Raphael Blake

BRIT school graduate Raphael Blake blends spoken word, a love of hip hop and grand ambitions on his recent mixtape, The Undergrad. If you feel Ghostpoet or Flying Lotus, then his sounds are for you…

Jim Ottewill
  • By Jim Ottewill
  • 21 Nov 2014
  • min read
BRIT school graduate Raphael Blake has always had grand ambitions.

Originally dreaming of becoming a pilot, the aeronautical world’s loss is music’s gain if this spoken word artist’s new mixtape, The Undergrad, is anything to go by.

Spun over three parts - the first (Ambition), second (Reality) and final years (Sacrifice) - the release aims to encapsulate the thoughts, worries and opportunities in life post study. And while this sounds slightly dusty, the delivery and range of musical styles - taking in everything from drum n bass to jazz - mean the music is very much alive rather than stuck on the shelf.

You may previously have heard Raphael’s work at open mics sets all over the capital, at Shoreditch Festival, or South’s Got Talent, a music competition where he made the final. If you like the off centre sonic styles of Ghostpoet or Flying Lotus, then Raphael's sounds could be for you…

I first started writing music because…
Poetry became an outlet that allowed me to better understand my thoughts, my ideas and revelations from as early as 10 years old. I started off writing all the things I couldn't say and all the things I longed to say but didn't know how.

I have been making music since…
I’ve been a performer since I've been about 16.

My music is…
Me just speaking over sound. If there were a genre called spoken sound I'd guess it could fit into that.

You'll like my music if you listen to....
Producers like Shlomo, Shigeto, Flying Lotus, Burial, Phaeleh, Synkro, some of whom's sounds are featured on the spoken word mixtape #TheUndergrad.

My favorite venue is…
For a beverage: Galvin at Windows. Venue for a good Breaky: La Chandaler in East Dulwich and ... my yard!  There are lots of cushions there.

Music is important because…
It heals, it consoles, it connects the separated, reawakens the numb, reveals the hidden and captures time.

My biggest inspiration is…
The things that have moved and touched me the most. If I’m moved then it makes me more convicted and compelled on the stage.

My dream collaboration would be...
Flying Lotus.

To try me out, listen to my song/poem…
London and Pilot.

If I wasn’t making music I’d be…
Flying a jumbo jet.

In 10 years time I want to be...
Flying a jumbo jet, reciting poetry to the cabin crew and passengers via the 3D hologram intercom that will exist then.

facebook.com/TheRaphaelBlake
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