Byron Bay spoken word and hip-hop artist Luka Lesson.
Byron Bay spoken word and hip-hop artist Luka Lesson.

Luka Lesson talks the power of the spoken word

INDEPENDENT local writer, spoken word and hip hop artist Luka Lesson is today releasing his latest book, Antidote.

Alongside the book and a tour, he is also releasing a series of videos and music tracks relating to the publication.

The tour will start at Byron Bay on October 15, and we spoke to Luka Lesson about Antidote ahead of the launch.

What can we expect of your upcoming Byron show?

A fusion of spoken word, poetry, hip hop, world music and singer songwriter music.

Shai Shriki is a beautiful performer, he sings in three or four different languages.

We have collaborated once or twice before and every time people suggested that we should do a whole show together.

He is going to do a set of his music and I am going to do a set of my poetry, and then we'll do a set together.

What is the theme through Antidote and how old is this material?

It is all recent material. It is a book and an album of spoken word. It was inspired by a few different things. One of them was a meeting with (American philosopher) Dr Cornel West, the first African American to obtain a PhD in Philosophy. He was in Australia touring this year and I got to perform with him in Sydney.

I admire how he approaches changing the world in a positive way, without being negative about people that seem to be doing the wrong thing.

He is always walking with love and respect but also speaking really powerfully.

The idea of the book and the album is that the word is the antidote for poisonous times.

Last week we spoke to metal band Parkway Drive and they said that anger is sometimes needed to push for change in the world, do you agree?

I don't belittle rage or anger as an important tool for change, but also I value being able to sit down with people you see as an enemy and be able to talk things through, and also let your actions speak louder than your words.

Why is the book called Antidote?

The ancient Greek word for poison is 'pharmachy' and the word for medicine is 'pharmaco', because inside the poison is where you find the antidote.

The idea is that within the negative there is positive, which is a more poetic way of expressing ying and yang.

Why are you so interested in modern philosophy and poetry?

I was born in Australia but my family is Greek.

I have always been interested in philosophy and learning. I am interested in learning through art and hip hop.


At the Byron Theatre, 69 Jonson St, Byron Bay, with Shai Shriki on Thursday, October 15, 7.30pm. $25