Musician, Poet and Actor Blakk Sun Featured in The BackWall: Art Uncuffed

By Kendra Hovey, Executive Director, Healing Broken Circles

Blakk Sun is a rapper, spoken word artist, actor and founding member of The BackWall creative community. He will be one of the featured artists at The BackWall: Art Uncuffed event on Thursday, Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. at the Beeler Gallery.

Kendra: What is your earliest memory of rap / hip-hop?
Blakk Sun: I mean my earliest memory is coming downstairs ready to go to school with my clothes on backwards. Kriss Kross swag on a thousand! My mom wasn’t having it at all, but I knew I wanted to rap ever since I saw that kids could rap. My little brother and I used to record on a little Barbie tape recorder to the instrumentals at the end of cassettes that just had the singles on them. Gotta love the B side for sure.

Kendra: What motivates you to create?
Blakk Sun: I think it comes from not ever knowing what I can do until I do it, as well as never settling on one specific thing to explore. I mean, obviously I have found a few things I’m good at, but I think I’ll always be willing to try a different expression or message of delivery to continue to grow and become more rounded as an artist and human. I was just talking to someone about not forgetting what it was like to be a kid. Well, as a kid you kind of have creative license to just try things out simply because you want to see what happens. I love that idea for creating and seeing what I can come up with.

Kendra: What do you hope people take away from your work?
Blakk Sun: I would love it if people understood how vulnerable I am. I don’t really open up fully in conversation. I mean I’ll share but not too much. I’m open, but guarded. My poetry or music is the most ME I can give a person. Sometimes it’s too raw for me even. So, I would love for people to feel that and know this isn’t just some hobby for me. It’s my way of giving the world something I’m afraid to give in a regular setting. It’s pain, it’s triumph, it’s inquiry and exploration of myself and everything around me.

Kendra: Your given name is Michael Powell. Is there a story behind your stage name?
Blakk Sun: My name is a combination of two names given about seven years apart. The name Blakk came from a friend’s uncle. A bunch of my friends already had nicknames. It was NuNu and Juice and Flash and T-Money and then me… Michael. After a day of dud names he finally was like, “Man, we just gonna have to call you ‘black ass’ or something.” Black just stuck after that. Sun was given to me by an enlightener and mentor of mine. He said he could see the energy I gave off and how the people around me gravitated towards it. I combined them because I felt like it embodied my stages of development—like the rap version of Boyz II Men.

Kendra: What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
Blakk Sun:HAVE A PLAN!! None of it’s gonna work… but you have to have it.” That’s exactly how he said it and I’m so glad he did because without it I could very well be in this ocean of a world treading water not knowing if I’m coming or going.

Kendra: In your opinion, what is the best thing about the Columbus art scene right now?
Blakk Sun: I have to say it’s The BackWall and really all those artists reaching outside a box—any box. Columbus has a beautiful arts scene as far as dance, music and visual arts. It’s easy though for art to get geared towards and limited to a particular audience, demographic and type of venue. At The BackWall, my life and my art may be way different than yours, but I’m gonna invite you in. The BackWall is like church in that way. “Come as you are,” we always have a place for you.

The Back Wall: Art Uncuffed features music, dance, stories and spoken word by artists deeply impacted by mass incarceration. Free to the public, doors open at 6:30 p.m.; show starts at 7 p.m. Along with Blakk Sun, also performing are Tripp Fontane, Luv Baski, Brianna Rhodes, Zerious Business and Draye Mitchell, with host DeAndre “Coach Poo” Gaston. Location: Beeler Gallery at Columbus College of Art & Design, 60 Cleveland Ave.



Comments are closed.