We had the good fortune of connecting with Empress Axa and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Empress, what do you attribute your success to?
The most important factor behind my success as a brand is becoming a student of the craft. Many nights have been spent rolling archived poetry online. Any gems passed down from the greats have been devoured, whole. A poet by definition is one who studies poetry.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
All of all the other poets in DFW, “Empress came to Impress”. If the audience isn’t interested in what I have to say, they can look forward to being entranced by a drum, or enchanted by the latest fashionable outfits. I am most proud of being known as a “feel good” wordsmith. An activist for love and hope, instead of the opposite of happy kind of poet. Becoming nearly full time performance poet, interim host, model and vendor, took several years hours after-work man hours. Just as in any other industries, newcomers must pay dues. One must prove definitively that they are about this poetry life. Composing such intricate verbal portraits demands research, rehearsal, memorization, lots of naps, theatrics, politics, late nights, proper nutrition and a novice set of writing skills. Becoming performance poet, interim host, model and vendor, takes as many man hours as any level of elite performance.

The challenges have been conquered through the sheer strength of willpower. Challenges are for champions, arising only to prove to the welder what he/she indeed does possess. Although, immensely empowering with a lasting impact, these poems are dually for entertainment purposes also. Jokingly, an alternative goal is to become the “Diana Ross of Poetry”. If audiences don’t like what there is to be said, “Just come see which wardrobe assemble I have on.”

If you think you like me now, wait until I get better. As an artist, growth is a quintessential component of artist development. There is a difference between an artist and an entertainer: I’m both. Look forward to pioneering paths for the youth to follow in the spirit of excellence.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Saturday night, boom. Nature Center: Cedar Hill, 8 am, two mile trail. Sunday: grab a bite at Ubuntu Market, take some pictures in front of the Nipsey Hussle mural and participate Drum Circle with Leo Hassan at the Pan-African Connection, Glendale. Monday, riding trolls, eating street tacos and turtle waffle cone ice cream from food trucks at Kylde Warren Park. Possibly play a little chess or another one of the various other board games available. Why not head across the street to the Dallas Museum of Art for the latest travelling exhibit. Late Night Monday, as a DFW poet, it is a must he be introduced to peer and host, T.Y.C., at the Inclusive Open Mic, Arlington. Tuesday: hot cocoa at The Spin Coffee Shop & Viynl. Swing by the Half Price Books in North Dallas. Maybe go to Ollies for pens and pads. Definitely, headed to Dock’s Bookshop to see which multi print fashion statements are being made available to me but mostly for the weekly open mic. Wednesday, there is no sense in not seeing the sights. We ride through the entire city and head out to Top’s Cafe in Carrolton. The French toast is always served with the freshest of strawberries. Thursday we will be rehearsing for Friday night’s finale only if there are no open mics. Even then we are liable to catch some live streamed open mics from Detroit or California. Friday is the finale. Which means shopping at Ngozi’s, spa date at the King Spa, wings from Freeky Wings and much of the day spent in preparation. Finally, on Friday, we will end up at the Wild Detective with host Verb Kulture.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Thank The Lord, God, who sends the message(s) and blessed the messager. Special thanks, Paula Jones, for picking me up and driving me to my three open mics. Thank you, Brenda Randall, for being a pioneer, mentor and promoter. Thank you to that man and his loved ones, there is no way any of my dream could have been realized without your support. Thank you ancestor, Mother Maya Angelou, you’ve given freely your truths, that we all might stand the change of becoming free (signed your uncaged songbird).

Website: https://sites.google.com/view/imperialexpressway/home

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/empress.thepoet?igsh=MTF5NnoydDJ2YnhhZg==

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Axa.Expressways?mibextid=ZbWKwL

Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/@empressaxaassata4574

Other: email: empressaxa@gmail.com Follow me on cashapp @ empressaxa4

Image Credits
Eliyon Brackeen Floral print one piece suit photo: Jerry Russell

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