – limited spaces - sign up from 7pm).

So arrive early, grab your prime spot, a mocktail or Rum Punch cocktail and join in the fun.

Doors: 7pm Show: 7:30pm -10pm

Entrance: £5/£4 with valid Student I.D.

Venue: Rudys Revenge (Downstairs), 168 High Holborn, London WC1V 7AA (On the corner of Endell Street, Next door to Oasis Sports Centre/Opposite Shaftsbury Theatre)

Closest Tubes: Holborn, Covent Garden or Tottenham Court Road

Further Info: Email:

Join Partnas in Rhyme:
Facebook MySpace

Saturday, 20 March 2010

EVENT: Love...Sex...Sensuality...

Celebration of Intimacy to Set Angel Alight

Love...Sex...Sexuality... the sexy and seductive evening of live entertainment, brought to you by 2DMax Productions, will feature a stellar line-up of some of the UK’s top artists as they take a contemporary look at the universal sub
jects of devotion, intimacy and sexuality.

Hosted by Poe
t and Comedienne, Kat François (Poetry World Slam Champion 2005 and BBC3 Poetry Slam Winner 2004), the show, set to take place on Saturday 24 April at the newly refurbished and luxurious, Islington Town Hall in Angel, will explore the themes of relationships, unrequited love and sexual fantasy through the mediums of comedy, spoken word, poetry, music and dance.

Acclaimed London born, Brooklyn raised Poet, Tshaka Campbell, headlines this diverse line-up which also features renowned Writer, Performance Poet and Model, Phenzwaan, unabashed Spoken Word Artist Comfort – Art without Apology (Partnas in Rhyme, Rum Punch), Performance Poet and Writer with her own unique Caribbean flavor, Saran Green (Partnas in Rhyme, Rum Punch, the aural and visual rollercoaster that is Manchester based artist, Chanje Kunda and the sultry soulful lyrics of Poppyseed.

Exclusive to
Love...Sex...Sensuality... and accompanying these prominent artists in sharing their most evocative and thought provoking pieces, will be newly published Author of the saucy, erotic, collection of stories that is the Little Black Book, Mr. Oh, and contemporary Urban Dance troupe the Jah-Dean Dancers who will entertain throughout the show.

TICKETS: Limited early-bird tickets @ £8.00, £10.00 thereafter.


Record Shops: Supertone Records – Brixton 020 7737 7761 Everbody’s Music – Tottenham 020 8802 0146 Maestro Records – Peckham 020 7635 7299 Dub Vendor – Clapham 020 7233 3757 Hawkeye Records – Harlesden 020 8961 0866

Further information: Raymax Blackwood 07984 628 070

Press/Media Contact: ONiT! PR


ONiT! will serialise a Q&A with each artist, every Tuesday and Friday, kicking off on Friday, 26th March, so be sure to subscribe or remember to check in.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

INTERVIEW: Lawyer da Black

ONiT! Caught up with Battle Scars Promoter Lawyer da Black ahead of the first heat of 2010 which takes place tonight in London...

: Lawyer Da Black

Occupation: Promoter & Tradesman

Birthplace: Plaistow

Lives: Plaistow, East London

Performance Debut: WKD Open Mic Night, Camden, London – early 1990’s

How would you describe Battle Scars?
An eclectic lyricist tournament. The lyrical version of Enter the Dragon.

What kind of performing artist are you?
I’m not, anymore! When I was younger, at school, I wanted to be a Rapper. So I had to learned to make music and called myself Solo X (X was big in those days). Later I became part of a crew, Third Eye Vision, with Jonzi D, A-Side, Lyrical, Sparkii Ski and others. It was great, but there was no outlet (this was before internet and email lol). Getting a record deal via hip hop was difficult back then. I realised that there is more to the industry and performing, and someone needed to take care of the business side of things, so I took on the responsibility.

Can you tell us how Battle Scars came about?
Originally, in 1998, I set up a record label called Buff Recordings. The 2nd EP, was by Procryptix (Naba and Sparkii Ski). They had a track called Battle Scars which used Kung Fu samples on it. I was at work one day, and I was racking my brain, thinking ‘how can I promote these guys’, and then it came to me, put on an MC battle, call it Battle Scars and get them to host it, so they could do PA’s at the event, and because we were a prodution company, it would bring us MC’s that we could then check out, produce and book to do PA’s at the show also.

When did Battle Scars, the event, come about?
April 2000 at Dingwalls in Camden, North London. Battle Scars was a natural progression after moving from promoting a Sound System then putting on talent shows.

What are your hopes and aspirations for the show?
To have an international lyrcist tournament that is seen as the definitive lyricists tournament as DMC is to turntablism / DJing.

What can artists get out of the combat?
They gain exposure and experience of stage performance – a lot of people think performing on stage is just about rapping, and they don’t know how to put on a show. This tournament test various lyrical and performing disciplines in each round.

What would you say that artists need to be successful in the tournament?
You need to be intelligent; you don’t know who you’re coming up against or what style they’re coming with. They may be a Poet, or a singer, for example. It’s not a cussing match, it’s not about coming up with the most derogatory lyrics and cussing your opponent. It’s about lyrically outshining and defeating your opponent with awesome lyrical style and content. Hence the competition being called lyrical kung fu, it’s like the martial art in adapting your style and using your brain to defeat the other person. Versitility and lyrical dexterity.

Your top 3 artists of all time?

KRS 1 | For his lyrical intelligence and for enlightening and inspiring me with knowledge of self.

Bob Marley | For the amount of tunes that are inspirational to many generations across the board.

Busta Rhymes | For his versitility as an MC. He adapts his style, his voice, his flows and patterns. To suit the beats and mood. He’s a very skilled and talented artist.

Your 3 most memorable artists from Battle Scars to date?

Sway | For using it as a launch pad to help his career. He’s the most intelligent artist in that sense, in that he used the opportunity. He had the most memorable battle too; ‘I take your whole crew and take them for ransom. Bitch you’re so ugly you’re handsome!’ that line blew the roof off! He always smacked up the first round, you knew he was a great artist from the start, before he’d even gone through round two.

Class A | He won the first heat of 2001, the Mictrixs, at Subterania. That heat put Battle Scars on the map. It was such a heavy night, one of my favourites ever. There was a diverse line up, rappers, singers, poets, ragga MC's it was crazy. The final round was Class A and Guvnor, it was like a boxing match, Guvnor was throwing big blows, but then Guvna lost his steam and Class A came back with a vengence and lyrically beat him to the ground.

Grimlock | He was at the very first Battle Scars in 2000. He was whopping off MC’s heads like Highlander, until the final when Warren Justice (formally known as CR) killed him with a blow to the toe and mentioned a hole in Grimlock’s shoe and it was over.

What can the audience expect?
No matter what age, where you’re from, male or female, you get the excitement of a heavyweight title fight, jokes to buss your belly and a friendly atmosphere. Even though it’s an MC battle, everyone is on a nice vibe. When you look into the crowd, you just see the most smiles, everyone loves the vibe – no anymosity, no fake attitudes, it’s all love. A night of sheer entertainment, excitement, fun and laughter.

What advice would you give to a wannabe battle MC?
It’s not all about derogatory foolish lyrics, it’s about rocking the mic. About who’s the best MC/Rapper. They shouldn’t be fooled into thinking it’s a cussing match. You need to be able to flow and entertain. Battling started way before 8 Mile.

How can artists get involved in performing or taking part in a battle?
Log onto the website and read the 'Rules of Combat' and 'How to Enter'.

What other projects do you have coming up?
Under 18’s tournament called
Rattle Scars – the junior version of Battle Scars
Teaching young people event management, filming, editing, etc to keep the scene alive.

Anything else you want to let the people know?
We need to get back to intelligent lyrics; tunes with verses not just chorus’. The commercialisation of our music promoting gangsters and hoes seem to be infiltrating the minds of young people. I was fortunate enough to grow up to more conscious artists when I was growning up, which helped me and in many ways and stopped me from going to jail. You don’t hear music like that anymore without searching for it.

Battles Scars 2010 Heat 1 (London & South East) kicks off tonight at:

The Jamm (Brixton)
261 Brixton Road Brixton, London SW9 2LH

Battles backed by a live band!!!

*£100 to the winner*

Entrance: £5 in advance | £10 on the door

: Ticket Web on 08444 771 000 or