While on a flight to Trinidad last year to visit family members, award-winning hip hop artist, actor, poet and motivational speaker, Sean Mauricette, penned a poem about his and his wife’s soon-to-be-born first child.
“It had to do with trying to find the right name for my son and when I got back to Toronto, I had the images in my head to accompany the story, but I needed someone to bring it to life,” he said.
Mauricette contacted close friend and visual artist, Quentin “Vercetty” Lindsay, who graduated from the Ontario College of Art & Design this year and was part of a group of talented local artists who created a 400-foot bike-themed mural at the intersection of Dupont St. and Dundas St. W in 2009.
“I reached out to him and he breathed life into the poem by way of amazingly Afro-centric soulful images,” said Mauricette.
Those images are splashed across the pages of a new poetry book – A Name Just for You – which was launched last Sunday at Daniels Spectrum.
Based on Mauricette’s journey as a first-time father, the book follows him and his wife, Nadine Mauricette, in their relentless quest to find an appropriate name for their son.
“In the context of what is happening in Ferguson after Michael Brown’s death and in New York after the death of Eric Garner, I think it’s important we control the message in our communities,” said Mauricette. “We should be making our own music videos, writing our own poems and stories and also looking for suitable names for our children.”
The couple’s son, who was born just over a year ago, was given the first name Andwele, which means “God Brought Me”.
“One of my favourite artists is the American soul singer, songwriter and record producer Dwele,” said Mauricette, a University of Toronto architectural graduate. “I liked the way that name rolled off the tongue and we planned to give our son that name. It was only while trying to find out the meaning of it that we realized that his first name was Andwele and Dwele is his stage name.”
The book is available on Amazon, through Mauricette’s website at www.akasubliminal.com or at A Different Booklist, 746 Bathurst St.
A beat-boxer, disc jockey, lyricist and producer, known for a unique music style of merging hip hop with soul, Mauricette has collaborated with three-time Grammy-nominated producer, Herb Middleton, of NuVybe Records on his debut 17-track album, Trainathought. Mauricette’s notable credits as an actor include Disney’s Jump In, the Sonny Liston’s biopic, Phantom Punch, a coveted feature role in an episode of CTV’s police drama, The Bridge, and the new Aaliyah movie in which he plays the role of a radio show host who interviews the late singer before she rises to fame.
The first recipient of the University of Toronto’s Black Students Association Arts & Culture Award, Mauricette’s poems are used by the United States’ Southern Poverty Law Centre for their alternative learning curriculum for teachers across America.
He’s currently working on a sickle cell documentary.
Mauricette’s wife is an avid writer and executive assistant with an accounting firm.