Spoken word artist whose ink speaks loud about Christ, mental health, and life shares about his art and what influences him to be Loud-Ink. Mkhokheli Dlamini is a 25-year-old writer and spoken word artist, “I have always loved words and my passion for them grew, I realized that written text was not going to have the reach that the spoken word has the potential to. This was further encouraged by friends of mine who had the same convictions to work together in a group called Think Ink,” noted Loud-Ink.

…music is a form of art, so it has to be enjoyed; but in the same breath, we need to be responsible enough to give content that will potentially be impactful…

Loud-Ink

His work is honest, he mostly writes and speaks on his own experiences in the Christian journey, and “the words always speak to me before making any impact on anyone else,” explained Mkhokheli. He writes but also does a bit of graphic designing and social media management now and again. “What I love about art is that it can never really be confined or restricted. So that fluidity allows hip hop to resemble poetry performance and vice versa. But considering typical expectations, spoken word poetry requires more intentional articulation as it is dense with compressed content and hip hop allows the artist to flow and not lose the audience,” observed Loud-Ink.

In 2019 we saw the launch of the WBTL tour which is the brainchild of spoken word artist Lynda Cebekhulu. “He roped in Africa, Rembu, Cris, and I into the project which was mainly purposed to spread gospel poetry in different Christian denominations across Johannesburg. By God’s grace, we successfully did and completed the tour in 2019,” shares Mkhokheli, “there were plans for a sequel tour but unfortunately, the pandemic hit and is still at it. We await its end and try to see what content we can craft in the meantime.” He would also like to work with Siphokazi Jonas, Lindelani Mkhize, and Kelitah, ” I admire the work and words of Siphokazi Jonas, she is an amazing writer and creator of art… I also have immense respect for what Bab’ Lindelani Mkhize does and would love to learn to bring the same resilience and prowess into my craft.

Kelitah creates amazing music and I’d definitely love to collaborate with her sometime.” Loud Ink has performed sharing stages with various artists it is no wonder that his highlight is a collaborative performance with a friend at church, “I utterly enjoyed the experience because it was my first ever performance with a musician.” He believes that Rap and poetry are inseparable as rap itself is an abbreviation of Rhythm and Poetry and they definitely go hand in hand. “We cannot avoid the fact that music is a form of art, so it has to be enjoyed; but in the same breath, we need to be responsible enough to give content that will potentially be impactful,” he esteemed.

“The art of taking nudes of the heart requires eloquence in the love language of vulnerability”

Loud-Ink (quoted from INK ON EVERYTHING blog)

“CHH is honestly not my forte. But I have been seeing the amazing work that is done by Adriaan Jacobs and am excited to see him excel,” Loud Ink said when suggesting a SACHH artist we should be on the lookout for. His favorite spoken-word piece is Africa’s “Letter to my Ex husband” He is inspired by previously mentioned Siphokazi Jonas, “I also love the sheer truthfulness in Hope Netshivhambe’s writings,” shared Loud Ink. Which is no surprise that Truth; does the performer believe what they are speaking/ singing/ rapping? Quality; did they respect the audience enough to harness the craft and truly give their best? – Content and context; is the performance or choice of item relevant for the setting? are three things the artist looks for in a live performance.

“I think I have said the word “truth” too many times already, but I’ll say it one more time. It is important that we be truthful in the message we send out through our craft. “Christian art” is not for everyone and we need to be willing to produce it diligently even if it is for one person,” encouraged Mkhokheli. Loud-Ink is a young artist who has not hidden the battles that a young believer can face creating spaces for truthful and honest conversations for all who may be struggling with love, mental health, and daily life. Find these spaces in his work on social media @loud_inkd and visit his blog INK ON EVERYTHING. Better watch out for this poetic pioneer in the making.

SACHH raises the flag and raises the bars.