We spoke to the King’s Ransom mums’ to find out what their motherhood experience was like, how it changed their lives and what they did to raise two strong-willed girls who have been plotting world domination since they were in nappies…
K: Did you always want children
S: No. I didn’t
K: Rah, so blunt! Why?
S: It felt like too much of a grown up thing to do.
K: And you just weren’t a grown up gal?
S: No let me be real, I thought I’d do it at some point but it wasn’t a big dream of mine when I was young. You know some people have the names planned out by the time they’re 16, I was never that. I guess maybe having lots of siblings, I didn’t have that immediate urge.
K: What was it like when you found out you were pregnant? You just pulled the maddest face! You can be honest!
S: It was a bit of a shock and a little bit scary but for a really short time and then I realised it was amazing. I loved being pregnant, after the early stages of morning sickness and feeling tired all the time. I felt like it wasn’t going to stop me doing anything; I felt like I could work, I could rave, I didn’t stop.
K: Did you really rave?
S: Mmm yeah
K: Up until what point?
S: I mean quite far….
K: Literally until New Years eve and you popped me out the next day yeah?
S: Yeah pretty much! I remember being at a party with everyone pretty close to my due date. I still went to gigs and stuff, to me it just had to work with everything I was doing. Of course I didn’t do anything bad like smoke or drink I felt at ease with it, I wanted to eat properly and look after myself.
K: What don’t they tell you about motherhood?
S: For me motherhood has been this totally intuitive thing, I was led by my instincts and common sense. It’s been a no drama experience for me, I knew our kids would fall into our pattern and be fine. What they don’t tell you, is that after having them, you suddenly realise you’re not invincible. You’ve got this little person who you’re responsible for, and I remember I thinking ‘I can’t get sick’ and ‘I can’t die’. You become so aware of your life and mortality and that was overwhelming for a minute.
K: Did you think about the effect children would have on your career? I think we’re at two different places generationally – your generation are the first to have the opportunity to work or be a mum or do both. Some of you did, some of you didn’t, whereas my generation are in the aftermath of feminism where we we definitely are more career driven on average and having children later in life.
S: Mine and most West Indian mothers of that generation had to always work anyway, they worked various jobs around the kids’ schedule. It wasn’t a question for me whether I’d work or not, I was going to make it fit into my lifestyle.
K: What were you doing when you were pregnant with me?
S: I was running Scott Duncan PR with my best friend Sandie, so we working for ourselves, I could be there right up to the absolute last minute before having you. After you were born, you came into work with me, you had your spot on the floor with your toys and your blanket. Same with Remo, I had just been made redundant from Tommy Boy when he turned 1 and it was a god send because I could be at home and look after you both. I just hustled from home until I could get another job. Working wasn’t a question, I was going to work and wasn’t going to stop. I’ll work now until I drop! I think it’s slightly easier for me because working in music is an enjoyable industry where you can add various strings to your bow and keep your career going in varied ways.
K: How was it being a mum working in the music industry?
S: It wasn’t easy and your dad was super supportive. I was so lucky to have him there to be with you when I had to travel for work or go to gigs in the evenings. Our generation of women probably felt that you couldn’t use your kids as an excuse as to why you can’t do something or go somewhere. I think that’s especially true when you’re working for a big company or corporation. I think I went harder at work so that they could never think I was taking the piss because I’ve got kids.
K: I understand that, it’s annoying enough when you feel some work environments don’t need much of a reason to doubt your abilities as a woman so that’s definitely an added factor to consider. What is it like being a mother to a daughter in comparison to a son?
S: I can’t speak for every daughter, but you were always an old spirit and mature from day dot.
K: Basically changing my own nappies since birth…
S: Yeah literally, before I had you I dreamt that I’d left you on your own at home and came back to find you laying in your cot. I couldn’t stop apologising and I felt so bad. You rolled your eyes at me and said ‘next time you go out, just leave me some nappies and food please’
K: That is the funniest dream and so accurate because I really will fend for myself. That’s mad you dreamt that before you’d even met me.
S: You’ve always been really independent and that was always a help and a gift, I didn’t ever feel like I was overly worried about you and your development. You were a joyful little girl. What is amazing about having a daughter is sharing female energy and also being able to relate to your child and now a woman, who isn’t your friend or your sister but part of you. You go from teaching them and shielding what you say to learning so much from them. Watching you have a different female experience to me has been so interesting. And obvious stuff like sharing clothes, although I don’t really do that with you…
K: That is a bare face lie Scottie! You always borrow my stuff!
S: *laughs* I think I ordained it that you would be the same size as me so we could share. I love that side of it. Having a son, especially as he’s the youngest, does make me feel more protective of him. I feel like I need to go that extra mile to look after him at times.
K: What was I like as a child?
S: You were very gregarious, you could read amazingly at a very early age which I loved because I could read to you and be a drama queen acting the stories out. You were always at ease with adults, you always wanted to look after other children and take charge. Your gran used to pick you up from nursery and you’d be teaching the other kids how to tie their laces which drove her mad!
K: What were some of best outfits you bought me?
S: You had this coral pink dress with a big sunflower on it and rainbow button on the back. I used to go in French Connection outlet store on High Street Ken and getting so many nice bits.
K: We used to go to H&M there all the time and when we got home I’d insist on doing a fashion show of everything that we’d bought.
S: Your dad bought you these duckboots from Denmark which we made you wear with your salopettes even though we never went skiing, but it was a look. When you first started having an opinion you were quite conservative in your choices. You’d always go for like the darker and muted colours and I’d say “no Komali! You have to be expressive with your clothing!” and then you went the complete opposite way.
K: Yeah and started wearing neon Reebok classics and leg warmers. Everyone in Harlesden thought I was mad because of my outfits.
S: Yeah that dull phase didn’t last long, I wouldn’t allow it.
K: Must have been the Capricorn in me, making safe, sensible choices.What were some of your favourite outfits?
S: I had a pair of Oxford bags –
K: What are those?
S: They’re really wide trousers, mine were plaid and I wore them with a smock over the top with platforms and an afro. When I was 14, I had these platform wedges with flowers all over them which I used to wear with this aqua green pleated skirt – I thought I was the baddest. The shoes were way too heavy for me though.
My mum also used to make a lot of clothes for us for Sunday School – she made me an orange catsuit so I’d wear that with platforms and afro puffs too. My mum was so good at sewing and crocheting – I wish I still had those. My mum was all about dressing and making sure we looked fire. So having a girl of my own to dress was fabulous.
K: How would you describe your style now, do you think it changes a lot for women as you get older?
S: I tend to only buy things I really love, I don’t need a lot of clothes because I’m not out in these streets raving anymore. The cut and fabric need to be right and needs to be classic but with a twist.
K: Classic with a twist makes you sound like a cocktail.
S: *laughs* it’s true though!
K: What did you think I was going to be when I grew up? I know it changed so much. I wanted to be a vet, a choreographer, a music video director, a casting director, a makeup artist…the list really does go on.
S: I know I remember all that. I think you’ll be teaching people or giving guidance in some capacity. You also have a creative streak that I don’t think you’ve fully tapped into yet.
K: I’m still not a grown up yet, so don’t get ideas but there’s still lots of things I still need to find time to do.
S: Well I always thought you’d be a writer, you had a poem published when you were 8. You were writing before you could actually spell properly, you’d fill notebooks scribbling so intensely.
K: Sounds like Jack Nicholson in the shining…all work and no play makes Komali a dull girl…
S: Literally! It was crazy. You should go back to that.
K: What did you think when we started King’s Ransom?
S: I was so happy you were fulfilling that creative outlet so fearlessly. You guys went full tilt and it was inspiring to see you throw yourself into that. I always feel there’s no stopping you, you’ll do what it is you’ve been put on earth to do. It’ll come in many forms and guises, which is how life works now. Your brain allows you to have your fingers in lots of pies.
K: What would you say to your 25-year-old self now?
S: I’d probably tell myself to be way more confident in my abilities. When I was 25 I was trying to find my way in the world of work. I’d just started working in music at this dodgy PR company for rock and metal bands. My wage cheque would always bounce and the guy was a total character so it was all ridiculous and fun. I liked that it was unconventional but it was a mess.
K: I definitely took that advice from you, so hopefully it all pays of so I can have you retire on a super yacht somewhere!
S: Yeah time’s pushing on so hurry up!
Read Meghan and Evelyn’s Mother’s Day interview here