Sigma Lambda Beta
Brother Timothy Hall Releases Spoken Word Album
In July, Brother Timothy Hall (Nu Beta Chapter) released his first spoken word album Colors Of My Soul. We catch up with Brother Tim to get his thoughts on his first release.
Thanks, it’s been a goal of mine to produce a collection of my own music since I started playing more seriously as a teen. This project came from realizing that poets could produce their own listening work. As I’ve grown into my poetry, I only connected poets to written works. Being exposed to poets who produced albums and music videos sparked my initial desire to create my own. Additionally, most people (from home and prior to Boston, at least) know me as a saxophonist; performance poetry is still relatively new to me so I wanted to produce art that wasn’t directly connected to me as a saxophonist. The project draws people deeper into me as a person and artist.
The title of your project is Colors of my Soul, can you go into a little about why this is the title?
Colors of My Soul was both intentional and random. When I initially started to market myself on Facebook as an artist and educator, I wanted to come up with an “artist name” which is 1 Soul Purpose or SoulP – I actually don’t directly use anymore. However, I knew that my EP would take listeners on a journey through my childhood and insight to the positive influences in my life. I also knew that I wanted the album cover to be a multi-watercolor silhouette of my face, so Colors of My Soul was an epiphany from those ideas coming together.
Why did you use spoken word as a medium?
When I joined a poetry collective called Wisdom Beyond Words in Des Moines, IA at the start of my Masters program at Iowa State, I grew more interest and desire to write and perform poetry. This collective gave me a family of individuals dedicated to the art of poetry and willingness to create a support system to enhance our skills. Spoken word started to consume my artistic exploration to where I was performing more than playing saxophone. I initially came up with the idea to produce an EP during summer of 2015, and knew a spoken word EP would be an unexpected product from me. When I joined the HipStory music and production team later that year, I had access to the equipment and people who would push me to produce something of my own. Plus, I’m not a rapper and I’ve recognized that I enjoy playing saxophone as a supportive contribution to a sound, and not one that is in the forefront.
In addition to your spoken word project, you also released a book of poetry called Trust The Process, can you talk a bit about what’s similar/different about the two projects?
Yes, Trust The Process, is a book that brings in readers to my daily/weekly writing process when taking a poetry writing course at Berklee College of Music. The title came from my professor, Caroline Harvey, giving me a small rock with Trust The Process written on it. I was having a very tough week and it came at the perfect time because I’d skipped some journal entries and needed to get back on track. Having a writing process was very new for me and the practice of writing for the page was pushing my ability as a writer to new places. I decided that it was the perfect opportunity for me to produce a book, which was a very small thought, but never a reality.
It’s different than the EP because the writing is specific to someone being able to read my work and understand it; whereas, my EP is meant for people to listen to it or see me perform it as my jesters and projection of my voice add a certain value to the pieces.
What inspired you to publish a book?
Seeing others write and publish books. Words Taylor who brought me into the Wisdom Beyond Words poetry collective had a book; my LB Shingi from Michigan recently put out his second book of poetry; and most poets who I was inspired by for their poetry album, also had literature which made me think about my brand as an artist. I want people to take a piece of me with them home. When I started to perform more in Boston, people would ask if I could send them a copy of a poem I performed. As an artist wanting to create a stream of income based on my work, this was a next step in building my brand and creating a way to generate income.
You’ve grown up and lived in many different places from your childhood to as you are now as a man, can you talk about how these different geographic locations influenced your work?
I’m from Detroit, MI…went to undergrad at Bowling Green State University (Nu Beta Chapter) in Ohio…moved to Minneapolis, MN for a summer…then Iowa City, IA for two year…Ames, IA for an additional two years…and now Boston, MA where I’ve been for the past 3 and a half years. I view the relationship of my geographical journey to my artistry as a true path of growth. I’m the most confident in my artistic ability right now, and know I have a far way to go still. From the people who I call friends, to the artists I’ve collaborated with, and the venues I’ve performed at; my artistic talents are rooted in the places I’ve been. There isn’t a trip I take where I don’t look up a poetry or live music venue. It feed my soul to explore new places and network with different people. It’s also very important for me to promote my work, as a goal of mine is to live on my artistic work. I work hard at the work that I produce, and sharing that with others as well as being exposed to others is an essential aspect of growing as an artist.
On Colors of my Soul, you have a piece called Keeper of My Brother which talks about how you found stepping as a youth and furthered it along in college with Sigma Lambda Beta, can you talk a bit about how the fraternity has influenced you?
The fraternity is such a huge part of my life. Everything in the piece is a real reflection of my experience in the fraternity. I’m a firm believer in the decisions we make inform the exact position we are in at the moment. I wouldn’t be in my current professional track if it wasn’t for choosing to join SLB at Bowling Green State University during the Spring 2007 semester, or the way various brothers have contributed to my life. Being a member of a collegiate organization dedicated to the success of men of color is a radical thought, and essentially needed. The fraternity provides me with a level of hope that there are men in this world dedicated to making themselves and the community around them better.
What can we look forward to from Tim Hall in the future?
You’ll see and hear more from the HipStory music label so please follow us on social media:
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Additionally, I’m available for universities, businesses, and chapters to book me for performances and workshops. I personally design to the needs to clients, and can also bring along other artists from the label to create a dope experience for participants. You can follow me at
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If you’re a brother who’s an artist looking to connect with other brothers in the artistry community we have a Facebook group call SLB Artistry that you look up and join, so please reach out to us!!