We had the good fortune of connecting with mOody bLaCk and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi mOody, how do you think about risk?
Risk taking is necessary! I would rather take the risk in regards to my dreams and goals. If you never take any risks, you’d never know how far you can advance. One day, I discovered that I had blood clots in both of my lungs: I had to spend four days in the hospital. Within those four days, I had a lot of soul searching. I realized how short life is: so, I took a leap of faith to start booking shows and work on building my brand. However, I tell people now to work on investing to start their own brand…to save to take the leap.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’m an all around artist. That sets me apart. Drawing and painting was my first gift. Then, I found the gift of words around 12 years old. I discovered a book on my mom’s bookshelf called “This Time Called Life” by Walter Rinder. I wasn’t interested in poetry at first. My mom, would work a full-time job and take evening college courses. She would bring literature books home and make us read poems. But it wasn’t until I read that book by Rinder that I really got interested in poetry. There were poems of being young and free. I wanted to be young and free. I would read poetry in class, and got ridiculed. It wasn’t until high school til those same who teased me: asked me to write poems for their boy friend or girl friend. And I would charge them to write these poems. I learned early that I could make money with art. As I got older, when I started to share my personal stories through poems…I learned how my words touched others. I’m extremely proud of that. When I hear how my art gave others hope and healing. That means the world to me. I took my jump to do this full time five years ago. It is very challenging. I had to find ways to utilize my brand and art. I always spoke to the youth: so, I began contracting myself as a teaching artist. Along the way, I learned that everyone has a story. Especially young people. I have had young people that used to hate writing poetry to tell me that they love it now. I want the world to know that my brand is to manifest, inspire, and motivate!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If my best friend was visiting my area: I would give any of my guests a tour of downtown Greenville SC. First, for a meal: we would go to Jamaican Mi Irie (there’s a sandwich named after me). Next, I would take them to Falls Park to see the water falls. Then, we would walk up Main Street just to soak up the vibe.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I must start with my parents. My mom was always into the arts, and my dad was a “go-getter.” Both have been a huge part of my motivation. Then, my circle of friends and family. Also, can’t forget my supporters.
Photo by Ian Curcio, wardrobe by Empire Limited