I’ve performed at a broad spectrum of events over the past 10 years, from the United Nations and TEDx to music festivals and private parties, with plenty of conferences and exhibitions in between. I tailor performances to fit the theme and vibe of each event, and thoroughly enjoy this process as an opportunity to marry my passions for curation and storytelling. I live to perform, and I’m truly grateful for the varied opportunities that arise from being able to resonate with a wide range of audiences. The inverse K philosophy is all about the bigger picture, and I always aim to focus on this in my work and performances.
I perform both with and without backing music, depending on the vibe of the event. While much of what I write can be considered rap, rap is just a style of poetry, like a sonnet or a haiku. Pieces written as raps can easily be delivered as spoken word — either a cappella, or over ambient music. And of course rapping over a beat has its merits. It really just comes down to what makes sense for the event, very much including who’s in the audience and how we’d like to connect with them.
A music-only set will still include some elements of a talk — in that the best experiences use the space around songs to string together a larger, more meaningful narrative — but will of course be focused on the music.
10 Min Set
Performance of 2–3 songs
20 Min Set
Performance of 5–6 songs
30+ Min Set
At this point, I see more value in creating more space for dialog between songs. Check out the next section for more details.
This option brings the interstitial dialog of a standard music set into a more pronounced light. At minimum, I can add a 5-minute Lightning Talk to my 10-minute Music Set to offer an interplay between edutainment and more standard talks traditionally found at conferences. I can of course increase the length of Music or Talks (or both) to create an extended set, wherein the talk and songs supply narrative momentum to each other.
A Talk + Music set adds more emphasis to the talk side of things, while also benefiting from the more engaging and creative side of musical storytelling.
Yes, I’m a performer — but I’m also an engineer and creative technologist, entrepreneur, community builder, and human — so I can also just talk about some of these ideas too. There are of course merits to both approaches, and I’m happy to explore this one if a performance wouldn’t fit well with your event. (But I’m probably gonna talk you into sharing at least one verse. It just makes sense!)
What better way to wrap things up than with a versified recap of the day(s) events?
This custom piece is composed on site by taking notes and writing throughout the day, completing the rap in time to perform it at the close of the event. Attendees — and of course speakers — delight in the relevance of such pieces, which artistically and also meaningfully summarize the day. Rap Ups allow everyone to further appreciate insights received and connections made, providing additional momentum on their journeys to improve our shared world.
As much as an event can benefit from an engaging performance (or even talk), the energy of the entire event is highly dependent on the person keeping the audience interested throughout by weaving together a larger narrative. We’ve all experienced our fair share of lackluster hosts or MCs — some awkward, some uninformed, some a combination of both and then some. The main issue I have with most MCs is a lack of authenticity, which ultimately gets in the way of succeeding in their role.
As a performer and extreme extrovert, I’m as comfortable on a stage as I am in a living room. Pairing that with my enthusiasm for storytelling and technology results in an MC that, frankly, just works. I’m someone who lives for conversation, from focusing into the details of a specific topic to exploring big-picture influence from a systems level.
MCing of course extends to moderation for appropriate topics.
Once you successfully freestyle about a blockchain startup (that you learned about just fifteen minutes earlier) while rapping at a party on a boat (that’s violently swaying back and forth, literally knocking people over) — getting up in front of a group of people to describe a concept in standard English is a pretty straightforward affair.
And even if you never do this (it’s a pretty niche situation), there are plenty of ways to become a better public speaker. One of them is this workshop!
From preparation of your narrative (even down to the clothing you choose for your big day), to eye contact, body language, elocution, cadence, pacing, etc — there are a lot of things you can focus on to improve the reception of your spoken ideas. And this long list of tips and techniques can become overwhelming if you’re trying to figure it out on your own.
But you don’t have to, because I’m excited to guide you through the process ✊
Many business professionals have been exposed to the power of improv. But when it comes to a type of improve known as freestyling? Not so much. We can change that.
Freestyling isn’t about creating a polished, structured, coherent narrative on the fly. This can sometimes happen, but it’s not the point. The point is just to be free — which, neuroscience tells us, comes from temporarily disabling the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for self-editing. Freestyling is about overcoming the incessant voice in our heads that hinders our creativity by telling us that what we want to say isn’t good enough. When applied to rap, freestyling is about verbalizing whatever comes to mind, and just going along for the ride.
Through this workshop, I offer strategies for overcoming shyness and inhibition to enter a Flow State (a growing area of psychological study), tapping into the endless well of creativity each person holds within them.
We start with rudimentary techniques and build up to an interactive cypher (group freestyle circle). Participants leave inspired and amazed that they too contain the ability to create verse on the fly.
I can’t imagine life without the emotional, creative outlet of writing lyrics. From copywriters to engineers, learning this practice helps lubricate the channels of creativity. Plus it’s a ton of fun! Who doesn’t love being able to go home with a rap that they wrote by themselves?
What use is a rap you’ve written if you can’t deliver it?! (Obviously we don’t have to answer that…)
Learning to rap is attainable for everyone that can already speak — it’s just a matter of learning the basics and working up to more intricate techniques.
It’s of course natural to pair this up with a Lyric Writing Workshop, but I keep them separate since some people already write bars and want to learn how to deliver them better.
Or they just wanna be able to perform Forgot About Dre at karaoke. I don’t judge.