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Guest DJ: Kate Tempest On The Power Of Words

Kate Tempest.
Courtesy of the artist
Kate Tempest.

London poet, playwright, and hip-hop artist Kate Tempest was Bob Boilen's favorite discovery from the SXSW festival this year. Her gripping performance style and obvious commitment to connecting deeply with her audience led Bob to her stunning 2014 record, Everybody Down, a searing but empathetic character study of three young Londoners.

We asked Tempest to be our guest DJ on this week's episode of All Songs Considered to find out the story behind her stories. Unsurprisingly, the songs by other musicians that she chose to play point feature sharp, contemplative lyrics and artists who have never compromised their work in the name of popularity or commercial success. From a life-changing experience with the rapper RZA to the Dylan that woke her up to the power of words, the music Tempest talks about on our show is all about the ways music can break down walls to communicate directly with whoever's listening.

You can hear the whole interview with the listen link above and read excerpts in our playlist below.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Bob Boilen
In 1988, a determined Bob Boilen started showing up on NPR's doorstep every day, looking for a way to contribute his skills in music and broadcasting to the network. His persistence paid off, and within a few weeks he was hired, on a temporary basis, to work for All Things Considered. Less than a year later, Boilen was directing the show and continued to do so for the next 18 years.