It was a daddy takeover at Sonos Studio over Father’s Day weekend. Producer Tony Nwachukwu and special guest Radio 1 DJ Mista Jam hosted a free beatmaking workshop for families.
The event took place upstairs at Sonos Studio, a super chilled space where they hold a mix of workshops and networking sessions for east London creatives. Mista Jam (aka Pete) and Tony were on hand to talk about music, fatherhood and that elusive work/life balance.
Both dads had brought their kids along and it was refreshing to see men discussing their work passionately, while trying to manage their ‘mini mes’ who were either clambering all over them as they spoke (e.g. Mista Jam’s gorgeous boy and girl), or demanding their turn on the decks (e.g. Tony’s adorable son Obi, my brother’s namesake).
Mista Jam, a spokesman for Sonos, recalled playing his parents’ records on a ‘Fisher Price record player that played actual proper vinyl’. At school, he was the ‘weird kid’ who belonged to different tribes: school choir, rock band, hip hop DJs. Inspired by his musical upbringing, he’s always shared this interest with his own children.
For Mista Jam, the joy of music lies in its universal appeal. He said he’d never forget visiting a remote village in Malawi and seeing ‘Jay Z’ carved into a tree. ‘Even though we didn’t speak the same language, we found a way to communicate through music.’
Later Mista Jam told me more about his affiliation with Sonos, that was built on this idea that music cuts across all boundaries. ‘In these times which are feeling especially dark at the moment, music is one way of bringing people together and I’m proud to be a part of that’.
The ‘one love’ vibe continued with a collaborative session led by Tony Nwachukwu, who gave us a rundown of various music-making apps and tools. Then he encouraged us to work together to create our own beats and grooves.
I think my little rock stars could do with some more lessons in the art of collaboration: they both loved playing around on the music app, but weren’t so happy to create a track together (or to let their mama have a go). Artistic differences eh?!
Afterwards we enjoyed listening to some tracks by families present, showcasing musical influences ranging from jazz to trip house to dub step. I loved the laid-back vibe of the event and the fact that it allowed papas, as well as mamas, to get hands on with their kids doing something that we all enjoyed.
Tony will be hosting more workshops in the near future, and our favourite baby ravers at Big Fish Little Fish will be working with Sonos Studio on some exciting family activities. Keep an eye on the blog for details; in the meantime head over to Big Fish Little Fish to read their full interview with Mista Jam!
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