Black Prose

Black Prose

By New Strange

Black Prose is the podcast where Black writers talk amongst themselves. Join journalist Yolanthe Fawehinmi as she interviews some of the best and most talented Black writers of our time — from journalists, and authors to songwriters and rappers — about their careers, top tips and writing rituals. Produced by New Strange.

Episodes

Aniefiok Ekpoudom

Aniefiok Ekpoudom and I really nerded out over our love for the craft of writing. I can’t remember when I first came across the writer and journalist from south London who documents the people, voices and communities of modern Britain. But I do know how his words made me feel. It’s always rich yet delicate. Concise yet fluid. Illuminating yet intimate. In this episode, we speak about how he went about writing his debut book Where We Come From: Rap, Home & Hope in Modern Britain, a writing exercise I was really fascinated by called tracing, pitching your ideas to editors, discovering your niche as a writer, the British dream and why his Guardian interview with The Adenuga’s still means so much to him.  Buy Aniefiok’s new book Where We Come From: Rap, Home & Hope in Modern Britain. Follow Aniefiok on Twitter and Instagram Follow Yolanthe on Twitter and Instagram. Follow Black Prose on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok. Subscribe to the Black Prose Podcast newsletter on Substack. Produced by New Strange. Artwork by Matt Munday. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
07/02/24·1h 6m

Libianca

The Cameroonian-American singer Libianca knows her strengths when it comes to songwriting. It's why her breakout single People went viral on TikTok and changed the trajectory of her life overnight. But before the music therapist – as she likes to call herself – captured hearts around the world, she was already making music that feeds the soul. And with the recent release of her new EP Walk Away, Libianca tells me about her peculiar writing practices, why she allows her intuition to guide her, how she goes about transforming her pain and heartbreak into art and discovering emotional intelligence later on in life.  Listen to Libianca's new EP Walk Away. Follow Libianca on Twitter, TikTok and Instagram. Follow Yolanthe on Twitter and Instagram. Follow Black Prose on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok. Subscribe to the Black Prose Podcast newsletter on Substack. Produced by New Strange. Artwork by Matt Munday. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
03/01/24·32m 58s

Keys the Prince

Rap is poetry for dynamic West London rapper, pianist and producer Keys the Prince. It's how he best articulates where he has come from, how tables have turned for him this year and where he's headed next. But things weren't always like this for Keys, and our conversation touches on some of the obstacles he's faced over the last few years as a musician. From feeling rejected by the industry to falling out of love with music and everything in between. We also spoke about why gratitude and patience are a must, his rekindled relationship with God, Nigerian heritage, the need for story arcs in success stories, what his recent COLORS performance meant to him and how he's managed to cement his carefully curated sound.  Listen to Keys' new EP Pressure On. Listen to Keys' new single E Se. Watch Keys' COLORS performance.  Follow Keys on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok. Follow Yolanthe on Twitter and Instagram. Follow Black Prose on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok. Subscribe to the Black Prose Podcast newsletter on Substack. Produced by New Strange. Artwork by Matt Munday. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
06/12/23·53m 47s

Safiya Sinclair

This conversation with Safiya Sinclair was sublime; it almost left me speechless. She was born and raised in Montego Bay, Jamaica and has written a dazzling new memoir How To Say Babylon, about her family, education and resilience. But she is first and foremost an exquisite poet, who penned and published a poetry collection Cannibal and won a Whiting Writers' Award in 2016. We spoke about her Rastafari upbringing – especially what it was like to be a Rasta girl – why her mother has been pivotal to her writing career, her personal father-daughter story of redemption, the difference between poetry and prose, writing from safe spaces and since she's currently an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Arizona State University, I also asked her about what makes a good piece of writing.  Buy Safiya's new memoir How To Say Babylon. Buy Safiya's poetry collection Cannibal. Follow Safiya on Twitter and Instagram. Follow Yolanthe on Twitter and Instagram. Follow Black Prose on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok. Subscribe to the Black Prose Podcast newsletter on Substack. Produced by New Strange. Artwork by Matt Munday. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
01/11/23·54m 30s

Dorothy Koomson

I'll always be grateful to Dorothy Koomson for joining me on the first-ever live show at the London Podcast Festival this year. Dorothy is celebrating 20 years as a published author and is known as the ‘Queen of the big reveal’. Her emotional thrillers have connected with readers all over the world, so it's no surprise that she was a judge for the 2022 Women’s Prize for fiction, and recently joined the inaugural advisory board for independent publisher and bookseller Jacaranda Books. And Dorothy's 19th book — yes, you read correctly, 19 — Every Smile You Fake, will be out in February 2024. This is a very special episode which happens to coincide with Black History Month, so I hope you enjoy our conversation as much as Dorothy and I did. Pre-order Dorothy's new book Every Smile You Fake. Listen to her podcasts The Happy Author and The Big Reveal. Follow Dorothy on Twitter and Instagram. Follow Yolanthe on Twitter and Instagram. Follow Black Prose on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok. Subscribe to the Black Prose Podcast newsletter on Substack. Produced by New Strange. Artwork by Matt Munday. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
03/10/23·1h 22m

Kelechi Okafor

Kelechi Okafor has a track record of using her imagination to create something out of nothing. The multi-talented actress, orator, Say Your Mind podcast host, and now debut author of a short story collection called Edge of Here: Stories from Near to Now, talks to me about why writing is a spiritual practice, her Ayahuasca experience in Peru, what inspired the sex scenes in her book, why Black women need to write the stories that make them uncomfortable, science fiction, the art of writing short stories, and the publishing industry at large. There were a lot of screams, laughs, and introspection in this episode. I hope you enjoy our conversation as much as I did.  Buy tickets to the Black Prose live show at the London Podcast Festival here. Pre-order Kelechi's new short story collection Edge of Here: Stories from Near to Now. Listen and watch the Say Your Mind Podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or YouTube.  Visit Kelechi's pole dancing studio Kelechnekoff. Follow Kelechi on Twitter and Instagram. Follow Yolanthe on Twitter and Instagram. Follow Black Prose on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok. Subscribe to the Black Prose Podcast newsletter on Substack. Produced by New Strange. Artwork by Matt Munday. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
05/09/23·1h 11m

Ade Onibada

Ade Onibada is a girls girl. She’s frank, has got her wits about her and knows when it's time to advocate for herself. Until recently, the journalist, producer, and host, was an internet culture reporter at BuzzFeed UK. Prior to that, she worked as a news reporter at The Voice, Britain’s only Black national newspaper, where found her feet as a problem-solving journalist.  I think our conversation is a great indication of how bright Ade’s future is and why we need more journalists like her. We spoke about her time at BuzzFeed UK, artificial intelligence, the current state of journalism, writing pet peeves, navigating British newsrooms as a Black woman, what’s next for her, and why it's important to show up and prove yourself worthy. Ade is a breath of fresh air. I see why she calls herself ‘Queen Sunny Ade’ now.  Follow Ade on Twitter and Instagram. Read the stories Ade wrote during her time at BuzzFeed UK. Follow Yolanthe on Twitter and Instagram. Follow Black Prose on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok. Subscribe to the Black Prose Podcast newsletter on Substack. Produced by New Strange. Artwork by Matt Munday. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
02/08/23·1h 14m

Caleb Azumah Nelson

Caleb Azumah Nelson has carved out a lane for himself. He's an author, screenwriter and photographer who burst into the literary world with his debut novel Open Water in 2021, and has since won several awards and released his second book Small Worlds. What I loved the most about our conversation, is how Caleb articulates his creative writing process, love for words, and how music is a key component to making his work sing. But I won't ramble on, and will allow you to make up your own mind about this talented writer. Take at least one thing away from this episode.  Buy Caleb Azumah Nelson's new book Small Worlds. Order the visual accompaniment to the novel Beacon. Buy Caleb Azumah Nelson's debut book Open Waters. Follow Caleb on Twitter and Instagram. Follow Yolanthe on Twitter and Instagram. Follow Black Prose on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok. Subscribe to the Black Prose Podcast newsletter on Substack. Produced by New Strange. Artwork by Matt Munday. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
04/07/23·54m 29s

Abraham Adeyemi

Abraham Adeyemi believes his only limitation is himself. I ask the screenwriter, director, producer and retired playwright about his new short film ‘Chasing The Night’ with Film4, writing his way into new opportunities with his debut award-winning short film ‘No More Wings’, maintaining friendships despite his busy schedule, the creative writing process he swear by, and what kept him motivated when he hit an all-time low. Follow Abraham on Twitter and Instagram. Watch his award-winning short film ‘No More Wings’ on Omeleto. Follow Yolanthe on Twitter and Instagram. Follow Black Prose on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok. Subscribe to the Black Prose Podcast newsletter on Substack. Produced by New Strange. Artwork by Matt Munday. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
06/06/23·1h 3m

Perfect Prose: Tolani Shoneye

Welcome to another episode of Perfect Prose! The new bonus series where I ask guests about their favourite words written by a Black writer. What do you all think of the concept so far? Do you love it or hate it? Either way, I'm really enjoying hearing guests gush over the pieces of writing that have moved and inspired them. Let's keep it one hundred, we don't always take the time to really process what we are reading, watching and even listening to, but I do love how this bonus series is encouraging people to do just that. And Tolani Shoneye picked a good one. Enjoy! Buy Tolani Shoneye's Sunday Times bestselling book Keep the Receipts. Listen to The Receipt's Podcast exclusively on Spotify.  Watch the monologues on Story Story. Follow Tolani Shoneye on Twitter and Instagram. Follow Yolanthe on Twitter and Instagram. Follow Black Prose on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok. Subscribe to the Black Prose Podcast newsletter on Substack. Produced by New Strange. Artwork by Matt Munday. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
16/05/23·8m 1s

Tolani Shoneye

Tolani Shoneye, also known as your girl Tolly T from The Receipts Podcast, has a way with words. It's why she created Story Story in 2020, a platform dedicated to stories about relationships, life and everything in between. Put her in the back of an Uber, and you'll find her telling her driver a new fictional tale about her life's work. Sometimes she nails it, sometimes she doesn't. But it's Tolly's creative charisma that has helped her carve out her own lane as a writer, podcaster and interviewer.  In this episode, we tried to get to the bottom of her imposter syndrome, her love for love, and why she handwrites everything first before typing. It's how she wrote her debut book Keep the Receipts and anything else she does. We also spoke about the impact Black Twitter has on Black writers, navigating grief when you've got writing deadlines, taking feedback and the vivid dream she has for her writing career. We got deep. I hope you enjoy this episode as much as I did.  Buy Tolani Shoneye's Sunday Times bestselling book Keep the Receipts. Listen to The Receipt's Podcast exclusively on Spotify.  Watch the monologues on Story Story. Follow Tolani Shoneye on Twitter and Instagram. Follow Yolanthe on Twitter and Instagram. Follow Black Prose on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok. Subscribe to the Black Prose Podcast newsletter on Substack. Produced by New Strange. Artwork by Matt Munday. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
02/05/23·59m 47s

Perfect Prose: Nathan Bryon

Creative writing allows you to travel without moving your feet. It allows your mind to go to any place it wants to with no restrictions. It's why I geek out when I read, watch or listen to words being brought to life.  So I'm trying this new thing, where I ask every guest if they’ve ever come across a piece of prose that they would consider being absolutely perfect, because I know I'm not the only one who feels this way about writing.  It can be something that gives them that perfect snapshot of life, or a piece of writing that has moved and inspired them. So the lyrics of their favourite song, an extract from a book, a line from a TV, film or play, a poem, even an article, tweet or something they have written themselves — that's if they're brave enough. But the only caveat is: it has to be written by a fellow Black writer.  With that being said, welcome to Perfect Prose, our new bonus series, delving into the art and craft of all types of writing. First up, we have Nathan Bryon. P.S. If you've also been inspired by his choice of prose, let me know using the hashtag #BlackProsePodcast. Let's talk. I'd like to know your reasons. Watch Rye Lane now in cinemas or stream on Hulu. The film will be released on Disney+ in the UK and Ireland on May 3. Pre-order Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola's new picture book Speak Up! now.  Follow Yolanthe on Twitter and Instagram. Follow Black Prose on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok.  Subscribe to the Black Prose Podcast newsletter on Substack. Produced by New Strange. Artwork by Matt Munday. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
18/04/23·10m 42s

Nathan Bryon

Nathan Bryon has a way with words. I think it’s one of the reasons why he’s “laugh out loud” funny. Seriously. I laughed so much during this episode whilst we journeyed through the ups and downs of his colourful writing career. The unofficial mayor of Shepherds Bush — where he grew up — is currently in a congratulatory season. Once his new film Rye Lane — which he co-wrote with friend Tom Melia — hit the big screens, there has been non-stop praise, love and raving reviews. I wonder how he’s currently feeling? Nathan didn’t always have mainstream recognition. But was best known for his role as regular character Jamie is Some Girls and Benidorm’s sunniest holiday maker, Joey Ellis, before he met mentors and friends, who have been his guiding light throughout his writing journey. He has since gone on to become a playwright, screenwriter and author of three picture books published by Penguin Random House.    I must say, Nathan was very generous and, of course, spoke about his new romantic comedy, the co-writing experience, how to write about Black joy, why his audacity and delusion have kept him motivated over the years, his dyslexia being a superpower instead of an excuse, managing his finances as a creative, comedy writing and why no one should stay in their own lane. This episode is full of one-liners, jokes and hard-hitting truths. It's for everyone. Take what you need and then come back again for a second helping. And if you enjoyed it, please let me know using the hashtag #BlackProsePodcast.  Watch Rye Lane now in cinemas or stream on Hulu. The film will be released on Disney+ in the UK and Ireland on May 3. Pre-order Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola's new picture book Speak Up! now.  Follow Nathan Byron on Twitter and Instagram. Follow Yolanthe on Twitter and Instagram. Follow Black Prose on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok.  Subscribe to the Black Prose Podcast newsletter on Substack. Produced by New Strange. Artwork by Matt Munday. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
04/04/23·52m 55s

Jords

This was the perfect time for my old friend Jordan Edwards-Wilks and me to catch up after 12 years. We went to school together and sat next to each other in Religious Studies, where he used to copy my work. I didn't know he could rap, sing or even play an instrument at the time. I just remember him being very intelligent, funny and always up for having a good time. I guess this was one of his best-kept secrets. But over the years, I have watched him — from afar — blossom into his stage name Jords and establish himself as an artist who is vulnerable with his words and sound. In this episode, the Croydon rapper and songwriter thanks British rapper Cadet for his success so far and talks about why meeting Wretch 32 made him get his hair locked, the nuances of the Black music scene, dealing with jealousy in his career, and the new album on the way. Jords won't tell me the name of the album — despite making a few guesses — but has shown me the song list. And I must say, I think we are in for a treat. Follow Jords on Twitter and Instagram. Listen to his music on Spotify and Apple Music.  Check out his organisation called Pickni Uniforms. Listen to his podcast Almost A Conversation on Spotify and Apple. Follow Yolanthe on Twitter and Instagram. Follow Black Prose on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok.  Subscribe to the Black Prose Podcast newsletter on Substack. Produced by New Strange. Artwork by Matt Munday. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
01/03/23·37m 46s

Tobi Rachel Akingbade

When I first slid into Tobi Rachel Akingbade’s DMs in August 2015, she told me two things, right off the bat, that have never left me: don’t be afraid to approach new people and remove the word ‘aspiring’ from my everyday vocabulary. So it was only right to have my mentor as the very first guest on Black Prose. I speak to Tobi about navigating the newsroom as a Black journalist, her new role at Buzzfeed UK, going viral for the wrong reasons, the consequences of the Mel Made Me Do It (#MMMDI) joke she made on Twitter, and how she managed to interview Jennifer Hudson with no voice. She’s pursued Black excellence for all of her career as a journalist and has practically done it all, including interviewing some of our favourite celebrities on the red carpet and writing a story about Chrissy Teigen’s butthole, but now Tobi is ready to give herself the opportunity to be mediocre and get celebrated for it. Follow Tobi on Twitter and Instagram. Listen to her podcast Yellow Cup on Spotify, Apple and Soundcloud. Follow Black Prose on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok.  Follow Yolanthe on Twitter and Instagram. Produced by New Strange. Artwork by Matt Munday. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
01/02/23·55m 13s

Introducing... Black Prose

Join journalist Yolanthe Fawehinmi as she interviews Black writers — across all mediums — about their come-up, lessons learnt and writing rituals. Follow Yolanthe on Instagram and on Twitter. Follow Black Prose on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok. Produced by New Strange. Artwork by Matt Munday. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
20/01/23·27s
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