There have been a number of inspirational developments that have come about through the pandemic. But a truly unique one is the floating podcast studio location in London’s Little Venice. The BoAt Pod is a long term vision created by DJ/Producer Sophie Callis who claims she had always wanted to transform the vessel into a creative space but never had time.
“While the world fell apart, I knew I had to build, focus and create something unique & positive for the community. Gigs were cancelled, everything was closed but construction remained open. It was a no brainer.” Sophie explained that she used to live on the boat for many years, not only was it her home, it became a space to broadcast regular radio shows and mixtapes.
“The boat has always been a creative hub, many musicians, producers, artists, would pass through over the years. We would exchange and build ideas. There was always a sense of freedom & fun. Everyone loves the boat!”
We thought we’d ask Sophie a few questions about setting up The BoAt Pod.
Was a podcast studio always the long term vision for the boat?
Podcasting wasn’t even a thing when I was exploring all the various ideas for the boat. Radio station had obviously sprung to mind, pop up location, ice cream parlour, nail boutique. I knew I wanted the boat to be a space people could enjoy and experience. The podcast vision came about in 2018. I kept visualising it.
How long did it take to complete the boat transformation from start to finish?
9 months. We started in March 2020 and finished in December.
Was it a smooth sail?
Far from it! We gutted the vessel back to an empty shell which presented a huge amount of challenges along the way. Everything was built from scratch. Planning and attention to detail was essential to make the most out of the confined space. I had an amazing team on board to help bring the vision to fruition and spent 9 months in my overalls carrying a paintbrush and toolbox.
So, talk us through the design and lay out
I wanted to keep the boat minimal and classic. Interiors are another passion of mine so it was a lot of fun sourcing the right pieces for the boat. I went for a 60s/70s mid century modernist design. My favourite items on board are the leather egg chairs (so comfortable!) and the 60s cocktail bar which displays the boat’s wireless turntable and play five speaker kindly gifted to me by Sonos. Sounds incredible!’
You’ve branded the boat as Podcasting and Multimedia Production Studio/Creative Space. How else do you think the boat will be used in addition to podcast/vodcast rentals?
I would love to bring art, music and culture into the space. We’ve seen the rise in live streaming since the pandemic and the boat would be a great space to host intimate music sessions either pre recorded or live/interactive with a global audience. The space is flexible so it’s just a case of moving things around. We have stage boxes on board to accommodate a wide range of creative concepts. I’d like to feature events to help raise money to help musicians and to support mental health. I’m always open to ideas.
Is The BoAt Pod currently open for business?
Yes! Absolutely. We’ve just finalised the website where you can book online. We always have an engineer on board to assist. For any specific requirements or questions simply ‘Email Us’
Have you had anyone use the studio as yet?
Jumping Jack Frost, legendary drum and bass DJ/Producer started ‘The Frost Report’ monthly series on board. Due to social distancing we have had Frost host the shows with his guests projected onto the boat wall via Zoom which has worked really well. It’s been a joy to produce this Vodcast series and we look forward to more!