a series of interviews with
Parents In the Music Industry
In a collaboration between Solid Gold Podcasts and Shotgun Tori (independent folk musician and mother of two small children), this podcast series has conversations with parents in the music industry about the impact that having children has on their careers, (and the coinciding impact on their children) so that insight can be gained into the ways in which the music industry could better support parents, making careers in music both more accessible and more sustainable.
In a mini-series of 10 episodes of interviews with both mothers and fathers who make music, the goal is to uncover and raise awareness of the challenges faced in different circumstances and to find new ways to tackle the issues that arise.
This series of interviews is made possible with support from Music In Africa Foundation, the German Federal Foreign Office, Goethe-Institut and Siemens Stiftung.
(click on image for Show Notes and Bonus Content for each episode)
Episode 1 – Buyisiwe Njoko (Sun Xa Experiment)
Buyisiwe Njoko is a mom, a writer, a songwriter, a philosopher, a teacher, a free thinker, a humanitarian who believes in liberty and the vocalist of Sun Xa Experiment.
In this interview she talks about the importance of professionalism, having your affairs in order, being present as a mother, the role of the extended family, and the need for the industry to support the mental health aspects of parenting and performing.
Episode 2 – Shane Durrant (Desmond and the Tutus)
Shane Durrant is a musician, a songwriter, a creative director, and a dad. He’s also the frontman of the band Desmond and the Tutus.
Tune in to this episode to listen to a delightful conversation about whether (or not) you HAVE to give up your career in a rock band when you become a parent (and how being the primary caregiver could impact that choice). We also chat about MySpace and the (crazy cool) opportunities it manifested, 15 years of being in a band, how having kids can change the creative process, the value of culture and music and how financial support for artists is an investment.
Episode 3 – Siyabonga Mthembu (The Brother Moves On)
Siyabonga Mthembu is a performance artist, a curator, the vocalist from The Brother Moves On, and the first returning guest on our show. He’s also a dad.
In this episode we talk about what it means to be a parent when you’re on tour internationally for 30/40 days at a time. Siya talks about exposing your children to the arts (but not putting them on tv!), about kids writing catchy songs, having a village to raise them, being a safe place, and getting older. He also talks about the importance of knowing what KIND of artist you are, and he poses some incredibly important questions to South African artists.
Episode 4 – Zolani Mahola (The One Who Sings)
Zolani Mahola’s mandate is to have fun and to play in this next incarnation in her life. She’s a singer, a storyteller, an actress, an artist and a mum. She’s also The One Who Sings.
In this episode, Zolani talks about the creativity that comes from the vulnerability of parenting, dreams that include bringing children on tour, the necessity for ‘tag team’ parenting when both parents work in the creative industries, the advocacy that we can do for ourselves as artists, and the importance of doing things that bring you closer to yourself.
Episode 5 – Jennifer Eaves (Jenny & the Jameses)
Jennifer Eaves is a songwriter, an artist, a poet, a painter, a pianist, a teacher, a singer, a guitarist, and one of the composers of a band called Jenny and the Jameses. She’s also a mom.
In this episode we talk about being a full-time musician when you’re also a single mum, recording an album after everybody has gone to bed, helping your children develop a sense of appreciation for the arts, and the beauty of how the folk music community rally behind each other.
Episode 6 – Hagen Engler (Jedi Rollers / The Feel So Strongs)
Hagen Engler is a word artist, a singer, a guitarist, a spoken word performer, a writer, the author of a book called The Trustees, frontman for a band called The Feel So Strongs. He’s also known as Inspector Ras. And he’s a dad.
In this episode we talk about co-parenting (and finding practical ways to make it work), leaving a lasting legacy, stressful experiences as fuel for creative material (and relaxing as a form of self-love!), understanding your own work through fresh eyes, the importance of prolonging a musicians career and the rich, nuanced art that comes with age.
Episode 7 – Tamara Dey
Tamara Dey is a creator, a manifestor, a mother, an entertainer, and a magic-maker.
In this episode Tamara talks about being a ‘crazy, silly, embarrassing music fan’, finding spaces where all the aspects of you come into play, ageism in the music industry, disco therapy, and bringing a child into the world on your own. We also chat about how having kids shows you what you’re made of, the stigmas attached to having a baby when you’re a musician, making bold choices, importance of self-care and teaching your children that you CAN make money doing something you love.
Episode 8 – Mapumba
Mapumba is a singer/songwriter and a guitarist who’s into music, sound and life. He’s based in Cape Town, and he’s also a dad.
In today’s episode Mapumba talks about the differences between raising a teen vs. a young child, how his refugee background taught him the value of giving your children a sense of security, the emotional support systems required for artists, how your wealth is the love that you put into your creative practice (that’s the only thing you have any control over!), and being prepared to take whatever comes with being a parent.
Episode 9 – Yvonne Chaka Chaka
Mama Yvonne Chaka Chaka is a musician, a philanthropist, and a lover of life. She’s also a mother.
In this episode Yvonne talks about being a mom at 19, signing to a label, recording an album and becoming an overnight success. She talks about children as a gift from God, bringing her son on tour (and the artists who look after each-others kids backstage), being present as a mother and the importance of front-liner artists paying decent salaries to those behind the scenes. What an incredible honour it was to have this conversation.
Episode 10 – Justin Sasman (Bombshelter Beast)
Justin Sasman is a musical contractor, a brass player, and an educator at Northwest University in Potchefstroom. He plays in a band called Bombshelter Beast, and in the local orchestra. He’s also a dad.
In this episode Justin talks about being selective about the work you take on, the self-esteem that comes from doing what you love (despite what anybody else thinks), remembering what is feels like to be a child, and how developing your craft makes you a better parent. We also chat about how child-friendly venues could better support musicians who are parents, and the importance of maintaining a sense of child-like wonder.