Meet Alayssa Thomas, a.k.a “PoeticallyRaw”, a 23-year-old writer and poetess who is passionate about personal freedom and women’s rights! Originally born in Georgetown, Guyana, PoeticallyRaw’s love for writing flourished from a very young age. She finds it easiest to write about heartbreak and uplifting men and women because of her generation’s desire for lust and lack of love for others and self. Artists like Lauryn Hill, Jasmine Mans and Sista Queen have had a major influence on her writing and perspective thus far.
Aside from writing, Alayssa loves fashion; her style is uniquely her own! She is a recent graduate of South Carolina State University, an HBCU, located in Orangeburg, SC! There, she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. She is driven to serve others through both writing and public service and aspires to be a police officer and author in the future.
I got the chance to talk with PoeticallyRaw about her art; heres what she said:
Who or what inspires your craft?
“When it comes to writing, quiet a few people and things inspire me. My top two people who inspire me to write: Lauryn Hill and Jasmine Mans. When it comes to Lauryn, she was the voice of the people and a top female MC. What made her dope to me was the fact that her content was always very uplifting for both women and men; her style was untouchable. When it comes to Jasmine Mans, I must say her rawness is my inspiration. I remember coming across one of her pieces, “Dear EX Lover”. In the beginning she said, “Your words don’t start to mean anything until you start telling the truth.” I was a senior in high school then. From that point on, I knew that whenever I got on stage and opened my mouth to speak, I wanted it to be nothing but the truth because the truth shall set you free. One thing I’ve learned is that truth is the only safe ground to stand on. Jasmine Mans’ opening to that poem was the game changer for me.”
When did you start writing?
“I began writing at the age of eight. When I started, it was only as a means to feel better; I didn’t know that I would be creating a space for others to run and find comfort in. When I was in 7th or 8th grade, I came across a piece called “Try being a lady” by Sistah Queen; she was one of the featured poets on the show Def Jam Poetry. While watching her, I remember thinking to myself, I can do that. Thats what I’ve been doing this whole time. In that moment, I knew that I would become a spoken word poetess.”
What new projects are you currently working on?
“I don’t currently have any projects that are set in stone, but I am writing everyday. In the near future, I intend to drop an EP! Later on, I’ll publish a book.”
What goal are you ultimately trying to accomplish with your work?
“Honestly, my ultimate goal has been changing since I started. I used to want to be famous for my writing, but now I’ll be satisfied with just using my art to inspire as many as I can. Also, to publish a few books. If I did end up getting paid to do what I love, that would be the happiest moment of my life.”
Any advice for other artists?
“My advice to any artist would be to be true to yourself and your work. Always be honest. As long as you’re true to yourself, the crowd will always love you no matter how far you travel.”
Connect with Alayssa aka PoeticallyRaw!
Instagram: @PoeticallyRaw (Newest work will be posted here!)
Youtube: Poetically Raw
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