He is the hippest poet in Britain. You may have seen him on BBC or Channel 4 or Sky TV, heard him on Radio 1 or attended one of his performances, blending poetry and rap to hypnotic effect. You might be one of the half a million people who have watched him on YouTube. Some of his poems have up to 35,000 hits.
23 year-old George Mpanga, who performs as George the Poet, has brought poetry to a new generation. He has changed the stereotyped image of the poet, showing that it can be relevant outside the classroom, it can be exciting, it can be moving, it can be funny, it can be visual, it can be a gig. Wit, alliteration, an infectious rhythm all permeate George’s poetry, but there is always a political consciousness, a questioning of the status quo, and a continual urging for the inner city young to reach beyond crime and escape from grinding poverty.
George grew up in a gritty part of north-west London where many of his friends turned to crime. He achieved three A grade A Levels and went onto study politics, psychology and sociology at King’s College, Cambridge. While at university, he began concentrating on performing poetry and quickly built up a following on YouTube. His performances also caught the eye of senior broadcasting executives and the results were immediate and impressive.
George has performed at numerous events including the BITC awards (backed and attended by Prince Charles), the Euro Finance conference in Monaco, Race Opportunity Awards, and Virgin pioneers event.
He has been nominated for a BRIT award and is currently number 5 in the BBC sound of 2015 list.