086 Ay Ra

With two essential books … one is her personal poetry book

Name: AY RA

Location: SNOWDONIA

Mission: TO CONSISTENTLY INSPIRE AND TO CONSISTENTLY BE INSPIRED

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One of the festival photos of me and Ay Ra

It was back in 2010 that I first met Ay Ra. We’ve stayed in contact over Facebook and have bumped into each other at various festivals over the years. I had a quick catch up with her online and she told me she’d started promoting herself so I offered to help with a Spiralling feature.

Ay Ra is a spoken word poet and she also DJ’s and is currently collaborating on various musical projects with different artists. “Some of this started to kick off whilst bimbling around Glastonbury festival in 2013. I was as high as a kite and started to freestyle for a laugh! I got a right buzz out of it, so carried on with the shenanigans for the whole festival.” About a year later, she was writing spoken word poetry and MCing on mics at various parties and festivals and on the Dub Revolution radio show. “I’m really grateful to Dub Revolution for being so supportive and encouraging. I think that what they do is fantastic. Big ups!” 

Jamming with Dub Revolution in Bristol

Life in general provides Ay Ra with inspiration. “I get it from all sorts of different sources. I love it when people are fearlessly outspoken, especially when it comes to really important stuff. This is why I have such respect for people like David Icke and Akala. I like to have positive role models in my life as well such as the shaman and healers that I know, as well as a really powerful healer called Howard Wills, who’s based in Hawaii. People who are living most of their lives from their hearts are excellent role models for me. Musically and poetically, there are a lot of different inspirations including Dizraeli, Dessert Dwellers, Temple Step Project, Kalya Scintilla, Lauryn Hill, Rising Appalachia, KP Kev the Poet, Mr Lif, Ayla Nereo, Rainbow Ninjah, and Kate Tempest, and these people inspire me in a whole host of different ways.” 

One of the hardest things for Ay Ra was overcoming addiction. “I started developing addictions in childhood, as a way of dealing with certain traumas. I grew up in a very dysfunctional atmosphere. It wasn’t until I was 28 that I realised that I had major issues with addiction. It was getting to one of my lowest points in life that gave me the motivation to start climbing up and out of the black whole that I had landed in. I started seeing a psychotherapist which helped me get unhooked from an abusive relationship, and I’ve been doing inner work since then. It has been a very intense journey and has been super rewarding, especially since there were moments when I felt scared that I would be an addict for the rest of my life. I now feel unhooked from all addiction and also other neuroses and it’s amazing. I feel so liberated and I find intensity of emotion to also be a very inspiring thing. I wrote a rap about a guy who becomes trapped by addiction because of his dysfunctional upbringing.” 

For Ay Ra, writing is a very natural process. “I love it! I get such an awesome buzz from writing poetry. It’s an even bigger bonus when I get positive feedback on the rhymes, especially when people tell me that they can relate to them. The same goes with MCing; I love writing raps, and I love free-styling as well. It’s one of the best feelings in the world. Writing has helped me to process some very painful things, and helped get me through some very challenging times. For me, being creative is an essential part of life. Writing can be so cathartic and therapeutic. MCing can be super joyful and fun. I also feel a strong drive to get certain information out into the public domain. Music and poetry is a very powerful way of doing that.” 

At Triplicity festival in 2014

One of the proudest moments for Ay Ra was when she spoke from the heart and told her last job where to stick it! “I had been the victim of work place bullying. This was all going on whilst I had some extremely dark family stuff to deal with as well. When I went into work’s head quarters, there was one person there that was deliberately making fun out of me. So I read out a statement which detailed what had been going on and then told these people to f*ck off. This was all in front of my dad, whilst sat on a filing cabinet. It was like something out of a film and was very amusing! It seemed that nobody knew what to say in return, and people stayed quiet. Maybe they were not expecting me to stand up for myself in such a truthful and fearless way. I could have used less abusive language but it felt so empowering to take action like this. I feel that speaking from a place of truth is extremely important, especially when people are trying to bring you down and humiliate you in front of others. Some people would rather take their emotional pain out on others than tackle themselves. I’ve talked about this in some of my poems.”

Short term plans for Ay Ra include continuing to work with different artists, and to keep sharing the poetry that she produces online. “As well as this, I’d like to keep introducing the rhymes into DJ sets. I did this for the first time at Surplus festival this July and it felt great. I’m also keen to find certain events to attend within North Wales and the North West of England. I’ve heard of some things going on in Bangor and Chester. There are also travel plans in the pipe line, including a trip to Indonesia in September. I love the idea of eventually working with artists from all over the world and then hopefully having an album made one day.”

Contact details:

eira.gwil@gmx.com 

Ay Ra’s Youtube Channel 

https://www.facebook.com/ayra.rhymes 

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