We are honoured to end our Flow Features 2022 series with the formidable Fisky. If there is one spoken word artist that has shown consistency across multiple art forms over the years that has inspired so many new and established poets, it’s this artist right here. We had to round off with this powerhouse who has elevated the spoken word community and cemented his name in modern spoken word history.
Who is the man behind the words?
Fisky has been writing from a young age like many poets, but school was a memorable turning point when his first poem was published at the age of 12. He continued writing on and off until the age of 16 when his mother passed away from cancer and his struggles with mental health began.
I continued to lose people throughout my life and I couldn’t turn to anyone about it so I turned to writing. I found my love for hip-hop around the same time.Fisky
Although Fisky didn’t think his initial writings were the standard that he wanted them to be, after university he and a friend started to experiment with music which inspired him to take the craft further. He released his album ’10 Years’ in 2014 which was filled with themes based around certain experiences that he felt like he couldn’t talk about between the ages of 16-26. The album did well among his audience, but creating music wasn’t enough to fill the internal void that he was feeling. He needed more.
How did Mind Over Matter become a reality?
There came a time in Fisky’s life where he could barely recognise himself. Seeking help through therapy proved to be disappointing and the creative found himself tired of the way he was living. At the age of 36 he launched Mind Over Matter; a poetry and multi-genre event that has encouraged many poets to do amazing things with spoken word or their chosen art form. Fisky launched the event to help himself during what he considers one of the lowest points of his life. Little did he know that after launching his first event in collaboration with the Mind Charity, Mind Over Matter would become a crucial stem of the arts and culture community that promotes mental health through expression.
I’ve never really wanted to write but I always felt like I needed to.Fisky
Mind Over Matter have since hosted events across London including Balham, Camden, Brixton, Hackney and Shoreditch which have inspired hundreds of poets to perform their work and develop their skills. He has had the opportunity to work in Melbourne, collaborate with Ted X, and expand his platform by hosting events in Manchester, Birmingham, and Northampton. The expansion has bridged a gap between the blossoming London poetry community and brilliant poets based outside of the capital.
What inspired your latest project ‘Cheaper Than Therapy’?
Fisky released his most recent project ‘Cheaper Than Therapy’ earlier this year whilst running his series of poetry events. The project took longer to produce due to mental health struggles he was experiencing along the way, but once released it was received with the utmost praise from his creative audience. Feeling as if many people have minimised his feelings about his grief and depression, Fisky has relied heavily on expressing himself through words to provide him with a form of therapy that works for him.
I write because therapy let me down. I’m not saying that writing fixes everything, but when it comes to grief and addiction, it works. Regardless of the ‘is poetry therapy?’ non-debate. I’m living proof that it is.Fisky
It is not uncommon for creatives to use their personal experiences as a basis for their work. The way Fisky is able to share some of his darkest moments in a beautiful way is only one of the reasons that makes him exceptional at what he does. When asked if he would change anything about what he’s been through he responded:
Nothing. Without all the depression and challenging experiences, MoM wouldn’t exist and I’d probably be dead. Out of all that sadness, misery, and chaos, the purpose I was always missing was born.Fisky
What can we expect to see in 2023?
Mind Over Matter events will return to its usual spaces based in Brixton, Shoreditch, and Manchester starting from February 2023. The platforms creative and psychotherapeautic workshop ‘Connect’ will continue every 1st, 3rd, and last Monday of the month online facilitated by their Resident Psychotherapist, Anna Sinski. With hopes to start delivering workshops live in the near future, we know there is a lot more to look forward to from this staple of the arts community and the great mind behind it.
Creative Director & Writer: Tannika Taylor @tannikataylor
Photographer: Matty @mattys.gallery
Cover Design: Simplexcity Creative Council @simpelexcitycc