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  • Writer's pictureHIDEOUS Magazine

WE OUT HERE: In Conversation With... ARLIWORLD

Words by Angelika May

Photography by Anya Rose

Arliworld stands as an intricate musical collective, comprised of a plethora of multifaceted artists that individually and collectively have curated a unique sonic landscape, topped by spitting powerful statements that capture the intersectional grievances between our identity and our society.

Led by Birmingham-born, London-based MC Sian Arli, the collective is comprised of fellow artists and friends, Miamusa, Kyleacab, Izeforshort, Basura, Smoked Poets and Sadqueersclub. Their collective pursuit revolves around a single agenda: to instigate transformative change. Arliworld has described their practice as one that is “deeply healing and joyful, particularly in the face of the rampant individuality we're forced to endure as the norm under capitalism.” Sonically, Arliworld is a vibrant mix of Sian’s exposure to the Pentecostal church, her consequent teenage years making Grime and a deep affection for sample-based Hip-Hop, electronic music and reggae.

In the aftermath of their performance, the community spirit was palpable, as friends and family jostled to be the first to congratulate and embrace each member. For a brief moment, I managed to drag Alriworld away from this affectionate congregation to engage in a more in-depth conversation about their collective.

As such a large collective, how you do delegate your roles in Arliworld?

Sian Arli - Mia and began working with each other after meeting on a production course over the pandemic. Usually, it’s the two of us that will do a session together, or I will make the beats. After that, we work with Kyle, who plays a million different instruments to build it up. I work with Smoked Poets as a producer, she is also the MC. Izeforshort is also a producer and he taught me how to produce, and laid out a couple of beats that you heard today.

How does it feel to be chosen as one of Giles Peterson’s “future bubblers”?

SA - I was gassed. I used to love his show on BBC Radio 6. I found bare artists that I love through that show. I’m not going to lie tho, I’ve not met him, I ain’t seen him, I ain’t met him, I would love to meet him! Yo, Giles shout me, man!

Smoked Poets, you MC’d today with Arliworld. Tell me more about the spoken word you performed.

Smoked Poets - It’s not spoken word, it’s “street poetry”, which is very different to spoken word. Spoken word is just a style, street poetry has its own historical roots. It comes from Native Tongue Collective, which is a space between Hip-Hop and poetry. I know Arli from various political campaigning, we also do art and resistance, when we met we knew that we had the same goal to create counter-culture, we started doing music together when I called her up one day and said I needed a fifteen-minute beat -

SA - It was half an hour! The night before your gig!

SP - I was coming back from Berlin to do a gig. I’m not Mariah Carey…I just act like it. I wanted something new for Deportations and Alri made it in a day, after that, we did an improvised set which the crowd loved.

SA - We also have a separate project called Smoked World that’s quite different to Arliworld.

How did you get involved in street poetry?

SP - I’ve been writing since I was thirteen like most young people do when they can’t express themselves in other ways. I was dealing with a lot of issues surrounding gender and religion, so I started to write. I met a collective of rappers, singers and producers from East London in Walthamstow called, Four Eye Two Eye, which means “for intent to inspire”. They’re all incredibly young, around the age of sixteen, but that’s how I got to know Wu-Tang Clang and Native Tongue Collective and learnt how to flow. Years later I met Palestinian producers and they were the ones who first got me to spit and record.

What upcoming projects do you have that people should be excited about?

MIAMUSA - Soon, we’re going to be releasing an EP with all the tunes we have been performing for a year and a half.

SA - Smoked World's “The Sellers Gets Sold” is coming out. Izeforshort is also dropping some shit.


SA - Endure, which is the tune that we made together. It’s another one that has been in the archives for three and a half years. We wanted to perform it today but it got cut short, unfortunately.

What’s your usual stomping ground?

MM - Usually London, but we are from Brum so we want to do some more shows there.

Do you have a favourite London venue for performing, or watching gigs?

SA - Matchstick pie house, I fuck with South East man, the vibe is different there. I would say that that is the best crowd that I’ve performed to. The ICA has got some sick shit in there, EARTH in Dalston, Fox and Firkin in Lewisham, The Shacklewell Arms, and Moth Club. I really miss the DIY Space.

BASURA - The Moth.

MM - Jazz Cafe.

SP - The Post Bar in Tottenham. I mean sadly most of the venues that we would have performed at don't exist anymore, so we are trying to find a space that suits us. Then again, you don’t find a space, you have to fight for space when it comes to counter-culture. We will be anywhere and everywhere, hopefully.

Who’s set did you enjoy most at We Out Here, and who are you looking forward to seeing play?

ALL - DJ Koko!!

*The circle erupts in celebration*

SP - The Ghanaian collective Alogte Oho and His Sounds of Joy, there are twelve of them on stage, dancing and a twelve-minute drum solo! It’s everything you could want.

SA - Ronnie Size, DJ Koko, Steamdown with P Money was sick last night. We didn’t realise until last night that we could use our artist wristbands to get backstage, everyone was trying to take pictures with P Money. Me Gusta Collective, they’re from Manchester and they absolutely smashed it, they went so hard that I lost my glasses! Today we’re looking forward to seeing Black Star, Cymande, Ezra Collective, Channel One Sound System and the SunRa Arkestra.

MM - Landel was great too!

SA - People who we didn’t see but that deserve a mention, big up Pertrelli Purple, Nouria and other Future Bubblers that played here.

SP - JEHST big up JEHST!

What is your silliest festival memory?

SA - We semi-made a festival for ourselves a few years ago, we tried to legally wild camp in some shit part of outer London and it backfired on us. Anyway, we ended up having the dopest weekend with our friends. Festival wise…I don’t know, only the worst comes to mind, the last Brainchild was definitely the WORST. The infrastructure collapsed because it was a “pandemic festival”, people were swimming in the mud…it was nasty man.

SP - It was four days of not sitting down.

SA - But We Out Here has been SICK!

SP - It’s Hip-Hop man.


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1 Comment

Sep 02, 2023

Loved seeing these guys perform & feeling the energy they were bringing together... EP soon please!!

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