As part of an artist residency with Black Box Belfast, we explored the fusion of participatory practice into creative processes, still very much a work in progress. One of our original pledges was to deepen knowledge of how to involve residents of Northern Ireland in the creative processes of black artists expressing themselves through their cultureThis was achieved by bringing together one of the most sought-after session drummers in Northern Ireland Henrique Franco with multi-instrumentalist, writer, arranger, producer, viewed as one of UK’s finest musicians, Kaidi Tatham. They were actively encouraged to take risks when sketching out what could become of any partnership and collaboration.

 “To Dare Is To Do,” was the adopted  motto and ethos harnessed throughout this collaboration. Kaidi and Henrique composed a guide track of drums, bass, and keys to be deconstructed, with different elements triggered live for both artists to improvise. The stem is chosen and each musician reacts to that stem in real time.

Drums, bass, and keyboard loops will be extracted from that live performance and added to an ever-growing bank of music content to be utilised within the prototype and eventual Solab digital platform.




Henrique Castro

Hailing from Sao Paulo, Brasil but living in Belfast, Henrique is one of the most sought-after session
drummers in Northern Ireland. He records, produces, and performs in bands and solo artists projects as
part of a range of bands such as Blackjack, Manukahunney, the Wilson Magwere Band, Dena Anuk$a, Jess
Brien, Belfast Busking Band and Utropiks. His Brasilian heritage and innate ability to the culture we are
drawing upon to improvise accordingly is the unique skillset needed to take part in Solab.
Outside of drumming, he is an audiovisual creator with over 20 years of experience in media,
entertainment, and the arts. This multi-talented creative has experience across artforms – from
scriptwriter to media producer, recording artist to music director, and photographer to graphic designer.
Skills acquired are merely tools to communicate an idea, a message, a feeling. What is clear is that he is
adaptable in the creative process at all times. Regardless of the creative medium of choice, effective
communication is the ultimate objective.

His full skillset can be found here –


Kaidi Tatham

We are glad Kaidi Tatham has committed himself to SoLab. Based in Belfast, born in Birmingham but
originating from Jamaica, he is viewed as one of UK's finest musicians whose skills range from multi-
instrumentalist, writer, and arranger to producer. An accomplished flute player and pianist, his
collaborations include: 2000Black, 4 Hero, Amp Fiddler, Amy Winehouse, Bugz in the Attic, Macy Gray,
Mr Scruff, Mulatu, Slum Village and Soul II Soul. His full Discography can be found through this link –

BBC Radio 6’s Gilles Peterson described him as “the UK’s answer to Herbie Hancock. He is the most
gifted musician of his generation.” Sean Keating and Josh Byrne from Stamp the Wax believe he is “to
Broken Beat, what Tony Allen was to afrobeat.” Link 1 (below) is a great introduction to Kaidi’s work.
Kaidi is also a member of DJ Jazzy Jeff’s supergroup, The PLAYList.