“There is a sense of richness in storytelling” – Pilgrim Serei

WNS_S4EP5_PILGRIMLucas Pilgrim Serei made his mark on the Word N Sound slam stage last year when he secured his spot in the Top 5 throughout the year. We caught up with him ahead of his showcase at this Saturday’s show.

You have performed at the Word N Sound before but under the Slam part of the show, how do you feel about showcasing this time around?
Pressure…but one that propels me to give out a good performance. I am beaming with euphoria.

Has being part of the Slam made you change your style of writing and performance?
Yes, I think when it comes to my performance, I am trying to incorporate more props into my work and I am taking it one step at a time. And also the content that I now write about is different. I think I’ve said it before, less fiction and more reality.

What inspires your writing and what methods do you use to get into the ‘zone’ for you to write a poem?
What inspires me is where I come from, I believe there is a sense of richness in storytelling and this has had a huge impact in my life. Lol *the zone* for me is a point where observation, experience and creativity finally meet up and I find myself being forced to write or I’ll go crazy. There’s no method really, I just find myself thinking too much, more when something is disturbing me.

How do you feel about collaborations? Have you done any, if so; was it with another poet or musician etc and how was it different from performing alone?
I have in the past done my fair share of poetry collaborations, some worked and some didn’t. I’m sort of selfish when it comes to poetry and collaborations are difficult for me but I am constantly looking for ways to engage with other poets because I believe I can learn something new. Performing with someone means that you have to make room for them, I guess the room was always too small with those that didn’t work.

In most of your performances you include music, why do you use back tracks, what does this add your poems and performance?
Music is powerful because it does always move me and even the audience as well. Imagine watching a horror movie (or any movie for that matter) without music? I believe poetry has evolved to a point where it’s not just about reciting but “how” you tell your story. So for my poetry, it adds a misplaced feeling I sometimes lose when I perform and I find it somewhere mid-air. But backtracks are a gift as much as they can be a curse.

What advice would you give to the new people taking part in the WNS Slam?
Simple, you are not competing with other poets, you are competing with yourself, my poetry has learned the hard way. Secondly, always write for quality than quantity. It’s not about how many poems you have, but how many good poems you have.

Is there a strategy you think works for one to be part of the WNS Festival as you have been part of it before?
Nope I don’t think there’s a strategy, just come packing heat and you’ll make it into the festival.

What response do you expect from the audience from your performance on Saturday, 7th June 2014?
Wow… Uhm, cheer maybe? Well to be honest I am just going to lay my stories to them and their spirits will lead. All I can say is, it will be a good showcase.


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