Angela Innes blends the visualisation of filmmaking and her skills as a spoken word poet to create videos that truly move you, no matter the topic.
Here at TenEighty, we talk a lot about the visual side of content made on YouTube: cinematography, the set up, the colouring. After all, YouTube is home to some of the best indie films out there, in our humble opinion. But something we don’t talk about as much are the beautifully-crafted spoken stories that YouTube is also host to. Their skill is in the choice of words, their rhythm, and the way they interact with what you are seeing onscreen.
Angela Innes’s soft and emotive voice, as well as her simple yet effective visual storytelling skills, have cultivated a channel of truly unique videos. Whether she’s speaking poems, sharing life advice on a range of topics such as alcohol or revision, or doing cute videos with her boyfriend Will Moore, you will no doubt love watching them.
“I’ve written about [anything from] suitcases and wax statues to anxiety and sexuality. If I think of an interesting image, it goes straight into my phone’s notes,” says Angela.
The variation within her videos is to her advantage. Her content is constantly changing and growing, just as she herself does through years of creating videos. “When I first started out, I very rarely enjoyed poetry, let alone wrote it. Now, it’s my main focus and aspiration, and I owe that to YouTube and the exploration I’ve had with spoken word throughout my videos.”
Some of her own favourite poems include Lesbihonest and Street Robbery. Musing on topics such as female beauty and sexuality, or the origins of an old leather suitcase, they demonstrate her ability to create content that is sometimes incredibly personal, and other times the complete opposite – almost outward-looking.
Lesbihonest in particular has had a huge impact on LGBTQ+ members of her audience. “There’s just something utterly uplifting about writing words that flow in a particular way or rhyme just right and then cause someone to feel something,” says Angela. “[Lesbihonest] isn’t perfect, polished, or even in the right order, but the way people received it still makes me emotional. I’ve had people approach me and say they’ve used it to come out to family members and I’m still in utter disbelief that my words have become their words in such a personal way.
“I love creating jumbles of words that mean something so personal to me, showing them to an audience, and having people resonate with them without having gone through what I’ve gone through, but having their own experiences to apply strings of words to,” explains Angela, reinforcing that storytelling through any medium – be it poetry, film, vlogging, or prose – has the unique ability to bring us together through our shared experiences.
At Summer in the City 2017, Angela appeared on the Smaller YouTubers panel, an experience she recalls fondly. “[It] was the most surreal weekend of my life,” she says. “I felt so fulfilled and so utterly proud to be a part of a community that holds so many talented individuals and beautiful personalities.
“YouTube wouldn’t be what it is without the community we’ve created, without the feeling of belonging we feel when we’re at conventions, the buzz of creativity we feel when we talk about YouTube with similar people. We created that.”
Uploading videos online and being part of the UK YouTube community has taught Angela a lot. “Finding a creative outlet is extremely cathartic,” she says. “I’ve also learnt how to grow a thick skin. Accept that there are going to be people like your GCSE Art teacher who don’t like the stuff you make but you’ve got to do it for you and no-one else. ‘Be a warrior, not a worrier’ and all that.”
She also admits to learning “how to talk to strangers online” – sorry parents!
She has may inspirations, from poets to YouTubers and beyond. “I take a lot of inspiration from slam poets for my writing such as Button Poetry, Write About Now, and Don’t Flop, and a lot of video inspiration from the likes of Lucy Moon and Arden Rose. I am a sucker for a good fan edit too; clean, creative editing is so satisfying.”
So what’s on the horizon for Angela? “I just want to write more, mostly – that is my long-term aim – and share more of my writing, not just poetry,” she says. “I want to continue being a part of the community, watch it grow and expand and learn.
“However disheartening social media can be, there are still real people behind accounts who will be there to support one another,” she continues. “And if that isn’t inspiring, I don’t know what is.”
Doubtless, Angela’s content will continue to grow and get better and better just as she does. We have high hopes for her, whether she’s onstage doing her own spoken word set, or at Summer in the City 2018 speaking out about the nuances of this community again. Whatever it will be, we can’t wait to see what the future has in hold for her.
If you are an aspiring artist, or just love seeing what others have created, have a look at our recent Channel Spotlight on DoodleTube. You can also check out our latest Video Spotlight about what it means to be British with Leena Normington’s video GO BACK TO WHERE YOU CAME FROM.