Breaking Old Rhythms: An Interview with Amena Brown


As a poet, spoken word artist and author, Amena Brown’s words excite, ignite and inspire. She and her husband, Matt, also known as DJ Opdiggy, travel and perform a presentation of poetry, monologue and deejaying. In this interview she talks about her debut book release, Breaking Old Rhythms: Answering the Call of a Creative God, how we can better tune our ears and lives to the rhythm of God, and what it’s like to be an outspoken African-American female personality in a predominately white and male evangelical culture. JM: How would you explain spoken word as a creative medium to someone unfamiliar? 

AB: Spoken word is typically free verse poetry written, to be performed, not just to be read. Spoken word sometimes also includes the wordplay of hip-hop and the rhythms of jazz. It is an art that thrives on originality and each poet using his or her unique voice and point of view to tell a story. I like to say if hip-hop and jazz had a poetry baby, it would be spoken word.

JM: How does faith intersect with your art – is it intentional or natural?

AB: Whether or not I write something explicitly about God, my journey of faith always makes it to the page, from writing about music, prayer, relationships or being a nerd growing up. Performing spoken word means bringing your soul and your story to stage, and for me, my faith is at the center of that story.