In the series “Music Life with Kids”, mica – music austria and Austrian Music Export explores the question of how professional musicians feel when they have children. In the fourth part of the series, ANKATHIE KOI gives us an insight into her everyday life as a parent: When does the child come to a concert? How do you organize things when both parents are musicians? And how, if the grandparents don’t live in the same city?
What has changed for you since you became a mother?
Ankathie Koi: Not very much, since I got pregnant in the middle of the pandemic. We were going to take a little break from touring in 2020 anyway. At the end of the day, we played a couple of shows near our hometown in 2020 and then the break just extended a bit. For us, the timing worked out really well and we haven’t felt, for a second, like we’re missing out on anything. Fortunately, I still don’t have that worry, since I prefer to spend my time with my daughter anyway. In my free time, I am currently at the playground or in the studio, which fits together well in my eyes!
“For us, the timing worked out really well and we haven’t felt, for a second, like we’re missing out on anything.”
Are mothers treated differently than fathers in the music scene?
Ankathie Koi: I haven’t encountered anything like that till now.
On tour with (small) children? In concert in the evening, with or without childcare? What networks do musicians use?
Ankathie Koi: Our parents live in Germany, so we don’t have this “quick trip to grandma’s” thing. But we still manage quite well! With us, it varies when it comes to childcare. If the location is suitable, we take the little one and a nanny with us. If the concerts are longer and more strenuous, Olivia is at home with the nanny. If there are several concerts in a row or longer distances, we bring the little one to grandma and grandpa in Bavaria. I definitely wouldn’t take her on a huge tour, that’s enough stress without a child! Privately, we have a few friends with an affinity for children who help us out every now and then. Of course, with a child you have to organize yourself better and more effectively, but all young parents face this challenge.
What would you like to see from organizers and where do you urgently see a need to change something?
Ankathie Koi: I haven’t experienced anything negative yet. On the contrary, everyone was very accommodating and interested. I was well booked this year and could have played even more, but I didn’t want to. So my motherhood has not brought any change in that respect. The only difference from before is that occasionally we have two more people in the travel party – my daughter and a caregiver. Up until now, though, that hasn’t been a problem at all.
“WE OFTEN ORGANIZE THE WORK IN THE STUDIO LIKE A RELAY RACE …”
Is there a need for more sensitivity in the scene in general? What is missing? Are special needs being addressed?
Ankathie Koi: I think my needs as a mom and musician are not much different than those of other working moms. So far, my special needs have been well taken care of and the organizers have been very attentive. But I am also a “safety first” person. I leave absolutely nothing to chance when it comes to child-related issues at concerts. I rely on my network, my support and my organization. That’s why there are no unplanned surprises on site.
Times have changed, social media serves the private life as well as the professional environment. How do you deal with that in terms of your dual role as parent and musician?
Ankathie Koi: On my social media channels, I present myself as a musician and give occasional private insights. I have continued to keep it that way.
We often organize the work in the studio like a relay race: First I’m in the studio, then my partner follows with the child, relieves me and I go home again with the little one. This often results in some fun studio photos with the child.
“I am very positively surprised how well it’s working out! So far, good solutions for all conceivable situations have been found…”
Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
Ankathie Koi: I’ve had a pretty strong desire to have children my whole life, but also jitters about whether it would be compatible with being a musician. But I am very positively surprised how well it’s working out! So far, good solutions for all conceivable situations have been found relatively quickly! Our daughter is simply the greatest thing in the world for us!
Translated from the German original by Arianna Alfreds.
For Parts 1, 2 and 3 with Maiken Beer, Violetta Parisini and Lukas Kranzelbinder, go here.
Are you also a parent and a professional musician or working in the industry and want to share your perspective with us? Please write us and we will be happy to send you questions. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org