Polaris Music Prize winner Haviah Mighty on how a childhood full of reading led to rapping.
By Laura Bickle
Photo: Yung Yemi
I wanted to be an author. I did a lot of writing — books and songs. I would give myself projects and write up a rubric. In high school, I wanted to be a lawyer, but school seemed way too expensive.
Opinionated. Eager to learn. Easily distracted.
I would say I was focused but still easily distracted. I was tapping into my creativity.
Early on it was English, and then drama. Drama was a great, distracting subject: it felt like I wasn't in school for that one session.
English at the end of high school: Shakespeare and I are not the closest. Math was my hardest subject. I was convinced I had to take the advanced level and I barely made it through.
Early 50 Cent records. Get Rich or Die Tryin' was the first album I knew all the words to. And Lauryn Hill and Toni Braxton.
I did a lot of reading. Misery by Stephen King: I found the style of writing intriguing. The Harry Potter books were awesome and I loved A Series of Unfortunate Events, too.
My family. My mom and dad are a huge source of support. They are so excited for my career. They always show up to my gigs and pay. I keep telling them they can get in for free but they won't ask.
Playing sports, but I was sometimes in detention at recess. In Grades 11 and 12 I liked to read at lunch. I remember someone calling me out and I felt so bad for that person because they were missing out — I was reading a really good book.
The Autobiography of Malcolm X. Reading really helps with writing. I like to come with new ammo for conversations and put more stuff in my brain to share it with the world.
Pizza. Wouldn't always get it, so when I did it was a luxury.