By Ted Simpson –
Peter Joynt, the Kitchissippi native who spends much of his life in the spotlight as a rapper, motivational speaker and creative writer, has come a long way since his childhood days at Elmdale Public School.
Joynt made headlines with his Ottawa hip hop anthem Capcity, and more recently has been spending his mornings at local elementary schools talking to kids about how they can live positive lives. Blending rap music with the inspirational story of his own life, Joynt is teaching young people that anything can be accomplished, no matter what obstacles they might face.
The biggest obstacle in his own life has been a severe speech impediment. Joynt, now in his 30’s, has been stuttering since he was very young.
“I stutter quite noticeably in conversation, but it’s gone when I rap, so I tell my story about struggling with a stutter but not letting it hold me back in life,” says Joynt. “I carry a strong theme of resiliency in my talks.”
Getting through to young people is a daunting task for any speaker, Joynt uses his skills as a musician and an exceptionally kind personality to overcome the barriers in his speech. “When I perform a rap song they are all sort of blown away, and I’ve got their attention from that point,” says Joynt.
It’s not unusual for people with speech impediments to excel in creative pursuits like singing or acting. Those with a stutter are only able to use their right brain for speech, and this area of the brain is not able to keep up with such a complex task. But when thinking in a creative manor, the left side of the brain is activated and words can fly out with no restriction.
After grabbing headlines with his Ottawa themed rap song Capcity, Joynt has his music featured by the Ottawa Senators, and has worked with Ottawa Tourism and Rogers TV.
He has recently taken on a role in the No More Bullies tour, headed by Stuntman Stu from Majic 100. Every Tuesday, Joynt and other local figures visit a local school, bring a message of positivity and kindness.
In addition to this, Joynt takes on solo presentations, visiting as many as five schools in one week. Recently he made a return visit to Elmdale Public School, where he first started his speech therapy. Video clips recorded at Elmdale have also made an appearance in Joynt’s newest music video for the song What I Do.
Since starting his school tours, Joynt’s phone has been ringing off the hook with teachers and principals asking him to visit their school and students sending messages of thanks and wanting return visits.
“That’s what makes it rewarding, when you’ve really connected with a student, that can sometimes be a challenge,” says Joynt.
It’s not just getting airtime on YouTube, it’s being shown at school too.
“I have been told by many teachers that they have used the video in their classrooms,” says Joynt. “They’ve used it for assignments and to open up the discussion about bullying and resiliency.”
Elmdale might be making another appearance in Joynt’s upcoming hip hop project. During his recent visit Joynt recorded a sample of the kid’s voices that he hopes to use in a new song called Feel Good.
To watch the videos go to thejoynt.ca and click on “videos.”