So one of my school mates H told me about Groove Baby the other month. She said “you’d really love it, a hip hop beatboxer guy was there”. Enough said. So, excited about the next event I got in touch with Cameron Reynolds who set up Groove Baby in 2013.
Here’s what Cameron had to say about this musical initiative loved by grown ups and little people.
How did Groove Baby come about?
Probably like a lot of parents who are musicians – when my partner got pregnant I thought ‘how am I going to keep seeing good live gigs?’ So the solution was to create GB (because no one else had done it). The idea is simply to give parents and carers the opportunity to get out and see great contemporary gigs in baby friendly environments. I also really wanted to share top class music with my baby. The baby classes and nursery rhyme sessions are fine for what they are, but babies really respond to great live music – whether or not it is targeted at that age group.
What do you love about running Groove Baby and performing at the shows?
GB gigs are unlike any other I have been to. They completely take away all the pretension and break it down to whether the music is connecting with the audience or not. Babies (and sleep deprived parents) are a very honest audience. If it is working then it is magic. For some parents it is such a moving experience they are in tears at the end.
Who are some of your lucky musical influences?
I have worked across a very broad spectrum of styles, but in the end I mostly love music that has a high level of improvisation in it. Jazz connected with me as a child and I still go back to the greats like Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Duke Ellington and Charles Mingus for inspiration. But as I said – I have a lot of influences. Too many for a short interview!
What’s one of your favourite songs you like to play to your daughter?
We have never played her nursery rhymes on purpose, but lately she has got right into them on YouTube etc. We have always played her adult music and for some reason she has become fixed on one song: Proud Mary as done by the Voices of East Harlem. Check out the song on YouTube
She absolutely loves it and anyone in the room has to dance to it. ‘More Rolling Daddy/Mummy’ is regularly heard in our home. She’s worked out how to get the CD player working as well…
What’s your one top tip for parents?
Oh man! I am not into telling parents what to do – but I guess my one stand out piece of philosophy is this: be less boring. Try and fill your own life with interesting things to do. That will make your child happier.
What’s your top tip for peeps out there who want to set up their own business?
Open yourself up and talk to trusted people a lot. Get good feedback and perspective. Listen to your customers as best as you can.
What are your 3 lucky things?
It can be hard when you’re a parent, but I try and force myself out to take advantage of the fantastic art that London has to offer. I love the Tate Modern, seeing top gigs in small venues around east London and I guess the best thing is just the constant surprises and discoveries around London that make me realise how lucky I am to live here. Stumbling into a small art gallery – or being taken to something amazing like Punch Drunk etc.
The next Groove Baby event is on Wednesday 18 November 2015 at 10.30am at the Southbank Centre, London. Check out more info about Groove Baby…
Photo courtesy of Groove Baby and published with permission.
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