Aisha Nanor of music consultancy company Kaleidovision is the woman who curates the playlists for all of our Gymbox clubs. We think she's badass. We meet her.
Hi Aisha, so you pick the music that gets played in all the Gymbox clubs, how does that work exactly?
Yes I've been working on Gymbox's overall music identity. It initially started by visiting the clubs and checking out the interior, audience and chatting to the some of the Gymbox team. All this gave me great insight into the brand, and its unique vibe. I was totally inspired by Ben Kelly's bold club-esque aesthetic and I couldn't help but have full respect for all the Gymbox crew (members and staff), and their passion for interesting/out-of-the-norm training methods, in such creative spaces. This got me thinking about the music direction and that i needed to create a brand sound that is fresh and engaging, plus loud and infectious to bring the brand to life through its music experience. I cherry picked tracks to curate a cutting-edge, eclectic and hard-hitting playlist, which not only speaks volumes about the brand, but also importantly it resonates with Gymbox's fearless members and fuels their workouts!
Tell us about Kaleidovision
We're an integrated digital media agency. We help brands use in-store music and tech in a way that helps them connect with their target audience. We're a brand-savvy collective and our team includes music consultants, creative directors and visual artists, who help put together brilliant digital solutions. We also develop our own software products in-house, therefore we're a mix between a highly knowledgeable creative agency and tech company.
What are the biggest challenges when having to select music for a fitness crowd?
Music is such a powerful way to engage and emotionally connect with people whilst training. Members at Gymbox could all be doing different workouts on the floor - one person could be cruising on a bike, while another person is going at it on a treadmill! However, the energy and vibe has to be right when it comes to choosing tracks for a fitness crowd and the music should most definitely be inspiring - this brings everyone together, and gets them in the right mind-set. Lyrics can also work so well - I've seen people go nuts working out to a track that lyrically connects with them, so getting the balance right is a challenge, but very important. Ultimately I've carefully chosen music to reflect the brand, and to mentally and emotionally enhance training on the gym floor. After all, everyone at Gymbox is there to get results, and by tuning into the right sounds they will significantly improve their training.
Does the music policy change dependent on where the club is?
Gymbox's policy embodies the city's musical roots and its 100% inspired by the UK's club scene, especially London and its cultures, sub cultures and trends. However, tailoring specifically by each club's location is the next stage that we're exploring, and we could see happening in the near future...
How do you go about sourcing the music?
Gymbox is edgy and switched on - the playlists need to sound original, therefore we don't source blatant chart music for them. We have a vast music library and we are constantly on the lookout for new interesting stuff - it's fun to source and discover new music! We also work with record labels, DJs, producers and lucky enough to get pre-release content for Gymbox.
Can you be swayed by your own musical taste or do you remain fairly objective?
I do remain objective. However, I'm a sucker for a cutting bass line, so working with Gymbox is perfect for me!
How do you know what tracks work in the clubs?
We get feedback from Gymbox managers. There's no system in place at the moment for members, but it's good to hear what people think, so happy to receive feedback for everybody.
Do you select tracks for Gymbox based on the brand energy?
Absolutely. Gymbox has a unique vibe, and the brand isn't afraid to do its own thing which I love. Gymbox has an urban attitude and is forward-thinking, animated and adventurous. The music identity will help define their independent spirit, plus impress and connect with their members.
Are you into fitness yourself?
Yes. I train with a PT, and I'm into running and weights. I also have an insanely active two-year-old boy who NEVER lets me sit down!
How important do you think it is to have the right soundtrack in gyms such as Gymbox?
Very important. I've heard really bad music in some gyms and I've seen the negative effect it can have on the brand and its members. Crafting the right sound for Gymbox will make them stand out from the crowd, and ensure they provide the optimum soundtrack for training. All this will make a positive and long-lasting impact.
What does it bring to the brand that the DJs don't?
Well, I think the two work perfectly together for Gymbox. The brand's curated playlist evokes London's club culture from morning till night (when a DJ is not playing), and the live DJ element is fun and adds hype. Both make the brand's music experience very credible.
What would be your top three workout tunes?
Al Dobson - Santiago Black (Ptaki Version) - this groove blows my mind, and never fails to get me moving
Lil Silva ft Sampha - Salient Sarah - ahh bass heavy goodness from these men of the moment
LL Cool J - Mama Said Knock You Out - STRONG! How can you not enjoy working out to this?!