When your first audition for a film turns into your first lead role and that film goes on to win The Sundance Grand Jury Prize and a Golden Camera at Cannes you seem predestined for the life of a Hollywood Actor. However Saul Williams's journey since his acclaimed debut in Slam has been so much more. Disillusioned with the traditional roles offered to African Americans, he turned his back on Hollywood and focused on poetry, music and independent film.
In case you dont know, Saul Williams is the Architect of Slam Poetry. Over the last 15 years Saul has established himself as a prolific author, musician and actor - a true renaissance man and an inspiration to everyone he meets. I had a chance to sit down with a man (whose name I really love) and talk about his new song/video "FCK THE BELIEFS" and his starring role in the new movie by Senegalese director Alain Gomis, Tey. First, though, the video and the trailer:
The video for "Fck the Beliefs." Every time I hear this man, I feel that I come out the other side a better human:
The new trailer for Tey, coming to U.S. theaters October 2nd. If you had 24 hours to live what would you do?
Sol Guy: Where does your creativity come from?
Saul Williams: I'm inspired by life itself, the root word of inspire is the Latin word spire, which means to fill the mind, heart with grace, to breathe in the magnitude of life as I'm inspired by simple observation, being alert and aware of the things around me. Really just life and paying attention.
Sol Guy: Whats your best memory from filming TEY?
Saul Williams: You know it's crazy because for two months shooting the film on location in Senegal and being in character, I had to always think I was going to die at the end of the day. Every day was my last day for two months, which puts you in a crazy mood.
When we shot the scene where my neighborhood has to wish me goodbye on the morning of my death day, they came out with drums and sang and marched with me. I felt like I was living the African American dream, in that I was being welcomed and celebrated in a real African village. I thought holy fuck I am in a real West African village living breathing dreaming amongst real Africans. It was a true celebration.
Sol Guy: Moving on to your video/song: What does FCK THE BELIEFS mean?
Saul Williams: Well fck the beliefs means fck the police. But essentially what it means is the line that follows in he song which Beliefs are the police of the mind...
A philosopher whose name I dont remember said believe nothing but entertain all possibilities. So fck the beliefs.
Tey will be released in the US on October 2nd. Saul Williams is touring the Northeast right now, check out his tour dates to see him live in the next week.
Previously from Sol Guy: Bono and The Edge Play "Sunday Bloody Sunday" at a Dinner Party
(Photo of Saul Williams and Sol Guy above by Joshua Geyer.)