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Famed poet Saul Williams & soul singer Charles Bradley

Larry King NowMay 20 '16

World-renowned  poet and musician Saul Williams dishes on his new album'MartyrLoserKing,' the power of the poetic art form, and why he remains astrong supporter of Bernie Sanders. Plus, soul singing sensationCharles Bradley opens up about finding musical success at age 67 and themessage he hopes to deliver through his songs.


*Posted Online on Ora.TV on May 20th 2016:

Saul Williams

“Theatre. My love of theatre is where my invitation into the arts was pushed through.As a young kid I was in a magnet school called ‘Shake Hands with Shakespeare.’ The first play I did was ‘Julius Caesar.’ I played Mark Antony and what I found before getting on stage- just sitting around the table you know as an actor reading the script finding your beats and intentions and all of these things, the layers, hidden within language - I became enthusiastic about it. From there I went back. My father was a pastor of a baptist church in Newburgh New York so I went back to the bible and compared that language to the Shakespearean language. I found the Shakespearian one a bit more fun though, you know? There was a lot to be found there and this was during the birth so to speak of hip-hop in New York in the 80’s. That was another type of language that was popular in the streets that was also there for me to scrutinize and play around with, so I was writing rhymes in old english.” —Saul Williams on how his experiences in doing theatre cultivated an interest in words and language

“I like what John Keats says when he says, ‘Poets are the midwives of reality.’ It’s an interesting idea that stems from that Roman sort of audacity to say that there are six successive arts which is first, the primordial idea is born, and from there the first to perceive it may be the poets who interpret the ideas and streamline the idea and find a way of expressing this unsaid idea. And that may inspire the songwriters which will inspire dance, which will inspire movement, which will inspire painting, and theatre and all of these things that stem from it. So poetry is our way of translating the unsaid.” —Saul Williams on how poets streamline ideas to inspire artists of all sorts of mediums

“The most common compliment that I get from over the years is: ‘Thank you so much for voicing something that I feel; something that I have been thinking for ages but wasn’t clear on how to articulate.’”—Saul Williams on how fans thank him for voicing what they have not been able to say

“I think [the digital age] is responding to poetry. Look at Twitter for example. 140 characters. The first people who would restrain themselves to 140 characters would be like poet haikus. We’ve been doing this sort of thing of writing with one arm behind the back trying to find ways to streamline ideas and what have you and get them through. So I think that the tech age is responsive and technology is a reflection in a way of our conscious and awareness. I don’t think it leads it.”—Saul Williams on how the digital age is adapting to poetry

“The process of which I work is not so much the words of the poems. It’s the living of them. I don’t think the poetry is only captured in language. It’s captured in how we look at things- thepoetic way of you know, anything from politics to religion.” —Saul Williams on how poetry has an all-encompassing dynamic

“You mean, am I Bernie or bust? If Sanders doesn't get the nomination then I will do everything to make sure Trump does not enter the White House.” —Saul Williams on the current presidential election

Charles Bradley

“I was coming to the studio as a handyman, you know, any way I can to get into the studio, any way to get an opportunity. I was begging to get on Sharon Jones and she was doing a show and they let me do one song on there. That’s when I met Tommy Brennit. Tommy really took a liking to me and he told me, ‘We don’t want to see James Brown. We want to see Charles Bradley,’ and he helped me bring him out.” —Charles Bradley on his undertakings to be discovered

“My sister took me to see James Brown when I was 14 and when I saw that I said, ‘Woah,’ because I always liked rhythm and blues. When I saw that music and saw how he made it his own, I said, ‘I want to be something like that.’ I went home, got me a broom, put some string on it and kept throwing it and pulling it back to me and kept learning his songs and I learned at least 58 songs of James Brown. A lot of people today still ask me to do James Brown because ‘No one out there can do it the way you do it.’” —Charles Bradley on being inspired by James Brown and starting off as a James Brown impersonator

“She came to California. She wanted to see me and wanted to know me. She opened up her heart and told me about her hard life and what she was going through. My brother always took offensive of what she said but I was always an opened minded person. I heard what she said and a lot of things that she did, she did because she had no other choice. So I opened up my heart and told her, ‘Mom, let bygones be bygones. Lets pick it up. I want to know you and who you are.’ I think that’s probably the greatest thing I’ve ever done.” —Charles Bradley on reconnecting with his mother after not seeing her since he was 14

“Please don’t ask me that part. Donald Trump I think is making the world a worse place. I think he needs to soul search his words a little more deeper. It’s not all about money and him having all the money the world could ever need. That’s not gonna buy the world. It’s like my mama always say, ‘You can’t buy me. You have to earn my respect.’” —Charles Bradley on his views of Donald Trum

“Open up your heart. Let the world see who you are.” —Charles Bradley on the best advice he’s ever received