Karen Gibson Roc is a full-time artist. Emotions, feelings and colors flow from her lips as she does her spoken word and poetry. Her motto is not to die “unfinished,” a slogan all of us should have. We thank her for taking time from her busy schedule to share her life and her vibe with us.
You are a “poetist,” not a rapper. For those who don’t know the difference, would you please explain? And tell us why you do poetry verus rap.
I use poetry and sometimes the rhythm of spoken word performance art to express my art!! A Poetist! Like myself –doesn’t always follow a pattern or tempo like a rapper. We bend the rules a little.
How did you get started with writing poetry and then what led you to recording your work?
I started writing poetry as a way to express my uncomfortable awareness of what life had become for me as a late teen, I didn’t start recording until I had been living in NY for the better part of ten years and after I honed my skills as a spoken word artist at many different open mic venues throughout the city.
Who does your music? Does it come from a variety of sources, or do you have a steady group that works with you?
My music comes from a variety of sources/producers from overseas i.e., Germany, Denmark, Japan, Paris and also from a few producers here in the US.
You use the name “Karen Gibson Roc.” What does the “Roc” mean?
It is my married name.
Because you are an artist, we’re certain that you are going to tell us that your inspiration comes from everywhere – but, could you speak on it a bit please?
My inspiration comes from the spiritual side of life and mostly it stems from the reason I am here in this body and at this time as a soul.
Is there someone that you are emulating as an poetist, artist, vocalist? Where does your vibe come from?
I don’t think there is any one artist that I feel I am emulating albeit I am inspired by a plethora of different characters. My vibe comes from that deep well of creativity that begs to be released…from my heart place.
You’ve done a good deal of work and gained some a lot of publicity. How is it that people find you and your work so interesting? Can you explain it or tell us some of the steps that you’ve taken to accomplish that.
I believe that people find my work interesting for the simple reason of them not being able to nail it down to a genre…I believe people really want something interesting and thought provoking to listen to…something to make them feel!! The steps I’ve taken to get to this point in my career have been challenging at times but I feel I’ve always been up to it as it is very rewarding. I started with small steps like producing my own first project and embracing THE ART OF COMPLETION. After being able to conquer my own fears and insecurities, then put my work out into the world, everything after that flowed after that!
We’d like to talk about sales of music and merchandising. A lot of artists are suffering from lack of music sales because technology allows people to just email mp3s everywhere. We’ve learned that you don’t really make a lot of money from music, but from merchandising and live performances. You’ve created your own products for merchandise: TheRocSacStore, Poetictees.
I make money as an artist from a variety of sources. But as far as music I make a good bulk of it because my music is placed on many, many compilations around the world and I owe that to my Label Lemongrassmusic.
What is your home life like? Do you have children, a significant other? How do they react or flow with the fact that you are an artist and do gigs and tour?
I am married and have been for almost 12 years, my husband has been an amazing source of support through this whole endeavor. I also have a beautiful and amazing little 7 year old daughter that is truly the reason I am here in this life. She brings me joy beyond measure. I haven’t been touring as much since she was born but, look forward to a future of plenty tour dates where she can travel with me. She comes to all of my local shows and to the studio and loves every bit of it or so she tells me.
Take us through a typical day of Karen Gibson. Do you work full-time and then focus on your art? Are you a full-time artist? What is your day like?
I am a full time artist and my days go like this: I get up with my daughter and get her ready for school. Most of the time when her dad is able he takes her to school so I can have my morning quiet moment to drink my coffee. After a walk on the beach I make my fresh veggie juice and sit to begin my day which might entail a lot of email correspondence regarding music stuff…I might work on some new music or write a new poem for a book I am working on….I might start sewing or shopping for fabric and before you know it I am off to pick up my girl from school…we get home and do homework, later we have dinner get ready for bed and start all over again the next day! Summer vacation is different…there is absolutely no schedule. :)
What do you want listeners to take away from listening to your work?
I want listeners to walk away with a full heart when they listen to my music…
Any advice to other people (young and old) who would like to follow your example and start recording their own work?
My advice to anyone wanting to record would be to simply do it !! Talk to people, ask for help, visit a studio and listen to your own heart.
One of your mottos on your shirt is “I refuse to die unfinished.” What does that mean to you? Will there come a time when you are “finished” and what is your ultimate goal?
I love that you included that in this interview because those words really represent what kind of artist I am… When I say “I REFUSE TO DIE UNFINISHED” I mean that I refuse to leave this life without having made an effort to live the life I see for myself…
The only time I will be finished as an artist is when they lay me to rest and I have shed this body! My ultimate goal is to continue this creative revolution I started!!!!
Visit Karen @ http://www.karengibsonroc.com/