TWO ELEVEN GIRLS

211 Meets JAMES MÆSSIAH

TWO ELEVEN GIRLS
211 Meets JAMES MÆSSIAH
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We had the chance to catch a vibe and quick chat with James Massiah, Poet, Producer and DJ at his forthrightly NTS residency 'THE POÆTRY SHOW'

What does masculinity mean to you, if anything?

That which is perceived to be masculine or male, relative to the perspective of the speaker in question.

We know you began your poetry journey within the church, what made you move away from the Christianity?

I was taught to understand things for myself, biblically and otherwise, so that when "The Last Days" came and we were to be tested for our faith we would not be found wanting. In this process, I decided to test the scriptures themselves, as well as my pastors and elders in the church. Separate from their individual hypocrisy I found the Bible itself to be a den of hypocrisy and contradiction, accusations that we levelled at our opponents in faith. After discovering a website called Skeptics Annotated Dot Com and getting tied up in the clash between Genesis 22:1 and James 1:13-15, I decided that this book could not have been written by an almighty and infallible God, especially considering I'd never witnessed anything supernatural or at least, anything that could be explained by science. The few things that couldn't, were no more explicable by way of religion, Christianity, Islam or otherwise; so I became an atheist.

What are your beliefs now?

I believe in that which makes sense to me and my logic. As such, I don't believe in morals or universal ethics. I believe in science. I've combined a few philosophical theories to create my own school of thought, Amoral Egoism (Æ),  a fusion of moral nihilism, psychological egoism and causal determinism. I'm a naturalist and in many ways a Stoic, in some ways and Satanist and in other ways an Objectivist. The only thing I could say I definitely believe in for a certainty is myself and my own solipsistic sense of my own existence 

How important is London in your poetry and creative process?

I'd say London was very important, in many ways for me. I enjoy talking about place in my writing and many of the places that my writing takes place, that my readings take place and even the events that I refer to in my writing are in and around London.  The people here, the nightlife, the performance venues, the underworld, it's all part of my story and a great source of inspiration for the stories that I tell

What have you got planned for 2018?

I'll be releasing a book of poems called Euthanasia Party/Twenty Seven, the audio for which is already available to listen to, and hope to give readings of the poems at a few venues around the country. I'll also be continuing the Poetry Sessions series, with producers, DJs and writers collaborating in live jams, as well as introducing the new Practice Sessions series, intended to give a space for writers to try ideas and hone their skills 

Catch James Massiah Euthanasia Party/Twenty Seven book launch tomorrow at Waterstones Tottenham Court Road.

Photography: Sofia Farnesi

Interview: Safiya Yekwai