Portfolio of Work
Arifstyle started writing poems at eleven years old. Poetry became my first hobby through a newspaper dedicated to children. I was reading and I even subscribed to the monthly newsletter.
The hip hop movement came to Dakar. We were attracted and rap became trendy. In the beginning, I was a simple fan. Then, in 2001, with a friend and brother, Insa N'diaye, co-created "Kadum Underground”. Kadum is a wolof term meaning, "Talk". We wrote our first song together and started to rehearse. Although we never recorded any songs or performed publicly we worked during that time and the name of the crew was present. We were amateurs rehearsing, watching hip hop videos from the U.S.A everyday, addicted and identified ourselves as rappers. A few years later Insa went to Bignona to continue his studies. When he left, I continued to study and write poems. This is the reason why I graduated in literature Series.
In 2006, I met Fatima, a great singer. She was just 14 at the time and we had a deep connection and alchemy. There was proof of this in our first record, which became very well known as one of the best classical Rap musical pieces in Senegal. In 2007, we recorded another song "Fawmouné" and we created my stage name "Arifstyle”. Then she left in 2008 to study in Germany. I was still a student studying communication. I continued writing poems.
In 2008, a friend, Faby Wade, invited me to discover a Spokenword showcase in a venue at Point E in Dakar. One evening, the MC, a congolose poet, Diofel, called my name to join him on stage and I shared a poem. It was my first time performing. It was a casual writing, no music, but it got the most attention and the audience listened well and gave me good feed back, a standing ovation. I became addicted. I performed every fortnight on Friday.
In 2009, we created Vendredi Slam, the most significant poets band in west Africa. In 2014, we recorded our first album, "S comme Slam". We went to Saint Louis Jazz festival to perform. We performed in the French Institut, British Council, Goeth Institut and even the Grand Theatre in front of the President of Senegal. We organized events in Dakar, Saly Portudal - Mbour. We were well known and found success.
In 2017, Arifstyle co-created the Senegalese League of Poetry Slam. Two years later, we held the first International Slam Poetry competition and Senegal became the first champion in Africa to win the African Cup.
We organized events like the ça me dit Slam to encourage the young and the new generation. I organized writing workshops in different universities in Dakar, such as Eticca and the great University of Cheikh Anta Diop and, also, at the SOS Village.
In 2019, Arifstyle received two Festival invitations from South Africa and Togo and Arifstyle took part in both events