novelist discusses the importance of slang in short film

The Lewisham lyricist contextualises contemporary colloquialisms.

by Hattie Collins
23 August 2016, 12:54am

As part of their ongoing celebration of the 400th anniversary of the death of Shakespeare, Selfridges recently invited Novelist to the Shakespeare Refashioned theatre on the lower ground floor for an evening of discussion around slang.

Drawing comparison to the ways in which Shakespeare invented words like 'swagger', Nov talked through current slang, which often originates from rhymers, and pointed out that different parts of London are recognisable by their own terminology. Nicknamed 'Colloquial' as a kid, Nov - joined by his brother, sister, cousins and around 150 young people who applied online for tickets - discussed why slang is both important as a disruptor, a communicator and a source of creation.

After the sixty-minute discussion, Novelist and his DJ Grandmixxer delivered a killer set of classics including Lewisham McD's and 1 Sec.

The evening was also to raise awareness for Nov and New Future London's line, available exclusively at Selfridges. The sweats, hoodies and t-s are adorned with Nov's slang word of choice - 'FAM' and all proceeds of the collab go directly to the south London charity Marsha Phoenix Memorial Trust, which helps homeless young women get back on their feet. "It's a very male dominated scene, and often I find we don't do enough for women," Nov told the audience. Marsha Phoenix is close to Nov's heart - it's where his mum once attended as a younger woman, and later on worked at the centre itself.

To buy Novelist x New Future London merch - or to try and cop the final pieces of the Rejjie Snow x Life's A Beach and James Massiah x Liam Hodges collaborations - head to Selfridges where you can also apply for tickets to the next Shakespeare Recited event on 1 September. Krept & Konan x Astrid Anderson will see the south London duo joined for a Q&A with Apple Music Beats 1's Julie Adenuga, followed by a short performance of classics including DWMT and My Story.


Images: Places + Faces

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