This weekend, we meet a British pioneer of sound design. Errol Michael Henry invites us to the Air-Edel studios in London to show us how a song gets made. Errol is one of the few black sound designers in the UK. He’s been producing music through his independent label, Intimate Records, since the 1980s. He breaks down how he creates his distinct sound, layer by layer. Then, we explore what makes the perfect summer track with music critic Arwa Haider. She and Lilah take a tour through the top hits of the season, from Beyoncé to Bad Bunny to Pussy Riot.

Want to stay in touch? We love hearing from you. Email us at We’re on Twitter @ftweekendpod, and Lilah is on Instagram and Twitter @lilahrap.

Links and mentions from the episode:

-Yasmin Jones-Henry’s piece in HTSI: ‘My father, the pioneer of sound design’

-Errol’s music is under the name The Sound Principle

-“You Threw Our Love Away”, by The Jones Girls, sound designed by Errol:

-“You Left Me Lonely”, by Lulu (1993), sound designed by Errol:

-You also heard Intimate Records tracks “Please Come Back” by Dean Edwards and “Keep It Comin” by Julianne, both written and produced by Errol

-Here’s the song Errol says is closest he’s gotten to designing something that matched what he’d imagined:

-Errol’s organisation is called Music Justice

-Arwa Haider is on Twitter @ArwaHaider. Errol is on Twitter @ErrolMHenry, and on Instagram @thesoundprinciple. Yasmin is on Instagram @yasminrjh

-Arwa’s review of Lady Gaga live:

-Arwa’s music recommendations: "Renaissance"by Beyoncé, "Verano Sin Ti" by Bad Bunny, Nigerian singer-songwriter Tems, "Hold the Girl"by Rina Sawayama, "Matriarchy Now" by Pussy Riot, and opera singer Julia Bullock.

Music clips copyright: Streamline, Interscope, Parkwood, Columbia Records, Rimas and Neon Gold. Julia Bullock clip from NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert (2020)

Special offers for FT Weekend listeners can be found here. Join us at the FT Weekend festival in London on September 3rd: Your special £20 off promo code: FTWFxPodcast22

Original music by Metaphor Music. Mixing and sound design by Breen Turner and Sam Giovinco

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