Shay D, a born and raised Londoner, is arguably known for being an Iranian woman in Hip Hop. Touching on Grime & Spoken word too, she considers herself an artist, designing her own merchandise and curating her own live events. Shay D is independently about to release her second album, toured Europe & the UK, all without label backing or funding, with the support of her fans. Known for her positive & passionate content, empowering women through her music, and fierce delivery of her bars, Shay D is championing the role of a strong woman in Hip Hop.
Passing clouds move, depending on which eye you keep open.
As a little girl, clouds were always solid. A heaven grown ups pointed to when speaking of angels & ancestors.
Glitter scared me.
Some people cross roads when they see Nike hoodies & gold teeth. Me, I clenched at feathers, face paint & tie dye. The different. The wide eyed, smiling too much, questioning the overtly happy.
The first time I really saw Passing Clouds, both eyes were open. The doors to a new galaxy.
Turn freedom fighter through the womb of creativity.
Climb rainbow stairs to perch above a stage that drummed revolution into its guests.
These walls held meditation. Bus drivers, teachers, marketing officers and poets.
These walls hosted protests into the ether. Doctors, youth workers, IT consultants and students.
Music breathes, doesn’t it.
Drums edge your blood through vessels, your heart pounds its thick skin.
I had seen a building get raped. Dressed to sell. Pimped to its highest bidder. London is a brothel.
Drowned into submission by capitalism. This glitter, gagged by gentrification.
Capitalist fists clench you in their grip and squeeze the art out of you. Drip. Drip.
Chapters in the attic, pages of wisdom exchanged, where people danced their commute away. Laughed their loneliness away.
Passing Clouds. You can miss it with both eyes open. If you’re not paying attention.
A haven for the different, the alt left who press ctrl alt delete on the usual, the everyday, the bored out my mind, clinical office, rabbit hutch window.
Sometimes you could smell the spray cans dripping off the wall. An exhibition of brick sonnets. You could hear the fairies light up the space, and bring you a Dalston Cola.
But they came didn’t they. They brought their iron bars. Cornered clouds with admin. They brushed concrete over your gallery.
A place where strangers gathered, washed fruits and shared suppers. Lay plates and cleared crumbs as one.
Documentaries screened, spreading knowledge, scenes and edits projected onto carpets.
Whether you a head nod fan, a dub bass man, a lindy hopper, beatboxer or speak poetry clan.
Virgin words got to kiss the audience for the first time here, on these clouds.
Upcycle, recycle, revival, each one teach one, workshop your community.
Now metal, boards your memories, hoardings drilled into Afrobeat choreography. Tied you down.
Sucked all your vibrancy out didn’t they.
changed your accent now didn’t they.
Shackled your spirit didn’t they.
Passing clouds clear skies for the sun. To kiss the Earth and remind us that everything is real.
A community burst like confetti, a beautiful mess that you will never be able to clean up.
No matter how much you try, a fragment will always shine, reminding you that everything will still be art.