Y. CHARLES (KAYO)
Born in Brooklyn, Kraal ‘KAYO’ Charles grew up listening
to rap’s finest poets, developing his gift for razor sharp
rhymes accompanied by a cool, flawless delivery.
landed Kayo on the open mic stage at he legendary Nuyorican Poets
Café in New York City and a performer roared to life. Kayo
became Nuyorican’s youngest Grand Slam Champion in 1998 and
since then has been featured on “Russell Simmons’ Def
Poetry,” on HBO and “Hughes Dreams Harlem,” a
STARZ Network Documentary celebrating the life of Langston Hughes.
Now a full time performer, Kayo has traveled from Portugal to Austria,
there taking part in the first European Poetry Exposition performing
a jaw-dropping brand of poetry in a memorable baritone voice. He
has a self-published book of poems titled “Bridges to Build,
Rivers to Cross, Mountains to Move.”
These Time by Krall "Kayo" Charles
The Daily Princetonian - Beautiful, but not exactly music: Poetic Voices (February 2003)
commentary on life, politics and love has made him a favorite on
the poetry scene performing on 98.7 KISS FM, WLIB, Power 99 (Philadelphia),
NY1, and WBAI 99.5 (New York) and at colleges and universities across
the nation. He has received favorable press from New York Newsday,
Source Magazine, and Black Issues Magazine among others.
critically acclaimed one-person show recently had its debut. The
show “Lessons I Have Learned as a Man That I Will Tell My
Son” highlights the delicate balance of trying to raise a
responsible man in an irresponsible society.
Kayo first started
out producing his own performances. Since then, Kayo has produced
multiple one-person shows, festivals, and multi-character productions
that featured artist with multi-talented tendencies. He realized
the talent of the people around him and decided to create an outlet
for them all. Kayo has produced one-person shows for Def Poets such
as Helena D. Lewis, Vanessa Hidary, Daniel Beaty, Regie Cabico and
Yolanda Wilkinson. Kayo, through his company Urbintel, has produced
The ROAR Theatre Festival, The Spokenworks Theatre Festival, and
SNIPPETS (SNIPPETS @ YALE, SNIPPETS @ THE 45TH STREET THEATRE, SNIPPETS
NUYORICAN) and now is a co-producer of the traveling Harlem Book
Fair. Urbintel also produces workshops for kids. South Brooklyn
High School, Freeport High School, Bronx Academy of Letters, Clara
Caldwell has all been visited by the Urbintel experience.
Kayo will continue
to promote the arts in any way that he can, on the stage or behind
the scenes. He has just finished his first two act play –
a poetical – titled “The Tragedy of Brooklyn,”
to be produced off-Broadway next spring. He earned his Bachelor
of Arts degree in marketing from Medgar Evers College of the City
University of New York.