We dance to them in our living room. They get the kids bopping before breakfast. Choo-Choo Soul on Playhouse Disney is one of the ONLY “kid” groups we ALL love around here. In honor of their Itunes release on Halloween, I had a nice little chat with Genevieve, my son’s first crush and my daughter’s new idol.
Tell the Moms a little about Choo Choo Soul and how it was formed:
Well Greg came up with this whole idea, but it all started when we met in his office in Northern Cal, when I was auditioning for a voiceover job for his incredibly amazing video game, TOEJAM & EARL III, Mission to Earth. I was auditioning for the lead but wasn’t quite what they were looking for, but we had great chemistry and he cast me as several background character voices. When he asked me to try “singing” a line instead of just reading it, a HUGE lightbulb went off in his mind and he ended up writing a bunch of new lines for me to sing in the game. After the release, he came up with the idea of doing a whole children’s CD, with hip music that parents would actually like too! We agreed to create the product in hopes that it would get picked up but had no idea it would go this far! Disney was interested in the music but after thinking about the concept and seeing some pics, they were considering it as a live tv spot. They flew Greg and I down to LA and brought us to a pre-school class with about 25 kids. They instructed us to some important guys in suits and ties and they set up a video camera, pressed play on the cd and said .. “GO!” DC, who can also be seen in the videos, was in a band with me at the time and Greg had him add his beatboxing talents to the CD. He just so happens to be ADORABLE so Disney wanted him on the show as well!!! ”
Your music is really one of a kind in the kids’ genre right now-was that on purpose?
I think so. Greg wrote the songs and I added my twist, with harmonies and backgrounds and what-not. I think we all inspired each other to keep it hip and really to give kids more credit than they get… They actually are really hip and don’t necessarily need to be “talked down to”. They love our music too, so why not give them their own grown up-style music while also helping the parents get a little relief!! Greg had worked with Burke before too, who is the one who made the music. Greg would come up with the beat in his head and actually sing it to Burke, who made it what you now hear. I think the long standing Chemistry helped a lot too.
How are enjoying the “smaller” audience? Is it harder to entertain kids than adults?
I LOOOVE the small audience!!! They don’t care What I’m wearing, who I’m dating, How much I weigh….. They are so honest and so precious I just love it. It is definitely difficult to keep their attention and to entertain them overall. But the great beat and energy of the music makes it really easy on me as the front person! Adults can be tough to entertain as well so that is hard to answer. I’d say so far in my career though it has been harder to entertain adults.
Finally, THANK YOU for making GOOD music for kids that the whole family can dance around the kitchen and sing too. I can’t tell you how nice it is to have something WE ALL want to listen to…so now that you’re big stars on Disney, what’s next? Will we get to see you live? Will there be Choo Choo Soul plush toys on store shelves? And can we say we knew you when???
Well I sure hope you can say you knew us when!! As for now Choo Choo Soul is still a “pilot” so to speak. It is airing every day but they are deciding if they want to make it into a full-time show. They will be releasing the songs on iTunes on October 31st!! I think that depending on how well that sells they may start making some decisions. I have a hunch that they will make these videos into a DVD series and sell those as well….. I’m hoping for a full length show, a movie or a live show tour! (I hadn’t thought about the plush doll!!!! That would be amazing!!!)