Highlighting & preserving women in Art
In the last fourteen years Simone “Azurca” Nikkole – a poet, spoken word artist, author, songwriter, musician and child advocate – has written over 300 poems, starting with her first “emotions.” She pulls inspiration for her work from her personal life, and the struggles of her friends. As a young person Nikkole often found herself disturbed by how “misunderstood, underestimated, and disrespected” she noticed children to be. As an adult the artist devotes a great portion of her time and work to child advocacy, and therapy.
ArtLovesHer: When did you first begin doing what you do?
Simone Nikkole: April 24, 2000 after reading Shel Silverstein
ALH: When did you become serious about it, and pursue it as a life path? Would you consider what you do your life path?
SN: After publishing the book and my friend told me it helped her group counseling teens open up and heal, it became serious for me. This is part of my mission to empower and give voice to those people often ignore of discount. The other part is being a therapist to help heal children and families using healthy outlets and poetry when it is needed. Now it is more serious because I do not have any control over the creative process… poetry has become a person in my life not just an extension of pen.
ALH: Why do you create?
SN: As my therapy, to bring a voice to the voiceless, empower youth and open society’s eyes to what they may think is invisible and unimportant.
ALH: Who are some of your major influences/role models?
SN: Amiri Baraka, Lemon Andersen, Nikki Giovanni, Maya Angelou, Sonia Sanchez, Celia Cruz, Pablo Neruda
ALH: What inspires you?
SN: Life, Anything that evokes emotion or upsets me, unjustices
ALH: What advice would you give a nineteen year old creative who wants to make their thing into their whole life?
SN: Be you. Write you and do not get jaded by what you think/other’s tell you should be said/talked about. Be the one to tell your story. Perceptions from others becomes their truth not yours.
ALH: What’s one of the most rewarding parts of your work?
SN: My upcoming feature of my poem, “Weightless Extenson” in The Voices Project online blog/website the week of March 31.
ALH: What’s one of the hardest?
SN: When I was slighted by judges from auditions because they did not understand the ebbs and flows of performance and intentionality of my delivery of poetry.
ALH: How do you get through blocks in your creativity?
SN: Read poetry or watch my friends’ performances to get ideas and challenge myself.
ALH: What have you got coming up in the next couple of months?
SN: Promoting my second book “Sidepiece Sanctifications” in Rochester, NY. Featuring in NJ at Monmouth Worship Center on 2/21/14. The publication of “The Martin Files” Anthology 2/28/14. Drunk N Love performance at Love Jones in Long Island on 2/27/14. Palabras sin Ego 3/21/14 at Nuyorican Poets Cafe