Highlighting & preserving women in Art
This month Art LovHer is super excited to bring back one of our original Features, Dale Novella Mutron Angel. This former marine and North Carolina native has been making a splash in the NYC underground scene with her melodic style and metaphor laced lyrics. I recently had a chat with the founder of The Poet Will Be Televised and The Rec, about the intersection of life and art.
1. When did you first begin doing what you do? I began writing lyrics when I was seven years old. My sisters and I used to perform Motown songs for my mother’s friends and I wanted to write some of our own material. We recorded some songs on a tape recorder and sent them to TLC.
2. When did you become serious about it, and pursue it as a life path? Would you consider what you do your life path? I’ve always been serious about music and writing. I never really wanted to do anything else but I got sidetracked because where I grew up there is no way to learn what you need to do to be apart of the music industry. I was also heavily discouraged by guidance counselors and certain family members.
3. Why do you create? I don’t really have a choice. It just comes out.
4. Who are some of your major influences/role models? My major influences are Jimi Hendrix, Prince, Mary J. Blige, Langston Hughes, Nikki Giovanni, Georgia Douglas Johnson, Robert Frost
5. What inspires you? Love
6. What advice would you give a nineteen year old creative who wants to make their thing into their whole life? Learn as much theory and history about your craft as you can. You don’t know where you can go until you know where you’ve been.
7. What’s one of the most rewarding parts of your work? What is the hardest? When someone tells me they relate to a song or poem I wrote. Music and art are supposed to connect people and create community. I would say the hardest is being bold enough to share your work. Writing is easy for me. Performing….. not so much.
8. How do you get through blocks in your creativity? I just concentrate on another medium until the block leaves. I don’t force myself to write anymore. I think when you force yourself to write, everything starts to sound alike.
9. Where are you from? If not originally from NYC, how long have you lived here and what brought you to New York? I was born in DC and raised in Dorchester, South Carolina. I came to New York two years ago to be a songwriter and event producer. JeSansChez is one of the first people I met in NY, after one of the Friday night slams at the Nuyorican. We’ve been friends ever since.
10. What is feminism to you? Fighting for equality for all.
11. Where does your name come from? I use Mutron Angel when I perform. Its one of my favorite songs by Whild Peach on the Idlewild soundtrack from OutKast. It has a soulful/funk/rock vibe. Its also very introspective and I would like my music to reflect some of those same aspects.
12. Does Recon have a meaning to you? If so, what is it? I was in the Marine Reserves for 7 years so for me, it has a strictly militant meaning. Gathering information on the enemy for your own gains.
13. What have you got coming up in the next couple of months? Well, I produce the monthly jam session, The Poet WILL Be Televised! through my company, The REC. Its the second Wednesday of the month at 3rdEyeSol in Bushwick. I’m trying to bring poetry and light to Veterans who suffer from PTSD through the VA. I’m also featuring on a couple mix tapes and working on an EP.