Local Focus w/ Floral Peroxide’s, Alison Paradoxx [INTERVIEW]

Local Focus w/ Floral Peroxide’s, Alison Paradoxx [INTERVIEW]

The Adelaide Fringe season is well and truly here, bombarding us with a wide selection of shows including performances of comedy and cabaret.

However, for you poetryfiends out there, I’ve got you covered as I sat down with Floral Peroxide’s, Alison Paradoxx, to discuss her fringe show centred around performance poetry.

She talks about what inspired her to create this show, the challenges of living with deformity and the cathartic nature of performance poetry.

You can listen to a snapshot of Alison’s interview below.

[ME] How did you first discover poetry and when did you begin writing?

[ALISON PARADOXX] Well, my whole life I’ve always been a writer/reader. As a child, obviously with all the hospitalisation and surgeries, I spent a lot of time on my own. Fortunately for me, I was one of those kids that loved reading and creating stories in my head. So it didn’t bother me that much. And I always wanted to write but you go through life with various things happening to you and you just end up going through various jobs and finding yourself in jobs that you never envisioned as a career.

Eventually, in 2014, I was offered a job with BeyondBlue, and for some reason it didn’t feel right and I couldn’t work out why. I went up to my parents for dinner one night and we were talking about this opportunity and I just burst into tears which is unlike me. And my dad asked, “what’s wrong Al?” and I said, “I don’t think I want to do this job,” and he asked, “well what do you want to do?” and I said, “I just want to write.” And he said “you know what, you’ve always wanted to be a writer, it’s what you feel and you should just do it.” Up until that point I felt that I was letting my parents down and this job was to show them that I could be somebody but then I realised that they didn’t really care about any of that, all they wanted was for me to be happy.

So I started studying at the Adelaide College of the Arts, I was doing a Professional Writing Advanced Diploma, but half way through my second year we got to choose electives and I always thought I would be a dark humour writer and one of the electives was poetry and I thought I don’t know anything about poetry, I don’t understand it, I have no idea what makes a good poem, what makes a bad poem. I never studied any poetry at school, so I thought I want to challenge myself, I want to do this, I’m probably going to completely bomb out, but that’s okay, I just want to learn what this poetry thing is about.

It so happened to be the thing I could do which was really surprising for me. My lecturer at the time prompted me to go to some Open Mics, so I started doing that and I did a couple and the Australian Poetry Slam was coming around, so I thought I’m going to enter a heat just to get the experience, so I entered my heat and I won my heat and I honestly could not believe it, I think I was bawling my eyes out. So I went to the final and won the final and two weeks later I was standing on the stage at the Sydney Opera House just completely beside myself, like how the hell did I get here?!

It was what launched me to go, this is my thing now.

[ME] So who are some artists/poets that have inspired you?

[ALISON PARADOXX] Definitely, David Bowie, hence the [lightning bolt] tattoo on my neck. Huge fan of David Bowie, I consider him a poet, I consider him an all-round artist in every sense. 

And of course, Leonard Cohen, an all-round poet and musician.

Poetry wise, Sylvia Plath, a huge fan of Sylvia Plath obviously because of the familiar territory she crosses in her work and the power she conveys.

Also, with the multimedia approach that I’m taking with my performance art now, people like Laurie Anderson and Alison XYZ and spoken word artists that incorporate electronic music and other elements into their performance work.

[ME] What advice would you give to upcoming artists/poets especially those that are considered ‘disabled’ or ‘broken’ in traditional society?

[ALISON PARADOXX] I would encourage anyone who feels that they have something they want to say, to say it! I would also encourage people in general if they want to get their words out there to go and experience as many types of poetry and spoken word as they can. Writing as much as you can, taking workshops and studying because you can be the greatest performer on a mic but if you don’t know how to write those words it’s always going to come across as a half-performed act. So, there’s always value in learning the boring skills behind poetry.

[ME] Is there anything else you would like to add?

[ALISON PARADOXX] If you are a disabled artist, Access 2 Arts, are just phenomenal, the workshops I’ve done with them and the way that they have supported my work has been incredible. I have learnt so much from them and I think in making this show, I wanted to make a show that was accessible to the deaf and hearing-impaired community because why would you go see spoken word if you couldn’t hear anything, there’s no point. There’s a whole sector of the community being cut out here, so I wanted to do a show that had either AUSLAN or video captions. We had video captions in the end. 

And as always, if you liked this post or have any feedback for me, I’d love to hear from you.

Mariah Carey’s New Album”Caution” is All You Want this Christmas!

Mariah Carey’s New Album”Caution” is All You Want this Christmas!

If you’re a fan of MC’s previous albums such as Butterfly, The Emancipation of Mimi and Me I am Mariah. The Elusive Chanteuse, then it’s highly likely that you’ll love Caution too!

In terms of production value, lyrics and the number of tracks, I feel Caution does really pack the whole punch! Personally, I found it highly nostalgic, sweet and somewhat light hearted (which I think is what we need, especially during this time of year).

And seriously I couldn’t get enough of the instrumentals.

(And I know I usually don’t do reviews on singers, but I just had to for this one).

Anyways, as always, I will give a brief analysis of each song and highlight my favourite lyrics too!

So let’s get to it!

Personal Favourites: The Distance (feat. Ty Dolla $ign), Caution, Giving Me Life (feat. Slick Rick and Blood Orange) and Portrait

1. GTFO

One of the first promotional tracks off of Caution, “GTFO”, co-produced by Nineteen85 who has also produced Drake’s “Hold On Where Going Home” and “Too Much”, is just one of those tracks that you blast with your girls/guys on a night out to forget about your significant other!

Lyrics are pretty self-explanatory, however I do admire the first verse where she is able to seamlessly rhyme “Caymus bottle” which is a brand of Californian wine with “martyr.”


Might as well down this Caymus bottle
I ain’t the type to play the martyr

2. With You

Another promotional track, With You, produced by DJ Mustard, is highly reminiscent and nostalgic. I particularly admire how she rhymes “trepidation” and “nation” in the first verse.

So they both held tight to face it
There were vows, she was bound to take ’em
She was full of such trepidation
There in front of the whole damn nation

Carey also references how her partner had been loving her since her collaboration with Bone Thugs-N-Harmony on “Breakdown” off her 1997 album Butterfly. Another one of my favourite tracks and a must listen if you haven’t heard this song already.

He said, “Yo, I’ve been lovin’ you so long
Ever since that Bone Thugs song
You ain’t gotta break down, you’re too strong”

3. Caution

Co-produced by No ID, “Caution” is smooth, mellow and calming with an addictive backing electric guitar riff.

As the title suggests, this track inspired the name of this album and according to Mariah Carey’s Twitter, this song was the last one she wrote for the album.

4. A No No

Sampling Lil Kim’s “Crush on You (remix)”, “A No No” is a funky, slightly humorous and upbeat track co-produced by Shea Taylor, who has also produced Frank Ocean’s “Thinkin Bout You” and Beyonce’s “Countdown.”

My favourite lyrics from this track has to be Mariah’s outro where she is saying no to becoming reacquainted with her supposed ex-partner in different languages including Portuguese “não” and Japanese “iie.”

Parlez-vous français? I said no
Lemme translate it, I said no
I can say it in Español
No
(No no no no)
Portuguese for you não
Japanese for you (iie)

5. The Distance (feat. Ty Dolla $ign)

Who knew Ty Dolla $ign and Mariah would make such a good combo?!!

Another calming and invigorating track co-produced by Skrillex, Poo Bear and Lido where Mariah reminds us of the power of love.

My favourite lyrics have to be from the second verse where she sort of sings quite fast, mimicking a rapping style.

There was no good, having hands out
Trying to diminish me
Boy we stayed up, camping out crowds
In spite of them difficulties
But they can’t, but they can’t, but they can’t
Take away them precious memories (Yeah)
And I won’t, and I won’t, and I won’t
Let ’em come between you and me

6. Giving Me Life (feat. Slick Rick and Blood Orange)

“Giving me Life” is the longest track off the album but this roughly 6-minute song is one of the highlights (in my opinion). Chilled and leisurely, Mariah reminisces on the simplicities of teenage love when she was “seventeen.”

My favourite lyrics are from the first verse where Mariah emphasises the simple yet ultimate indulgence of being able to talk with her partner and fix their “minds on another tangent.”

If you’re so inclined, let’s take a ride tonight
So, then maybe if the stars align
We’ll fix our minds on another tangent
And it’s kinda like impossible to top this at all

7. One Mo’ Gen

Pretty self- explanatory. Fun fact “One Mo’ Gen” is short for One More Again.

8. 8th Grade

An upbeat, pop slow jam co-produced by Timbaland.  Mariah reflects on her romantic feelings as an adolescent.

I personally love how she is able to incorporate the word “ambivalent” in the second verse.

I’m a confirmation, should you feel unsure
I’m that security when you’re insecure
I’ll be that baby girl when you’re immature
Don’t be ambivalent towards me

9. Stay Long Love You (feat. Gunna)

A low key, smooth bop co-produced by The Stereotypes. This one is going to blow up soon enough!

10. Portrait

A clear message, piano and vocals, “Portrait” is definitely gonna hit you in the feels. Mariah delves into her personal life and tells us that despite being “desensitized” by everything she has endured in both her musical career and personal life, she is still that “same hopeful child.”

Somewhat desensitized
Still the same hopeful child
Haunted by those severed ties
Pushing past the parasites
Down but not demoralized

A great way to end the album in my opinion!

That’s a wrap for 2018!

As always, if you liked this post, I would love to hear from you!