Poet Young Flame, Blazin the Biz with Chicago at her Feet

Early spring, I got the chance to attend the Verses and Flow event sponsored by Lexus. Two great things happened that evening. I got to watch crooner Robin Thicke perform his sexy ballads, and I was introduced to a Chicago spoken word artist and her inspirational poetry. Antoinette Houston, aka Young Flame is a young woman with a lot to say about life, love, and her history, and she's uninhibited when she's performing.
What sets Young Flame apart from a traditional spoken word artist who undulates their voice and uses boisterous gestures to animate their perspective, is that Young Flame takes complex topics, and breaks them down to their simplest form, making it stimulating and therapeutic. Her poem, I Don't Wanna Be in Love, I Just Wanna Be In Like reacts to the complicatedness of falling in and out of love, and made me realize things about myself that, well, I hadn't realized before. And another piece of hers, Fantasyis a romantic piece put to a smooth melody, where Young Flame almost sounds like she's flowin.
I got to chance to chat with Young Flame on a lovely afternoon about her inspirations, her roots, and her artistry:
UnRated: When I watched your performance the first thing I thought was "damn this girl is FIRE." Is that how you got your name?
Young Flame: I was doing a show at All Hype City and after I performed someone in the audience said, "hey, that was fire." The definition for me though is more than just a name. I was hoping to spark somebody. I wanna perform for people and have someone say, wow that drove me to do something, or drove me to say something.
UnRated: What I really enjoy about your art is that it's relatable to me as a young black woman. What are some compliments from some unexpected supporters that you can recall?

- Read the full Interview at UnRatedMagazine.com | UnRated Urban Magazine
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