Local Artist Profile: Kayley Dixon
by Chikako ⋅ October 16, 2017
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Kayley Dixon is 16-year old spoken word artist from the North End of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, who started writing and performing spoken word about 4 years ago.
Kayley’s performed poem called, “A Touch of Sexual Assault,” went viral across the world, with almost 40 million views. She has appeared on CTV News, Canada AM, multiple radio shows, and in many newspapers articles.
Kayley writes and speaks out to inspire and empower others to create positive change in their own communities or beyond, and to give a voice to the voiceless.
See Kayley’s viral poem, “A Touch of Sexual Assault,” below! An follow her successes – https://www.facebook.com/imkayleydixon/
My Advice to my peers
START YOUNG: I think what I am doing is powerful, because it is giving a voice to the voiceless. Especially the fact that I am so young, and speaking on these issues. It is very eye opening, & in my opinion is quite realistic and scary, because this is showing the world that these are the realities for women, and even girls my age and YOUNGER. I’ve experienced catcalling & other things such as fear to walk on sidewalks by myself when a man walks by, since I was 10 years old. That is the truth of our world today, and a young person’s voice was finally heard and I’m very thankful for that, and thankful that I was able to be the voice that was heard.
AMPLIFY YOUR VOICE: Social media is one of the biggest keys in today’s society. Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, etc… in my opinion, they are essential for spreading the message. Many people from my community, school, and all across the world have been messaging/commenting/personally coming to me and thanking me for speaking out, and even sharing some of their stories with me & asking me advice. I think I’ve influenced people in a very positive way and probably have given hope, and courage for those that have experienced similar things or even just want to educate others on the topic, to stand up and speak out.
USE YOUR OWN ARTFORM AS THE VEHICLE FOR CHANGE: The art of spoken word may have played a big part in the reason it went viral because of the uniqueness of the poem and the way the words were used and related to one another. People are usually attracted to rhyming words more than your traditional speech because like I said, it is more unique, and even more powerful because of the way it is delivered. There is more emotion backing it. The culture surrounding spoken word is all about emotion, support, and generally a strong message. Using spoken word is a great way to have your voice be heard, so I encourage people to try it out, and remember there is no specific way to poetry and art. That’s the beauty of it. It’s whatever you want it to be and however you want people to see and hear it. But obviously you should use whatever art form that you feel will spark some interest!
EMPOWER YOURSELF: I’ve learned that all you have to do is have strength in yourself and empower yourself to speak out on whatever you are passionate about. Never let negative people or comments deter you from your goals, especially to help others because there are so many more people that love what you’re doing, than “hate” it. There are always going to be a range of opinions but as long as you focus on the positive ones and always focus on your goals than you will succeed in whatever you want to do, especially if that includes a social movement. Never back down & keep standing up for change.
PLAN FOR THE FUTURE: In the future I may eventually start maybe a group, or a brand, etc… Of people that want their voices to be heard, or even to talk together about issues the world faces. I’m already thinking of doing community art projects or “statements” that will hopefully get more people involved.