At Sandows we're proud of our roots. Launched from a basement in Hackney whilst holding down our barista jobs, Sandows is a side hustle gone wild. Although our days of trading shifts for space to brew cold brew coffee are behind us, we remember them fondly. Our latest series, Baristas Mean Business looks to celebrate other people working in coffee doing something special on the side.
When Ghilyon Welby-Jenkins isn’t working as Head Roaster for 39 Steps Coffee Roastery, he’s producing music. After moving to London four years ago and struggling to find space to play the drums, Ghilyon (aka Ghilburt )began producing music in the evenings. With his new release, Delicious, coming out on the 6th of September, we thought we’d sit down with him to find out what inspired him to start making music on the side, how coffee has influenced his hustle, and what he’d love to happen in the future.
Where were you when inspiration struck?
I’m a drummer originally but when I first moved to London, I couldn’t find a lot of time to set up my kit and keep going with it. I started messing around with beats after work by myself and then with my best mate Matt (aka Woodley) taking inspiration from Apollo Brown, Slum Village, Madlib and Wun Two to name a few, and just kept going from there.
How has working in coffee influenced your side hustle?
Working in coffee has definitely helped me with my music. I met Matt when I was at Tap Coffee. We were both working as baristas and liked listening to hip hop so after work we started making music together and that’s when the interest in producing really took off for me. Plus working in cafés in good areas of London there are always lots of creative people around and you just get talking to them. Another great experience was when I played a proper decent gig surrounded by my mates at Yellow Warbler coffee shop in Hackney. That was real nice.
Your greatest stunt - tell us about a time you pulled something amazing off?
I managed to get a beat to Loyle Carner and he replied saying “this beat is cold G”. It never went any further sadly but that’s still up there as something amazing for me!
How do you find time to keep both aspects of your life going at once?
It is tricky to do everything. With work, commuting, and finding time to go to the gym, sometimes it’s not that easy to make music. I try to find time after work and on the weekends but I don’t put too much pressure on myself. As long as I’ve had a go at making something then that’s okay. Motivation isn’t really an issue for me. Sometimes making music every day just isn’t viable but I know that I’ll always want to make something soon.
What are two traits that have helped you in your hustle, and one quality you'd love to develop?
Good samples and a chilled vibe are the two main traits, I would love to develop more beats from scratch using no samples in the future.
What has taken the most courage so far?
Reaching out to other artists to work with me, it’s something I don’t find easy to do really but have managed to collaborate with some lovely human beings.
Top tip for keeping the plates spinning?
Keep yourself motivated by taking inspiration from others. Also beer.
Biggest fuck up?
Not saving a really good beat I made and then my laptop crashed, never got it back...
What would you love to happen in the future?
Well in regards to coffee, I’d love to have my own roastery. For music, that's a tough one. I don’t really know how to take a compliment and tend to sort of brush them off. I suppose it would be great to play a big festival but I don’t really care about making money from it. At the moment I would love to have an album on vinyl and a collab with Loyal Carner.
Delicious will be released on 6th September and available on all music streaming platforms.
Check out Ghilyon aka Ghilburt on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/
Matt aka Woodley: https://open.spotify.com/
And their collab, Floating Worlds: https://open.spotify.com/