National spoken word competition opens doors for DMU student


Wordsmith Marvell Fayose has received national recognition for putting his heart into bringing issues to light through poetry.

The 22-year-old De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) student is making a name for himself after impressing judges in BBC Radio 1XTRA’s Words First competition. 

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The competition, which sees judges travelling the country to search for the UK’s best young spoken word artists, has led to Marvell performing at some of the UK’s biggest open-mic nights and venues.

The first-year Performing Arts student is constantly making a note of his thoughts and feelings, as he believes ‘stories should be saved rather than lost forever.’

Marvell said: “I see myself as a writer and one medium I use is poetry. I use storytelling as a way to express myself and get my messages across.

“I write about anything that comes from the heart; anything that comes out is what I am thinking about at that time.

“I use poetry as my platform; it’s a way for me to be heard.”

He added: “Whatever I experience, good or bad, I don’t want to forget about those moments so I write about them.”

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Marvell, who is from East London, started writing poetry in his bedroom from the age of about 16. He has always written about his heritage and upbringing, and more recently has focused on London’s ongoing violence as four of his friends have lost their lives.

He uses a mobile phone app to record his thoughts while ‘on the go’ then he returns to his notes to write poetry he can perform.

Marvell said: “I got into poetry on my own, I just started with a monologue and it went from there.

“I don’t come from the best of backgrounds; I grew up on an estate in the borough of Newham where violence is prevalent; I find writing really helps.

“I just write about what I am feeling, it’s about locking myself in the different situations I have been in. My work always represents what I have seen or experienced.”

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Marvell entered one of his poetry videos into the BBC 1XTRA Words First competition, which celebrates artists who ‘write poetry to be performed’ and ‘vent their frustrations with society.’

He got through to the London heat of the competition and his poetry can be viewed on the 1XTRA website. His story has also been featured by The Tab youth news site.

Marvell now spends most of his free time performing at open-mic nights up and down the country. This includes ‘Find The Right Words’ in Leicester and ‘Boxed In’ and ‘Jawdance’ in London.

He is also part of the London-based poetry collective, Spit The Atom and has close links with The Roundhouse, a hub of inspiration dedicated to emerging talent.


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Marvell said: “I’m on the open-mic circuit as much as I can be. Entering the BBC 1XTRA competition has really opened doors for me.

“There are a lot of opportunities available; I’m over the moon with everything that is happening.

“It’s a great feeling, I’m just going with it – and enjoying every moment. So much has come out of that competition.”

Marvell also enjoys acting, play writing, skateboarding and fashion. He is in the process of combining some of his interests to set up his own talent agency for fashion called ‘A Tailor’s Son.’

He said: “I just want to continue taking advantage of every opportunity and putting my creativity to good use in whatever way I can.”

Posted on Monday 30th April 2018

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