Sometimes, a person’s words can so aptly describe a situation you have been through, that you begin to wonder, “How does this person know me so well?” This is the case for Poetyk Prynx who has a way with words so that it resonates with his audience. He is a spoken word artiste, artivist, saxophonist, writer, poet…and the list continues. Meet this fascinating artiste as you read this interview.
Photo of Poetyk Prynx
Ayeyi: Hey Prynx. How have you been doing?
Prynx: I have been great. I released Ethereal, my fourth EP as a spoken word artiste, after close to a year of not being able to do so. Then I had my first exhibition which happened to be a virtual one, all in one month (June), and beat my fear of feeling guilty when it comes to putting a price to my craft and art, by selling exhibits from my exhibition. So yeah, I think I have been doing great!
Ayeyi: Wow, that is a lot of great feats right there. Congratssss!
SoundCloud link to Poetyk Prynx’s Ethereal EP
Ayeyi: How were you introduced to spoken word and poetry?
Prynx: I am not too sure how I got introduced to poetry but I have been writing poems since I was a kid; doing recitals for my schools as early as KG all the way to writing for magazines in high schools. I pretty much can’t recall what got me into it. However, one thing I am very sure of is that, it being a way of expressing myself, a coping mechanism, making up for ways I can’t communicate, and as a channel for my thoughts and emotions must have been major factors. I need to talk to my three year old self to know exactly why he got into it. With regards to spoken word, I heard about it for the first time when I was in high school (Accra Academy), in 2008 or was it 2009? One fine morning, Sir Black of Ehalakasa graced our morning assembly to talk about it and did a piece. I was fascinated about it and I started watching spoken word videos whenever I got the chance to. However, it was until I got to University and auditioned to perform on Moonlight Café stage before I started taking it serious.
Photo of Poetyk Prynx during one of his spoken word sessions
Ayeyi: So far, how has being a spoken word artist shaped your identity and outlook?
Prynx: I believe as an artiste, you need to be a personification of your crafts; an embodiment of the things you preach about, and an extension of your art in the way you dress, speak, live, and the ideologies you choose to live by. More often than not, the manifestation of these aforementioned unfolds unconsciously, you find yourself gravitate towards them, then you start putting in intentional effort to catalyze the process. I am mostly speaking about being allowed to be who we are and feel what we feel without feeling the need to shrink ourselves. So, I find myself gravitating towards the identity of free-spirited living, hence my whole Akata and hipster outlook.
Ayeyi: I love your gravitation towards being a free spirited person. Very essential (laughs). So, you are Ghanaian but lived in Nigeria for a while. Would you say your Nigerian upbringing and Ghanaian identity has influenced your art?
Prynx: I was actually born and raised in Nigeria; I lived there for most part of my life. I moved to Ghana with my family in 2007 and it was my first time being in Ghana. And yes, being blessed with a dual-perspective with two distinctly different demographics and having to experience both sides has influenced my art in so many ways.
Photo of Poetyk Prynx
Ayeyi: What three words would you use to describe your poetry?
Prynx: In three words I will describe my poetry as the “Art of nomenclature.’ In the sense that I want my poetry to describe and give names to the experiences, struggles, emotions and encounters that an everyday person finds difficult to describe. I want my poetry to be the kind that when someone listens to or reads, they go like “aha!!! I’ve been looking for a way to say this” or “you see ooooo, someone finally said it. I knew I wasn’t weird. Wheeew.”
Ayeyi: Mmmm…relatable poetry! I catch your drift. Prynx, apart from being a spoken word artiste, you are a saxophonist as well. How have you been able to incorporate that into your poetry and other aspects of your life?
Prynx: Yessssss!! I have a couple of poems that I backed with my saxophone; I even have solo sax performances on my EPs. I have performed on stages too as well as played alongside other instrumentalists and performing artistes. My favorite artiste to play my sax with is Daddo Gyan.
Ayeyi: Throughout this journey, what has been the highlight of your career so far?
Prynx: What I will call the highlight of my career, I don’t think I have attained that yet but if I have to choose the closest to what the highlight of my career will be, is me using my little voice and platform to organize Candlelight Vigils aimed at throwing light on mental health and offering help and some level of peace to those who needed it, as at that time, and a couple of other projects with my Mental Health Initiative called “THE SANCTUARY”.
Ayeyi: Aha! It’s good you brought up the subject of mental health. In your opinion, how supportive have Ghanaians been in helping you shine a spotlight on mental health?
Prynx: I haven’t had the chance to work with as much of the Ghanaian populace to give a detailed answer to this but those in my circle have been really supportive in helping push the agenda of raising awareness of mental health.
Ayeyi: And still on mental health, what measures do you think Ghana needs to implement to increase mental health awareness and erase the stigma associated with it?
Prynx: Out of all the numerous measures I can mention, the top two would be one; the active participation of policy makers in the awareness process. We can do all the marches, conferences, workshops and whatnots, but if there aren’t passing of laws and bills that will effect these changes, it will be cos ninety. So we will need policy makers, to be involved in the conversation. Point number two has to be more grassroots awareness. Most often than not, we find ourselves doing about 95% of the awareness activities amongst the middle class upwards or should I say elites, for the lack of a better word, but what are we doing about those in the grassroots? The average Ghanaian, schools, religious spaces, the market women, the troski drivers, those in the rural communities, those not privileged to have access to information and resources like these. What are we doing about them? They make up the vast majority of our population, so our fight to create a society where everyone understands the concept of mental health will be meaningless if we do not involve them in the liberation process. Hahahahaha, that was so Kwame Nkrumah-ish but yeah, I am sure you get what I mean.
Ayeyi: (laughs) Kwame Nkrumah-ish? But on a serious note, that is a brilliant response. I had honestly never really thought much about the grassroot approach in tackling mental health in Ghana. Certainly an avenue we need to explore.
Photo of Poetyk Prynx during one of his mental health campaigns
Ayeyi: Before I let you go, can you tell us what can we hope to expect from you in the future?
Prynx: Just two words; MORE FIREEEEE
Ayeyi: MORE FIREEEEE!!! We’d also love to see this fire on your social media so can you share your social media handles with us?
Prynx: Its @poetyk_prynx across all social media (Instagram, Twitter and Facebook); @kaleidoscope_soiree on Instagram for my annual show and @__thesanctuary on Twitter and Instagram for my mental health initiative
Ayeyi: Poetyk Prynx, thank you very much for taking the time to have this conversation with me. It is an honour to talk with you. May whatever you do in the future have multiple successes attached to it.
Prynx: Haaayyyy, let me see yourrrr shouting!! Ameeen. Thank you too for this wonderful opportunity. I think you are doing a great job.
Photo of Poetyk Prynx