“I wanna rock out, I want energy and to have a good time,” says Pharoahe Monch. The critically acclaimed hip-hop artist will be speaking at the Fresh Arts x Manifesto Summit panel ‘Art is Power’ on Saturday September 22 at Ryerson University’s George Vari Engineering Building.
Monch, perhaps best known for his hit single ‘Simon Says,’ will also be headlining the Live at the Square Manifesto concert on September 23. He will be giving us a taste of his upcoming project Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a follow-up to his 2011 album W.A.R. (We Are Renegades).
Great Power in Art is great Responsibility
For the Fresh Arts x Manifesto panel, Monch wants to do less talking and more listening to the creative minds around him.
“It’s about the investigating and the creative minds of the kids and trying to inspire them… just hoping there’s a chance to even hear what their thoughts are because kids are more freer in their thinking than we are. Just sharing and being in that space is a great opportunity”
Monch has talked to many communities in the past on serious matters such as gun violence and education. He understands that kids need to express themselves relying on reassurance that they can pursue their dreams through artistic measures.
When asked what the phrase ‘Art is Power’ means, Monch breaks down the attributes of art and the responsibility that coincides.
“As an artist we have the ability to reach so many people with our words and it’s an exclusive and important responsibility”
“As an artist we have the ability to reach so many people with our words and it’s an exclusive and important responsibility. Like superheroes, they say great power
is great responsibility… the words you speak the universe resonates”.
This weekend, Monch looks towards to the youth to realize there is true power in art and they can use it to reach higher heights.
‘Art is Power’ brings up many questions that will be discussed through the panel; however is anyone capable of having power through being artistic? Monch assures us ‘it’s the human right.’ According to Monch, everyone in their being and in their own form is a creation and work of art. He believes our very actions and conversations throughout the day can be considered art.
What is your Manifesto?
Manifesto has been around for six years and cultivates an environment that educates, champions and exposes new talent. In redefining the name and getting more in touch with the notion we are asking participants and people involved with Manifesto – ‘What is your manifesto?’ We asked Pharoahe Monch and he provided us with wisdom and the word Renegade to live by.
“Just to be original, renegade yourself, believe in your dream”
“Just to be original. Renegade yourself, believe in your dream and through your circumstance look into your being. Be independent and just renegade. That’s the key word. Renegade”
Pharoahe Monch maintains his own production company War Media, which controls multimedia, visuals, video, and print within the hip-hop industry. The company is currently working closely with female hip-hop artist Jean Grae and Monch’s upcoming project PTSD.
Follow Pharoahe Monch on Twitter @PharoaheMonch for more information on tours, concerts, and upcoming album PTSD. Look for the upcoming website www.pharoahe.com and come out to Manifesto’s concert at Dundas Square, September 23rd and see Pharoahe Monch perform live.
By Danica Samuel