IN-Q is not only my name but also my life philosophy. From childhood, we are asked to accept things the way they are, without question. But personal growth comes from questioning our environment and breaking out of the boundaries that define us. I believe that every moment can be an adventure if we are willing to embrace our questions and look at the world through infinite possibilities.
It's been a 20 year journey
It wasn’t just one poem or performance that got me here.
From winning the National Poetry Slam championships and performing on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam to traveling across the country and the world, bringing poetry into pop culture has been my dream since the beginning. In my life, writing has been a form of expression and connection and I believe that it can do the same for others.
I was raised in Santa Monica, California by a single mother who was a school teacher. My dad wasn’t around. At 13, I fell in love with Hip Hop and became obsessed with being a rapper. When I was 19, I went to an open mic for poets called Da Poetry Lounge in Los Angeles, and started performing my raps a cappella. Over time, that community became a family. For me and many others it was like church without religion.
After a few years, I realized that I was more of a poet than a rapper, but then I had to figure out how I was going to make a living. Eventually, I took my lyricism and turned it into a career in songwriting. I was lucky enough to get a publishing deal with Rock Mafia and Downtown Music Group writing songs for big names like Selena Gomez and Miley Cyrus. To be honest, I never thought I’d be writing pop songs, but ultimately the experience of honing a new craft challenged my creativity and helped me become a better poet and artist.
Poetry is the art of emotion and connection. It is the voice inside us all.
Spoken word poetry has never been more relevant and important in American culture. With everything that’s going on socially and politically, it can be a platform for people across the world to express themselves.
YOGA AND MEDITATION
It’s my daily reminder of gratitude and presence.
HELPED ME GROW
Poetry has taken me to different countries and cultures around the world and I’ve incorporated those experiences back into my art.
I’ve had the opportunity to write with some incredible artists including Aloe Blacc, Mike Posner, Foster the People, ZHU, Selena Gomez and Miley Cyrus.
FIRST POET TO PERFORM
AT CIRQUE DU SOLEIL
I was featured in two original Cirque Du Soleil shows to help raise money for the charity, One Drop. It was an amazing experience getting the chance to collaborate with some of the most creative artists in the world.
My life's work is to put words to how we feel
My poems are like prayers to the universe.
I don’t have all the answers, but I hope that my questions can help inspire you to find the poet in yourself. Telling your story can change the world.