Pizza Express partners with Nordoff Robbins for Behind the Base music interview series

David Murphy

PizzaExpress has teamed up with music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins for the launch of Behind the Base, a monthly series in which musicians swap their guitar picks for pizza and speak about the power of music.

Every great recipe comes together in the kitchen, and that’s why each episode invites the very best of the UK’s musical talent to learn the art of the pizzaiolo and recreate their go-to order as they tell all. In each series, the artist will discuss the moments that have made them feel connected or courageous through music, including the one song or album that means the most to them, while knocking uo their favourite Pizza Express dish. Eaxch episode concludes with a performance of one of the tracks they’ve discussed on the PizzaExpress online stage.

The launch of the series comes after Nordoff Robbins became PizzaExpress’ charity partner earlier this year – a partnership which sees 25p from every Padana pizza sale donated to the charity, alongside a host of fundraising activities, so that more music therapy can be provided to some of the UK’s most vulnerable people.

First up is JP Cooper, who’s pizza of choice is the Padana. Ahead of the release of his upcoming album ‘She’ in November, he revealed how it’s an ode to all the women in his life, inspired by how the biggest moments and experiences of his life were delivered by them.

He said: “From losing my mum at a very young age, seeing my dad deal with that, growing up with four sisters, having my first child with someone and going through the fallout of that relationship not working out whilst learning to work together and still care for one another – to meeting my wife and having kids with her… I wanted to give a tip of the hat to those people that have given me those lessons, hard and simple, it’s a thank you.”

Speaking about his song ‘Masterpiece’ from his first album, and the circumstances he wrote it in, he details the breakdown of his relationship with the mother or his first son, saying, “I’d moved into a shared house with him, basically a student house, not the best place to be with a little kid. I can remember feeling really rubbish about myself, I was broke, working in a bar.” He continues, “It’s basically about how amazing it is the confidence a child has in you regardless of how rubbish you feel about yourself, and how infectious that is.”

JP later performs a heartfelt, acoustic performance of the song. To watch the first episode, including the interview in full, and the performance of Masterpiece, visit: