Hackney-born champion says award is ‘testament’ to foster parents

Solomon Ogunmefun-Brooker says his success is "still sinking in"

Solomon Ogunmefun-Brooker says his success is "still sinking in" - Credit: Archant

A Hackney-born musician has thanked his “inspiring” foster parents after becoming a national poetry champion.

Victor and Patricia Brooker, Solomon's foster parents

Victor and Patricia Brooker, Solomon's foster parents - Credit: Archant

Solomon Ogunmefun-Brooker was crowned National Poetry Slam champion at the Royal Albert Hall last weekend.

Solomon, whose stage name is Solomon O.B, marvelled the audience and judges with his poem ‘Unorthodox Beginnings” which tales the story of his upbringing in foster care.

The 24-year-old details how he was brought up by foster parents Victor and Patricia Brooker with older brother Sam and younger sister Anu.

Speaking to the Gazette, Solomon talks about how important they have been in his life.

“They are absolutely crucial to everything I do. I’m a very ambitious and driven person, particularly these days, and I feel that drive was instilled in me by them, or at least nurtured”, Solomon said.

“They always told me I could do anything I wanted to, if I put my mind to it, and recent times are showing me just how true that is.”

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The champion poet showed them the video of the inspired poem on Christmas Day.

Solomon added: “It was amazing for them to be able to see such a great version of it as they weren’t able to be there live.

“To me this serves as a testament to all that they’ve done. They’re not the type to care about recognition like that, but I know they are proud.

The champion poet describes himself as a hybrid between a rapper and a poet and says music is still something that drives him.

Solomon added: “I wouldn’t be doing spoken word if I hadn’t got into music I don’t think. My music is something that definitely drives me.”

Solomon changed his surname as a Christmas present to his foster parents in 2014 and says the experience at the Royal Albert Hall was something he won’t forget.

He added: “It’s all still sinking in. The whole experience of the finals was amazing, one I won’t forget.

“The support that has come from friends and family has been overwhelming and lets me know how much love is out there for me and my work.

The musician has big plans for 2016 and wants to release plenty of videos, short films and even his first EP.

Solomon said: “This is just the beginning, expect a lot from me this year.

“I want to give people plenty of quality art to digest and get to know me in the process, I’m just getting started.”

To see more of Solomon’s work, visit www.facebook.com/solomonconcepts