Christmas rapping

Graham, AKA, Standfast Goddard, is a spoken word performer from east London.

He put his first lines together for a talent show at a hostel he was staying in while travelling in Australia, the buzz caught him and he kept on writing.

Graham says it’s the rush of being on stage that keeps him coming back for more — the inevitable nerves, voluntary pressure and adrenalin.

“If you were a fly on the wall in my house leading up to a performance or whilst I’m writing – you would probably think I was going slightly mad,” he says.

“I don’t like reading from a book or piece of paper on stage, I like to learn it off by heart and tend to go over things again and again and again – sometimes helped along by the odd beer or an abundance of coffee.

Gritty-pretty London

“The writing process usually ends up with me pacing up and down the room whilst reciting the words and working on the timing and pace of the delivery.”

He says you never know when inspiration will strike, so he’s always ready to jot down a thought or a line before it escapes.

“I can’t sit down and say, ‘I’m going to write something’. I see a situation or hear a conversation while I’m out and about then either jot it down on a scrap of paper, beer mat, old receipt or type it into my phone.

“Whether it’s two or three lines or a couple of words, I then build around that, I find the more I specifically think about writing something, the longer it takes.”

As for what inspires him, it’s the quirky scenes he comes across everyday – a conversation over-heard at a bus stop, an awkward situation, or just the gritty-pretty life of east London.

For example, he says: “I heard a fantastic snippet of a conversation the other week between two middle-aged ladies.

“As they walked past I caught one of them saying: ‘Did I tell you, I went round my blokes house and in the living room he had a picture of the queen, a picture of me and a picture of Hitler on the wall and I said I don’t mind her, but you can take him down straight away’ – It brought a smile to my face.”

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