We caught up with the host and creator of The Sitdown event, Icie, to find out more about his background and the event which is often held in The Gallery here at Tileyard London.
Can you sum what The Sitdown is all about?
The Sitdown is a live Q+A event, where we sit down and interview special guests to share their life stories in a bid to empower and inspire others around them. The Sitdown slogan – Real Lives, Real Conversations – represents our desire and determination to change perceptions and bring real issues to the forefront. We provide our guests a platform to truly speak on what it’s like behind the scenes in an honest, yet informal intimate space.
What is your role in the event?
I am the host and creator of The Sitdown, responsible for researching and booking guests and overseeing the vision for the brand. However, this can not be achieved without my dedicated team of family and close friends who occupy various departments and roles.
How did the idea for The Sitdown come about?
Being an artist myself and coming from a musical background I found that I was speaking to a lot of artists and business owners behind the scenes, people who we would deem as successful – and they were going through some real challenging times. However, when looking at their Instagram pages it seemed like everything was on the up and everything was going exactly to plan.
I started to think they need a space to be able to talk freely, openly and honestly about what life is really like behind the scenes. Somewhere they can sit down and tell their story and where people can see and realise we are all connected through our experiences in one way or the other.
Can you tell us a bit about your background and relationship with the creative industries?
My background as an independent music artist and putting on my own events has helped me sharpen my skills in the creative industry for over 16 years, and so I’ve always loved creating music that connects with people’s hearts. The Sitdown is just an extension of me wanting to create an event that connects our hearts together through dealing with the deeper issues of life.
What has been your favourite live event so far and why?
It would have to be the very first one we did in April 2017, with an artist and friend of mine called A Star. It was my favourite because at the end of the night those who attended, commented on how much it had helped them and how much it was needed as an event in today’s society. That’s when I knew right there, we have something here, we have something we can provide to the people to help them.
You seem to build a really easy rapport with your guests on stage – what’s the secret to getting different types of personalities to open up about their highs and lows?
Thank you! Most of the special guests I have at the event, I have somewhat of a relationship with them already behind the scenes, so when it comes to interviewing them it’s just like having a normal conversation. With Grace Ladoja, I had only met her once before at a birthday party of a friend but had been trying to get her to do The Sitdown for about a year, but our schedules didn’t match, however that one interaction gave me an insight into her personality and let me know… this could work in a Sitdown setting. Sometimes all I need is that ONE interaction to know if it could work, others I have built up a rapport over time.
Are there any artists, personalities or entrepreneurs that you would love to have as a guest on the show?
Oh my! I have a folder in my iphone notes FULL of names of who I’d love to have on the show! The two that I would love to have is Stormzy with his manager Tobe Onuwaka and Letitia Wright….that would be a dream…which I hope will soon become reality!
Can you tell us when the next Sitdown event is taking place and who the guest is?
Next Sitdown will be: Sunday 1st December – our guest will be comedian Mo Gilligan
Are there any exciting future plans for The Sitdown?
Loads! We have plans to expand the brand into new formats but also to build our Sitdown community. I won’t divulge too much, but just watch this space.
Where can we find out more about The Sitdown?
The best place to find out more and stay up to date with The Sitdown is over on our socials:
Ticket link: https://thesitdown.eventcube.io
All images courtesy of Femi Olubode