In the midst of a cold winter, she stands out like summer. The Bronx native Mercedes, 23, who writes under the alias #mpfrias, is both resilient and intriguing. Wise beyond her years, she sits down to chat with A.R.T.S.Y at her favorite local bar in Greenwood Village.
Behind her articles and poetry, lies more than written language. For many, her writings have touched the very core of their souls. Her prose provides a deeper insight into the world around us. She analyzes the certain aspects and issues that one may overlook in our society. Her poetry focuses on the experiences of her journey thus far, which entails the process of life and love; falling, learning and growing.
“I grew up living a sheltered childhood. Just a few days ago, my friends made fun of me because I didn’t know who Big Pun was. They were like no you don’t get to talk about rap, because I really love rap and hip-hop now. Like I’m a really big J. Cole and Kanye fan but I just recently got into that. I started listening to them like around 18 or 19, but before that I attended a Catholic high school, so I was really oblivious to a lot of the things that were going around me, including weed,” mentions mpfrias.
It almost seems ironic to think she’s lived a sheltered childhood, but life is beautiful and peculiar in that way. Sometimes you become exposed to things throughout the course of your life and at the moment you may not understand the purpose behind it.
For mpfrias, certain occurrences have shaped and inspired her to write. “I used to write in high school but I never shared it with the world. I would just write things and share it with my friends. The thing about me and writing is that every single thing that I write about, I always have to relate to it. So everything you read is coming from me and what I’ve been through. Many times people come up to me and ask me if it’s true or did you go through this and I’m like yeah I don’t have an imagination,” adds mpfrias laughing.
What started out as a personal hobby has become an internet phenomenon, with the admiration of thousands of followers, mpfrias has managed to share her story. She aims to enlighten society, but most of all, she continues to empower and inspire women. Most of her poetry revolves on an unhealthy relationship she went through with an ex. Despite this, she has moved on from that chapter in her life, continuing to write about it, “For some reason this is what people can relate to and usually the only thing that people want to read, so I continue to write about it, just so that I can stay relevant. But I really wish people will take the time to go and read my articles as well because that’s where my writing first started,” says mpfrias.
Mpfrias has an upcoming event on May 1st, Scarlet: A Celebration of Female Expression, the mission of which is to empower and celebrate the achievements of creative women, including painters, comedians, spoken word artists and much more. In the future, mpfrias’ ultimate goal is to do a TedTALKs session, to shed some light on how circumstances shape who you are, “Many people are okay with the idea of class division and shunning people from the projects by calling them ghetto, but they aren’t okay with what that does to a person,” says mpfrias.
To read mpfrias’ work make sure to visit her site here, and follow her on Instagram @mp.frias
By: Astrid Sarmiento
Photo: Laura Ciriaco