Power in Words – Andre Fenton
by Chikako ⋅ October 26, 2017
We had the chance to catch up with spoken word artist Andre Fenton. Check out the inspiring interview!
Tell us about yourself
I’m a spoken word artist who grew up in the north end of Halifax. I am currently on the board of Spoken Word Canada and a member of the writer’s council within the Writers Federation of Nova Scotia.I always loved writing, though I was always really shy. If you asked me if I could ever see myself performing in front of crowds of people 5 years ago, I would have never imagined myself doing so. I had recently self published my first book of poetry called Ode to Teen Angst.
How long have you been in this industry for?
I’ve been performing, and traveling for about 4 years now. My first ever time stepping up to the microphone was in 2013. I was in my final year of high school, and I was carrying a lot of angst. Being able to express it helped me shape myself. I guess I took a blind leap of faith one night, and performed at a poetry slam not realizing it was finals night, and the top 5 poets went to go perform in Montreal for an event called the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word. I came in third place that night and no idea I was going to Montreal. I just thought “Wow. That’s really cool. I guess I should stick this.” and I did. Between 2013-2016 I performed in 6 national poetry festivals across the country in places like Montreal, Ottawa, Saskatoon, Victoria, Vancouver, and Winnipeg.
Never let a rejection in either a poetry slam, or a publisher set you back. Life happens, and its not always pretty. But there’s a lot of beauty.
What challenges have you faced while building your career?
I think the biggest challenge I faced was really finding confidence in my stage presence. The biggest challenged I faced was finding my voice. I think I found though, though I still dislike hearing the sound of it. But I think everybody does. But I also think everybody has a lot to say, and needs to be heard. Because everybody’s opinion matters.
How did you overcome those challenges?
I’d say just practicing. It doesn’t happen overnight, though if you push yourself it will happen. I was always that kid who stayed up all night until 5am writing poetry, short stories, and practicing my performances hoping that I didn’t wake up my parents. I can’t stress enough that practice makes perfect.
Who/What inspires you?
Some poets who inspire me are Rebecca Thomas, El Jones, Shane Koyczan, Anis Mojgani. Poets are superheroes to me, so being able to meet my role models while traveling has always been something I would have never imagined, and its really something special.
What advice do you have for today’s youth?
My advice to youth would be to always keep writing. Never let a rejection in either a poetry slam, or a publisher set you back. Life happens, and its not always pretty. But there’s a lot of beauty. It takes time to craft, but for youth, time is on our side. Don’t get sidetracked, know what you want, practice, practice, practice, and it will come. Have faith in yourself.