Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason

Born in Sierra Leone but moving to Wales as a young girl, Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason is a former lecturer at Birmingham University and the mother of seven children.

In her book House of Music: Raising the Kanneh-Masons, Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason opens up about what it takes to raise a musical family in a Britain divided by class and race.


Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason arrived in the UK with her mother on a bitterly cold day in 1972.


‘The shock of that arrival never left me…Britain in the 1970s was a cruel place to be Black and mixed race.’


A moving and inspirational account of determination, family history, music and love, The House of Music is the story of how Kadie Kanneh-Mason succeeded in raising what The Times described as ‘Britain’s most musical family.’


Not from the rarefied environment of elite music schools, but from a state comprehensive in Nottingham, all her children have become globally successful musicians, performing on classical music circuits around the world. Kadi’s third eldest, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, was the first Black musician to win Young Musician of the Year in 2016 and the siblings have performed at the BAFTAs, Britain’s Got Talent and concert halls across the world – not to mention hugely popular live broadcasts from their home in Nottingham during the recent lockdown.


Through her very personal journey Kadie charts the family route to success. It’s a story of immigration, determination and hard work. It’s the story of a remarkable family succeeding when everything seemed stacked against them. It’s hugely uplifting and just what we need in the face of everything that’s been happening this year.

Photo credit: Ali J Photography @alijphotos