Phoenix James is a very busy man. The multi-talented, London-based artist has been working very hard on his acting career in the past months and you can see him in numerous short films, adverts and music videos. I first came across him about three years ago, around the time I arrived in London, when he was focusing on his spoken word career as Phenzwaan. Since then, I’ve been able to witness his growth as an artist and discover his acting talents. It is now a great pleasure for me to feature this interview with him and I want to thank him for taking some of his precious time to answer my questions. Now is the time to get familiar with Phoenix James, aka Phenzwaan…
First of all, in case there are some people out there who don’t know who you are, could you introduce yourself?
I’m Phoenix James also known as Phenzwaan, actor, model, writer, poet, recording artist, author.
You are a very busy man, always working on several different projects at the same time. Is it important for you to make the most of your time and be so active?
Yes, there’s a lot I hope to do and achieve and I’m not sure how much time I have been allocated to accomplish them all. I just have a lot of ambition and big dreams.
You are a multi-talented individual: writer and spoken word artist, model, actor, etc. You seem to always want to explore new territories and express yourself in varied ways. How different or similar are those artistic disciplines? Do you feel some things are expressed best in writing/on screen?
They are different but all similar in terms of connecting with creative energy. There can be different approaches for each but all are interlinked in that way. Some things are expressed better through different ways and mediums at different times but all are art, expression and creativity which I love.
You took on your career as an actor not so long ago but the list of your achievements is already quite impressive and inspiring. What motivates you to keep going? And is it important for you to be some kind of role model for younger generations?
Continue reading after the jump
A lust for and enjoyment of creativity is what motivates me to keep going. If you like something enough and you get a feeling of fulfilment from it, you’ll want to keep doing it. Yes, I think it’s important to have ‘role models’ or people who inspire you in some positive way in life. It’s important to me that I am that to at least somebody as others have been to me and it’s been a very important aspect of my growth and inspiration.
There are many artists around, especially with the explosion of the Internet in the past years and the emergence of social networks, where everyone can express themselves and be seen/heard. What do you think makes you stand out?
I’m often inside my own little world, my own little creative bubble so I actually don’t know if or how much I stand out or why if I do. I just do what I do, say what I feel, speak my mind and do what I find interesting or inspiring or compelling. If I do stand out I’d say it’s because I’m always experimenting and creating and unafraid to try new things and re-invent myself and endure and enjoy those processes and stick to them. A lot of it is energy too I’d say, some people give out and exude a certain energy, I’ve been told I have that and I guess it comes out in whatever I do also.
Speaking of social networks, you are quite present on certain sites and you share a lot with your followers. Do you need this kind of personal exchanges and communication with them and is it important for you to remain ‘accessible’ through this medium?
I discovered my freedom of expression at a very early age through drawing and creative writing and I enjoy what it brings to myself and others. I enjoy sharing my work and what I’m doing with people. It gives to me as much as it gives to them. I enjoy connecting with people in different ways. I don’t think it’s as important for me to remain as accessible as I used to think but I plan to enjoy it while I can and for as long as I can and for as long as I enjoy it.
Are there any projects you are working on and would like to talk about?
I’ve just launched a new multi media website PhoenixJamesOfficial.com which has given me space to bring all my creativity together in one place and share it. It’s more representative and encompassing of a broader spectrum of my talents and creative endeavours whereas my other websites just focused on my writing and music.
You started focusing on your acting career recently, putting your poetry performances and releases on the side for a while, but I have a feeling this may not be a definite situation. Do you plan on sharing your words with the world again in the future?
Definitely, I love writing and I love performing and I love recording. There’s definitely going to be more of that to come. I’ve also just released my Phenzwaan – Now & Forever 41 track poetry & music, spoken word double CD as a completely free download from my new website for both my original die-hard poetry & music fans over the years and people who are more familiar with my modelling/acting work etc but not so much with that side of my creativity and expression before now.
Anything else you would like to add?
A lovely hot tea.
Now that you know a bit more about Phoenix James, I want to share one of the latest short films he appeared on with you, which is one of my favourites among those I’ve seen. It is entitled Love Dog and is co-directed & co-produced by Rohith S. Katbamna & Juan Luis Passarelli. Enjoy!
Also, in case you are not familiar with Phenzwaan and his spoken word career, let me introduce you to one of my favourite tracks, the beautiful Feel.