Freelancer of the Month - 17th October 2018

Hussain Manawer and Christian Foley

Hussain Manawer:

My name is Hussain Manawer, and I am a poet.

Drawing inspiration from Mike Skinner, JK Rowling, and Tupac Shakur, it was the many nights in Valentine’s Park where I began to perfect my craft. Having been inspired by a school teacher who urged me to enter a poetry competition, fast forward a decade or so and I now travel across the world to deliver raw performances that promise to pack an emotional and inspiring punch.

Carving out a new genre of socially conscious art for the masses, the ‘Original Mummy’s Boy’ has just released his latest body of work entitled ‘Homemade’, a 4 track poetry grief cycle through Universal Music Virgin Emi, to critical praise.

Hussain recently launched the UK’s largest mental health festival in partnership with Twitter UK at Hackney Empire and received an Honorary Fellowship from the prestigious Kings College London for his work in mental health and public sciences.

His poetry has since garnered regular airtime on stations such as BBC Radio 1, 1xtra, Radio 4, 5, 6 and Asian Network.  Hussain has already supported superstar Ellie Goulding at the Royal Albert Hall, iconic Oscar winning actress, Cher, and was requested to curate a one-off poem by London Mayor Sadiq Khan, entitled ‘London’s Legacy’ to celebrate the launch of the first night tube.

Infiltrating the worlds of entertainment, finance and business, to name a few – through his campaign work and poetry, the Ilford based wordsmith is challenging the stigma that exists around the topic of mental health. Hussain previously set a Guinness World Record for the ‘World’s Largest Mental Health Lesson’ and appeared at Global Citizen Live alongside the late Kofi Annan, Emelie Sande, Maya Jama and Professor Green.

With four sold-out London headline shows under his belt, Manawer is now set to perform at London’s legendary music venue, Scala this November – promising the audience an emotional experience they will not forget.

Christian Foley:

My name Christian Foley, and I make it up as I go along. My freestyles have taken me from the school classroom, to Oprah’s Television Networks and PMQ’s at Westminster, from the festival circuit to TED talks and the Premier League.

My improvised performances have been lauded by stars like 50 Cent and creator of Hamilton, Lin Manuel Miranda, have gone viral multiple times and made me a regular on British Television and radio, amassing millions of views. 

On the poetry scene, my night Spoken Word Sundays is known as a hotbed of emerging, underground talent, and I have also been shortlisted for the Jerwood Poetry Prize and Sky Arts as being in the ‘top 20’ promising young artists in the UK.

The lead single from my mixtape ‘The Meaning of a Break’ was selected by Huw Stephens for Radio 1’s Best New Music, while my most recent EP EX was described as “cutting edge, innovative, heartbreaking Hip-Hop” by Urban Vault Magazine. My debut album Excommunication is due in February 2019.

For a day job, I am one of the only few poets in the world selected to complete a ‘Spoken Word Education Programme’ and Teaching MA at Goldsmiths University, an incentive which was created to transform professional poets into specialised facilitators. I work in a number of schools and referral units in East London as a poet in residence, creating anthologies and albums with the children.

Are you a freelancer who is interested in having your work showcased? Email with four images including one protrait of yourself, some samples of your work, and a 150 word bio, and we will contact you if we are interested in publishing your work. 

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