Roony 'RiskyRoadz' Keefe, holding son Brandon, and Jason 'Jay Bits' Balforth holding daughter, Mabel.
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Couple of Dads podcast: Fatherhood in the East End uncensored

From spitting bars to running baths: Bow Grime director and content creator embrace fatherhood with launch of new podcast.

Roman Roadies, Roony Keefe and Jason Balforth launch ‘Couple of Dads’ podcast documenting their personal experience of raising a baby for dads in the East End and beyond. 

When best friends Keefe (a.k.a RiskyRoadz) and Balforth (a.k.a Jay Bits) found out that their partners were pregnant within one week of each other last year, they were mind blown. 

‘But what was even more mind blowing,’ says Keefe, ‘was the lack of content for new dads and expecting dads, especially those in our area and in our kind of voice.’ 

Their solution? To start a podcast about the ins and outs of parenting: from burping and feeding, to sleepless nights and the joys of being a father. 

As Balforth said: ‘We hope the podcast will resonate with people from Bow and the East End who will recognise us and how we speak, but we’re also aiming to reach dads around the country.’ 

The pair grew up around the Roman Road when Grime music was growing out of Bow. Familiar faces of the local music scene, Keefe used to work in the famous Rhythm Division record shop which has since closed its doors. 

Keefe added: ‘It’s not like we’re super loaded or have nannies or anything like that. We’re just guys from the East End with a working class background, and I think that’s relatable to the everyday person.

‘We’re grafting. It’s hands-on stuff.’ 

Launching the podcast at the end of summer, they have already started receiving feedback from listeners, which they say is one of the most gratifying parts of the project. 

‘One dad who felt really isolated during lockdown reached out to say that our podcast made him realise that the things he was experiencing were things that all dads feel …  so we really want other dads to reach out with their stories,’ said Keefe.

Rather than playing the experts, Balforth and Keefe aim to get more dads sharing their challenges and experiences. 

Recorded either from Keefe’s house in Essex, or his mum’s place in Bethnal Green, the podcast even has guest appearances from their ‘misuses’ and baby Mabel and Brandon on the airwaves. 

‘If we get any information wrong our misuses will interject and correct us, so there’s a really relatable family vibe to the podcast,’ Keefe laughs. 

Though some aspects of parenting might be unfamiliar to the pair, podcasting is not.

Music video director and content creator, Keefe and Balforth are natural podcasters, chatting candidly during the episodes. Keefe handles the production side of things himself, and they are already thinking of expanding into visual media. 

But at the core of it all is their love for their kids. And the one piece of advice they would give to new fathers? 

‘To remain present,’ they say almost in unison.

As Keefe explains: ‘Just being there and taking it all in … because nowadays it’s so easy to get lost on phones and things, and other life pressures. But to be present and to be there is the most important thing, because it’s such a special time.’ 

So if you’ve got a story or suggestion for the podcast, get in touch with a Couple of Dads on Being a dad is the only qualification for being on the show, and these East End dads want to hear from you! 

If you enjoyed this piece, read our article about the docu-series ‘Aint Hidin Nuttin,’ detailing the growth of Grime in Bow.  

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