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Meet the McKenzies | #ThisIsFamily

Meet single dad, Marlon, daughter Chika and son TJ AKA the McKenzies - the Manchester trio that have more than just Northern soul. We caught up on set to talk dad dancing and Beyoncé impressions…

Introduce yourselves…

TJ: I’m TJ McKenzie also known as Taylor James.
Marlon: I’m Marlon McKenzie
Chika: I’m Chika McKenzie AKA ChikaChu

What’s special about your family?

Chika: Everything.
Marlon: We’re just a crazy bunch, we like to laugh, fight, climb. We’ve got a little dog and we all go crazy with the dog. We sing together. We’re silly. Even mum’s silly, I’m silly so we’re all big goofballs. But we know when to cut off from each other or when we want our own space.

What’s dad like?

Chika: His jokes are actually funny - they’re definitely not Dad jokes!
Marlon: They are pretty funny, probably not safe to repeat [laughs]

What about Dad dancing?

TJ: Don’t get him started. We’ll just be watching TV and he’ll come downstairs dancing like “look at me”
Marlon: I’m such an attention seeker! I won’t stop until I’ve got everyone watching me.
TJ: And he always takes the remote and uses it as a microphone.
Marlon: He does it too! I’m always hearing TJ singing in the shower - he does a full music video in there for like 45 minutes. He does sound cute. And Chika too. 

What do you love most about dad?

TJ: His cooking.
Chika: His goofiness.
Marlon: You like my cooking?
Chika: Oh yes! Your cornflake pie.
Marlon: Chika likes my clothes. She’s a bit of a tomboy at heart, like an Aaliyah tomboy.
Chika: That’s true that’s true.
Marlon: The other day I got home and she was wearing one of my hoodies, walked straight upstairs and came back down with it off [laughs]
Chika: I didn’t think you’d noticed [laughs]
Marlon: It was bright yellow babe! Always sneaking my clothes [laughs]

What lessons do you want to teach your kids?

Marlon: I’ve always taught them to be polite. And I say there’s two paths you can go down, this one leads this way and that one leads that way - I want them to take the right path. Even coming here today, you don’t know what opportunities you’re going to get so it’s important to be kind and polite. I’ve been on the street before you could walk past somebody and not be polite to them and that’s a person you end up working with. Yeah just being polite, caring and helpful. And they are - bar tidying up!

What’s the best thing about being a dad?

Marlon: Watching my children grow up. It really is. Next question. I can’t look at pictures of them without getting upset! Whenever I see old photos of them I just think you’ll never get that back, I’ll never pick that baby back up or cuddle them. I need a tissue!
TJ: I’m an Aquarius I don’t cry.

What lesson have the kids taught you?

Marlon: To have no more children!

Tell us what makes you happy…

Chika: Music. Whether it’s listening to it or making my own. 
TJ: Same here, music and singing. 
Marlon: We come from a very musical family. When I met their mum she was in a pop band, so music’s just always been a part of their lives. Even when they’re fast asleep and I’m blasting music they’ll sleep straight through it!

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