Spoken word artist Mari “EmCee” Carter is one of St. Louis’ up and coming poets. Having won her first poetry contest in the 5th grade Carter took interest in poetry at a young age and has been growing ever since. As a member of the 2012 UrbPoetry SLAM Team EmCee will be representing St. Louis at the Southern Fried Slam taking place this June in Tampa, FL. In a UAACD exclusive interview EmCee sheds light on what inspired her to pursue poetry.
When did you first become interested in poetry?
When I was in the 5th grade and won my first poetry contest.
How did you come up the with stage name EmCee and what significance does it have to you as an artist?
I came up with the name EmCee because I use to rap and be an EmCee. I love hip hop and spoken word and I like to think my style and delivery is a mix of both.
What inspires your work?
Saul Williams most definitely inspires me. [He’s] Just a dope artist and poet. I also love Ms. Maya Angelou.
What defining moments or events have shaped you as an artist?
When I met M.K. Stallings and started coming to Legacy I started to become more
serious about my work.
What helpful advice or support have you received from fellow artists, peers, etc. and how has it helped you?
Some of the best advice I have heard is stay true to your craft and work hard on perfecting it. That’s what I always tell myself.
What has been the most memorable performance of your career thus far?
[My] most memorable performance was my first feature at UMSL. I felt like “Momma I made it!” lol
How have you grown as an artist since you first began performing?
My writing has definitely grown. I believe to be a good poet you first have to be a good
What would you say makes you and your poetry unique?
My poetry is unique because it’s a part of me and reveals some of my own personal stories. Nothing is more original than being you.
What are your goals as a spoken word artist?
My goal is to touch people with my work, shine light on knowledge and speak the truth. I want to be a great entertainer, performer and poet; shifting the world one poem at a time, or maybe just a small room, either way its progress.