Jessica Care Moore: Q&A
Poet, Mum, Activist, Rock Star JESSICA CARE MOORE was brought up in and still lives in Detroit, USA. As a Showtime at the Apollo Winner, an author of three books and creator of the Black Women Rock! Coalition, she's an innovative contributor to Detroit’s arts scene.
What 3 words best describe you?
passionate poet Scorpio
How would you describe your work, and what’s your experience of making inroads in the spoken word and music industry?
I’m a poet that works with music. I have a 90 minute solo show that features Detroit Techno. I have a jazz quarter and produce and write rock and roll with poetry. I’m writing a ballet. Music for me has been a way to bring more audiences into my world and my work.What do you enjoy most about spoken word? I love the electricity and exchange when an artist touches an audience and vice versa. I love that moment in front of a mic.
Which artists have most influenced you?
Sonia Sanchez, Octavia Butler, Betty Davis the Executive Producer of Black Women Rock, Amiri Baraka
Where does your style of performing comes from?
I realized I had a specific “sound” when I moved to Brooklyn. Detroit working class urgency is my work. I’ve been influenced by the Black Arts Movement and the Harlem Renaissance writers.
You're taking part in 'London Liming' in October, what will you do?
I’ll be reading from my new work Sunlight Though Bullet Holes as well as pieces from my third book, God is Not a American.
Does current affairs or popular culture influence your writing and performing?
My background is journalism, so I’ve always been interested in on the ground politics. I can’t imagine not being tuned into the world and being an artist worth paying any attention to.
What are you most passionate about?
Being a great mommy, nothing more important. The work I do in jails is my lifework. I have to finish my memoir.
What creative masterpiece do you wish you had written?
Ntozake Shange’s “For Colored Girls” because it introduced me to so many amazing women of color. I realized my work had a foundation I was never formally introduced to. Shange’s work is gangsta.
What's an important piece of insider knowledge you have as a creator and performer?
The truth is still “in.” Being authentic is sexy. Independence isn’t easy, but it’s worth it. No one will invest in you unless you think you're good enough to do it.
Tell us about an upcoming project that excites you
My first jazz project is being mixed, Black Tea: The Legend of Jessi James. Jon Dixon (pianist, Underground Resistance) produced most of the album. I’ve been performing with music for years and this is the best my voice has sounded. The single “You Want Poems” is on iTunes and features Jose James and Roy Ayers.