WHY I STARTED WRITING CHILDREN'S SONGS
Updated: Feb 8
1. Desperation not to hear 'Wheels on the bus' over and over.
In their early years I loved to hear my kids singing all sorts of nursery rhymes, which did include 'Wheels on the bus’, or to sing along with the theme tunes of their favourite shows like 'Charlie and Lola' 'Peppa pig' and '64 Zoo Lane’.I was also lucky that my kids were happy to listen to most of the music that got played in the house. But whenever I tried searching for different Children's Music for them all I came across were the most generic twee songs that I found physically painful to listen to.
2. Career change. I came from a musical background, being a vocalist, recording and touring with different bands. I always imagined I'd be able to carry on with my musical career after having kids but once the reality hit, to be honest I lost the drive to be a part of the music business, and the idea of leaving my kids for a long period of time didn’t seem an option.
3. The power of Storytelling.
My first child started school and one day he came home upset, saying one of the kids had made a derogatory comment about his colour. When I was relaying this to my good friend and renowned storyteller Jan Blake, she told me that I should go into the school and do storytelling, and she armed me with some great Afro Caribbean Stories. The effect the stories had on the children was so powerful, I instantly fell in love with storytelling and began to build a career. Many of the stories incorporated songs, so I also got to sing.
4. An easy transition into songwriting.
I was asked to write some songs based on a series of children's stories, and also got asked to sing on many educational and multi-cultural albums for ANC Black Publishing. This experience got me thinking I should try writing my own, really simple little songs, aimed at under 5’s, about the kind of things that were in kids everyday lives, to help inspire and explain the world around them. A few of which I wrote with Jan Blake.
5. A desire for a Creative flow.
My partner suggested I learn some music software to produce my songs. It was so frustrating being a total novice with computers, at times it was painful for my kids and partner to watch as I sat there random clicking, tears streaming down my face, screaming at the computer screen 'where's it all gone ? everything disappeared !!’
It took me ages to get any creative flow going, but eventually some half descent songs started to emerge. I found myself using the grooves and chord progressions that I liked, and didn't feel I needed to dumb down any aspect of the music, just because it was for kids.
I ask my friend Matty DuCasse (aka artist/DJ/producer Matty Skylab) to have a listen to my songs, he really liked them and agreed to help produce them. I began to develop Song/Stories based on characters like jazz Cat, a mischievous, odd looking cat, and Mitzy Morgan Taylor an intrepid girl Sailor.
In writing this piece I've come to realise another reason......
6. I love to entertain and share stories and songs with children. It's a joy !!