At a recent conference on Afro-European identity, in amongst the academics and scholars, sat a young man who clearly stood out, a spoken word artist whose crew have been covertly filling YouTube with powerful, unflinching portraits of the South London streets. Hailing from Germany and the Dominican Republic by way of Cairo, Norradean Amorro is a founder and frontman of Canvas Pieces – an audio-visual collective who aim to create potently emotive digital art.
When Norradean first narrated a poem to a filmmaker, his friend Lewis Alexander, Lewis apparently laughed at the idea of men like them doing poetry. “We grew up in South London, which is a really dark street environment,” he says. “It was in that moment that we thought, how can we make this interesting? How can we mould it?” CanvAs Pieces was soon born, and they released their first video, ‘Modern Man’, in 2012. They have since produced over 25 videos, the majority of which feature Norradean dropping verses as well as various other singers, poets and musicians such as Soraya Russell, Dean Atta, and Free D.