Passionate rapper Kate Tempest brings her powerful new spoken word show to Deptford (From News Shopper)
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Passionate rapper Kate Tempest brings her powerful new spoken word show to Deptford
Growing up as “a little white girl with ginger hair”, Kate Tempest thought no-one would ever take her seriously as a rapper.
But the passionate writer from Brockley, who launched her hip-hop career by rapping at unsuspecting people in the street, has proved all the doubters incredibly wrong.
Now a successful performance poet, songwriter and budding novelist, the 26-year-old is bringing her latest show Brand New Ancients to the Albany theatre in Deptford on September 28 and September 29.
She told Vibe: “It’s a long, epic poem – a big story with all these characters that collide throughout.
“And it’s backed by a cello, violin and a tuba – they make it sound like a film score with me rapping over it.
“The premise is that we are all capable of great, positive and inspiring acts.
“What it means to be successful is not as clear cut as it might seem.
“They are everyday characters compared with the ancient gods to create a new mythology – just because there aren’t any monsters to kill these days, they are no less heroic than Prometheus.”
The hour-and-a-half long show follows two south London families as their respective generations grow and intertwine into a parable of modern life.
Kate added: “It’s a love story that ends with an unlikely hero.
“It’s pretty full on - I’ve never done anything like before, such a long sustained narrative.
“As a rapper and spoken word poet doing shorter bits, if you muck up it’s alright, or if you forget the words it doesn’t matter.
“But this is exciting and it’s a real thrill to be doing it in Deptford.”
Kate spent a few years living in Deptford, and grew up in Lewisham.
She fell in love with hip hop music when she was 12-years-old, and never looked back.
In 2008, her career took off when she was commissioned to write lyrics for Channel 4 and charities including Amnesty International.
“I started taking myself a bit more seriously when other people did.” Kate continued.
“It’s a worry when you’re paying your rent with something you love to do.
“It’s your one passion and you can kill it because you need it to work for you.
“But this is an opportunity to develop – I can’t do anything else, I’ve spent every minute of my life for 10 years doing this.”
Kate spent years working at Morph Music shop in Lewisham, where she was able to learn about her favourite music and rappers.
She said: “I had a real bee in my bonnet – everybody thought I was going to be so s*** because I was this little white girl with ginger hair.
“But I had this burning passion and wanted to rap.
“A lot of people think of hip hop as being quite negative, but I find it very peaceful – a medium where I encountered some of the greatest poetry I’ve ever heard.”
With time, Kate says she has bestowed much more respect to her writing, and is now working on her first novel.
Encouraging people not to miss her new show, she added: “It’s something new and very honest.
“It’s the kind of thing that will make people feel rather than easily pass them by.
“It can be a bit dark bit there’s a big, optimistic push at the end.”
Performances start at 7.30pm.
Tickets cost £12 and £10 for concessions.
For bookings call 0208 692 4446 or visit thealbany.org.uk