Wednesday, 20 April 2011

INTERVIEW: Toby de Angeli

Short. Sharp. Facts!

Name: Toby de Angeli

Repping: The Roundhouse Collective

Birthplace: Kent & Sussex

Lives: Edenbridge

Poetry Debut: 6 months ago, as
part of the collective

Awards/Accomplishments: Discovering that I’ll be going to Meadowland, Lounge on the Farm and Bestival festivals. Also, performing at Jawdance and Tongue Fu.

ONiT! is excited to see that you're on the line up for Jawdance tonight, and we’d love to hear your answers on the following:


Can you tell us how you got involved in this event?

I joined Roundhouse Poetry Collective last year and as part of that, we get offered gigs and we we
re offered the opportunity to perform at Jawdance.

How did you first get into performance poetry?

The Roundhouse run courses for 14-25 year olds, I read a flyer and signed up and went along. Inua Ellams comes in once a term and we work with Polarbear on a regular basis.

I’ve always written stuff, and poetry was something that I’d always wanted to do, but I lacked confidence. Last September, decided to give it a go. Originally, I started on my own but I met Nicole King and we now do a lot of collaborative work, which is a lot more fun.

Describe your style

Just me! I grew up loving song-writing, so much of my work is rooted in the Songwriters that I listen to, mostly folk and hip hop. Much of it is rooted in storytelling too. I try to keep it personal about the things that I know, you know, everyday life, stuff that I go through.

What has been your personal, favourite gig so far?

Really enjoyed The W
riters Lounge, a night run for young writers in Liverpool Street. Also, doing stuff with this band called The Jazz Code along with Nicole, which has been great. At Tongue Fu, I met a dude called Testament, who went to Uni with Polarbear, he was so inspiring. Learning about different writers and performers is very enriching, that what I find really exciting.

Any nightmare gigs that you can share with us?

We (myself, Nicole and Ed) supported the RSC (Royal Shakespeare Company) with some King Lear based poetry and when we turned up, there was only around 10 people in the audience. There was this old woman who ranted at the audience to show us more respect because they weren’t paying us much attention! That was the first gig that I’d done outside of a Roundhouse Collective showcase, so it was quite nerve-wracking.

What do you most enjoy about poetry?

Performing, meeting new people and everything else that seems to come with it – it’s a lot of fun.

Who are your greatest influences:

Bob Dylan, Notorious BIG, Jeff Buckley.

Do you perform in your hometown or do you mainly perform in London?

I mostly perform in London, but I’d quite like to bring my poetry to my hometown when I’ve finished my course. There’s a lot of people around 16-18 who I think would enjoy it, so it would be nice.

If you could work with any other performing artist(s), dead or alive, who would you choose?

Jeff Buckley and Litim Sawhney.

What can an audience expect when they come to see you perform?

Someone they can relate to that will hopefully interest them.

Do you have any projects in the pipeline?

Roundhouse Showcase

Currently recording an LP – looking to perform Spoken Word at non-conventional venues, like the Camden Barfly

Working on a Spoken Word show ‘Just’ with two people telling a story, which I’m very excited about.

Where can we find you?

YouTube via various videos. Search:

You can see and hear Toby performing at Jawdance on Wednesday 20 April, at the Rich Mix, 32-45 Bethnal Green Road, LONDON E1