SACHÉM PARKIN-OWENS | Rapper, singer and spoken-word poet
Sachém will premiere his The Bigger Picture tour at RPAC on Friday 28 October. Ahead of this performance, we took the opportunity to find out more about his inspirations and motivations.
You have made a name for yourself with your versatile catalogue of music and energetic live show. What does your name represent both in terms of your music and the cultures you’re representing?
The direct translation of my name means ‘Silent Warrior’. Sachém is the title given to the chief of the Mohegan tribes of North East America. How the name relates to me directly is still being revealed, I know I have a passion for change anda desire to help people. So far, I believe my music is the reason I’ve been able to do that for people around me.
You are a big believer in spoken word poetry and hip hop, and the important role they can play within the wider community. Can you talk a bit about this in terms of your work and its origins? Yes, I am a big believer in poetry and hip hop being crucial to the progression of communities and cultures. It has created a platform for people within minority and colonised communities to speak the truth. This has now evolved and is one of, if not the most powerful art form used to bring about social and political conversation and change. These conversations and changes inspire people from communities, like mine, to feel comfortable with the idea of self-expression and self-acceptance. I am another example of a Black Person of Colour who has been freed through the art of poetry and the culture of hip hop.
Has there been a pivotal artist or album that was a catalyst moment for your work? Who has been your biggest inspiration? There have been many inspirations over the years. Lyrically, people like Biggie Smalls, Common, Bob Marley, A Tribe Called Quest, and J Cole have driven me to uncover deeper parts of myself through writing. Musically, bands like Dire Straits, Eagles, Cat Stevens, J. Dilla and Pete Rock have all contributed to the inspiration of my sound. You will find that a lot of my music is a straight blend between real instruments and production, where needed.
What are you most looking forward to about the creation of a production like this?
The most exciting part about creating a production like this is having the tools, space and belief from community to take a project on like this. I’m looking forward to continuing my journey of self-expression and being able to o it on country with friends and family. Sachém will premiere his The Bigger Picture tour at RPAC on Friday 28 October (see opposite page). Ahead of this performance, we took the opportunity to find out more about his inspirations and motivations. For the full interview, visit the Artist Features section on the RPAC website.