Lowkey is a London-based, hip-hop artist, poet, political activist, and one of the most requested guest’s from the London Real audience.
Born to an Iraqi mother and a British father, he began rapping at 12 years old and soon after, released mixtapes which gained critical acclaim for their politically charged lyrics and smooth flow. He would go on to play Glastonbury, be featured on the BBC, and become well known for his political activism. He then took a 4 year hiatus, completely removing himself from music, in order to focus on his education.
In 2016, Lowkey returned to the scene by dropping tracks addressing the European refugee crisis with the song titled “Ahmed”, followed with songs such as “Children of Diaspora”, “Death of Neoliberalism”, “Lords of War”, and “Ghosts of Grenfell” after the the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy in June 2017, that killed 71 people right across the street from his home in West London.
Lowkey also returned to the music scene by doing 200 bars on SBTV, alongside the most anticipated “Fire In The Booth Part 2” on Charlie Sloth’s BBC 1Xtra radio show.
03:19 Brian’s thoughts on the episode.
05:57 Brian’s introduction.
06:40 The value to society of sharing vulnerability and developing the art of listening.
08:39 Grenfell 2017 was a tragedy of regulatory bodies that were penetrated by captains of industry.
26:03 Why Lowkey wrote Ghosts of Grenfell song.
30:37 Why he was not in the Ghosts of Grenfell video.
32:20 His view on Royal Family visits to Grenfell Tower.
34:03 The political and economic effects of the 1970’s reinterpretation of neoliberalism.
37:24 Recognising the way power operates over human beings.
41:43 Rather than being a sycophant poet or a court poet, how he sees his role as a poet.
42:12 What the 17-year old Lowkey was like.
45:30 Why he chose the name Lowkey.
48:27 Growing up with mixed race parentage he is cognisant of England’s historic hybridity.
51:45 Early recognition of what reading could cultivate in him.
52:59 What growing up during the Gulf War taught him and made him question.
56:24 Early hip hop influences and why he no longer listens to it.
1:00:00 His mixtape period when his actions were a slave to his ego.
1:01:52 What motivates him to organise movements for change.
1:06:46 Dear Listener album was again an egoic move.
1:07:37 Why he is interested and active in Palestine visiting the open-air prison that is the Gaza Strip.
1:13:29 Detention at Ben Gurion Airport illustrated dismissive regard for influence of poetry or music.
1:17:17 Does he hate Israelis?
1:24:37 Causes of violence of the violated, which may be self-flagellation or narcissism.
1:26:53 The fatalistic determinism of the other-some of Israelis.
1:29:21 What was Brian’s interpretation of the health of Israeli society?
1:36:09 Donald Trump’s decision to move the American Embassy to Jerusalem is another imbecilic decision.
1:44:58 Why the British Police raided Lowkey’s home.
1:47:44 Mental health in males, where harming influences for men come from.
1:52:50 The experiences of his musical career in 2010-12 and touring with Immortal Technique.
1:57:37 What Lowkey learnt from Akala about time and what it is to be an activist.
2:03:30 Governments are watching all of us.
2:06:08 People’s need to display nationalism through national flags etc.
2:08:21 Why Lowkey left the music scene and turned off Facebook.
2:13:20 Attending SOAS.
2:18:01 What he loves about being a student and his advice to young people.
2:19:18 Why he thinks the goal of a PhD will be such a luxury and how he might use his new-found knowledge.
2:22:17 Experiences in Calais refugee camp led to his releasing Ahmed in 2016.
2:28:15 Fire in the Booth participation.
2:32:52 Lowkey’s big dream of something he would like to do in the future.
2:37:40 What religion means to Lowkey, questioning religious extremism is synonymous with terrorism assumption.
2:56:15 His frustration in trying to explain the whole world historical context in which terrorism is created.
3:02:50 Dan Pena is a victim of a society which is obnoxious in its ideality of wealth.
3:06:30 The process of thinking about meaning is as anguished as making music.
3:07:00 What keeps him awake at night.
3:07:16 What we would be surprised to learn about Lowkey.
3:07:48 What scares him.
3:08:26 What his friends might say is his super power.
3:08:49 Will he be a poet for the rest of his life?
3:09:04 When was the last time he changed his time?
3:10:03 Phone call to the 20-year old Lowkey.
3:11:07 Best advice he ever received.
3:11:43 Success secrets.
3:13;31 Brian’s summing up.
3:16:00 People’s need for conspiracy theories around events which they find hard to process.
3:21:24 Brian wraps up the interview.
"Of the People, By the People, For the People"
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