The Lizard Lounge Poetry Jam 20th Anniversary Celebration
Nigerian-American poet, recording artist and TED Fellow, Iyeoka Ivie Okoawo has completed recording her second album, Gold, for US-based label Underground Sun. The new 13-song collection of work is to be released worldwide on July 1, 2016.
The album was recorded in Venice, California over the last year. Key songs include the inspirational Thunder, Hurricane and Akomen of Udomi; a song dedicated to the captured girls in Nigeria. Similar to the last full length effort by the writing & producing team Iyeoka and producer/ songwriter David Franz, the album captures an eclectic mix of afrobeat, pop, jazz, dance and rock. Sinnerman is an ode and nod to the great Nina Simone who also covers the song. Sweet Song features an award winning poem.
Although a resident of Boston MA, Iyeoka spends many months in Hawaii where the core of her band Rock By Funk Tribe call their home base. It was in Hawaii where the hypnotic and melodic songs Who Would Follow and Gold were created and came to life. The album also includes the single Every Second Every Hour which was released in May 2015.
A few of Iyeokas many accolades include recipient of 2010 TED Global Fellow and winner of 2009 Individual World Poetry Slam Champion. 2016 brings her back to TED to host a conference in June. Her family started and runs the Amenawon Foundation to help less fortunate people in her home country of Nigeria. This is a repeating theme in many of her poems and songs.
Iyeoka means I want to be respected in her native Esan language and the artist is the true embodiment of her name. Daughter of Nigerian-born parents who both hold Doctorate degrees from Boston University, Iyeoka was a practicing pharmacist before launching her career as a poet, singer, activist and educator. By channeling her culture and ancestral influences, she delivers an authentic and inspiring message of healing through her expression in the arts.
Iyeoka has toured in support of artists such as Femi Kuti, Zap Mama and Soul Live, as well as played several musical festivals throughout 2014 and 2015 including Cully Jazz Festival, Colours Festival, Afro Pfingsten, and Helsinki Festival to name a few. The buzz surrounding her poetry has also garnered her national attention through performances at the TBS Trumpet Awards, the Sullivan Honors Awards at the Kennedy Center and Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam on HBO.
On February 27, 2003, the City of Boston declared the day Foundation Day. The City of Boston not only honored the group for their musical talent, but also recognized Foundation Movement for their commitment to the community and for making positive changes in a city with a history of violence, racism, segregation, and political corruption. The Foundation Movement has also been honored by the Urban Music Awards with the award for Best Hip Hop Group, the M.I.C. Hip Hop Awards with the award for Performer of the Year, and the Survivors of Violence with a Community Star Award.
Foundation Movement members; Eroc and Optimus are a diverse group of artists with origins from Puerto Rico and Liberia who met in Boston and united to form the group. This cultural fusion, as well as their experiences growing up in Boston, has influenced The Foundation Movement’s music. Not another rap group with watered down lyrics, and messages of misogyny and materialism. They’re committed to addressing issues of injustice and oppression, while also entertaining crowds with hot beats and relevant lyrics.
Foundation Movement has performed at local clubs, open mics, college campuses, high schools, and rallies and protests, for crowds of 30 to 30,000. In the short time the group has been together, Foundation Movement has shared the stage with KRS-One, Rakim, Angela Davis, The Last Poets, Noam Chomsky, X-Clan, Dead Prez, The Coup, C.L. Smooth, Pharoahe Monch, Greg Nice, Michael Franti/Spearhead, Saul Williams, Edo.g, Medusa, Howard Zinn, Wise Intelligent/Poor Righteous Teachers, Soulfege, Lee Wilson, Supernatural, Billy Bragg, Mr. LIF and Amiri Baraka.
The Foundation Movement was the only international group invited to perform with the Cuban Hip-Hop All-stars at the closing of the 9th Annual Hip-Hop Festival and Conference in Cuba for a crowd of over 20,000. Internationally, Foundation Movement has also performed in Canada, Europe, Bahamas, Japan, South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Kenya, Israel and Palestine.
Chosen as Boston’s Best Hip Hop Act in the Improper Bostonian’s Best of Boston Issue, the Foundation Movement continues to be one of Bostons top Hip-Hop acts, with songs crafted with creativity and balance.
Special Guest Poets