Saw things I shouldn't have. I made a fool of myself.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Short Interview with The Pop! For Kids Project

Sometimes you only wish to be back in those days of happiness time, milky milk, non-sense tears and midnight whining. When you and me were kids, we were senseless and innocent. We did nothing wrong. Well, ya I know there should be more excuses to this childish missing moment, and I think I found some. Yes, Dennis’ lovely project brings me back to a sweet lullaby in my sleep every night. His new blog set the child and child-wanna-be probably like me, on the very peaceful heart. We’re all still mommy’s very own kids, ain’t we?
I once sent my love e-mail to Dennis, and it’s so very nice of him to let me ask a few questions.

o The idea and truth behind The Pop! For Kids, do you exactly have any concern to what your son will listen to?
Yes and no. No, because I realize that he will make his own choices anyway once he'll grow up, and of course that's how it's supposed to be. If he decides that he wants to listen to something I find horrible, I'm not really going to stop him. In the end life is all about finding your own tastes and passions. But since he's only two years old now it's up to me and my girlfriend to still make most of those choices for him. From shortly after he was born I've been trying to make nice compilation CDs with music that I thought was appropriate and enjoyable for the whole family, and that's when I started noticing that a lot of the existing children's music is just not much to my taste, or what I consider to be good or age-appropriate. I think with music it's the same as with almost everything you're trying to teach your kid: you take your own ideas of values, beauty and quality and you try to create a world where those can shine most brightly for your kid. Since indiepop music plays such an important role in my own life, I figured it'd be nice to be able to include that in his young life as well. He does also listen to other things of course, though.

o It's been five songs (it’s probably six now) contributions -which I really love them all so much, how often that you have your son enjoyed the tunes? Does your girlfriend enjoy it too? How they respond to it all?
Like I said earlier, our son is only two years old, or actually not even quite yet. What he responds most to right now are the very simple lullabies and repetitive songs we sing for him. The songs from this project will play a bigger role a little bit later on, when he can fully understand the lyrics as well. For now I mix them in with the rest of the songs we play for him, which range from Elizabeth Mitchell to Larry Groce and from The Innocence Mission to The Beach Boys or even The Wiggles. My girlfriend? I think she's mainly enjoying the fact that I'm enjoying myself with this. She's into a lot of the same music, but is not as obsessed with it as I am.

2-year-old Sam with TP!FKP t-shirt and some records!

o How do you get all the artists into this project?
I just write a friendly email to all the artists I'm hoping to participate. Some of them already know me from my other blog, All That Ever Mattered. Sometimes the artists I write will then suggest someone else they know who may be into this project as well. The first few contributors were extremely quick with getting back to me, but most bands will understandably need a little bit more time. After a month of silence I'll send them a short reminder to keep the idea alive in their head, and that's all! The response so far has been very positive, and I've got a lot of lovely promises from artists for future contributions. Even if I get a 'no' back. the response is usually very friendly and supportive, and mainly due to an extremely busy schedule for those artists.

o What was your child-music experience?
My parents were not at all as music-obsessed as I am. Still, music was always around. My sister and I would always watch the pop charts on TV together with my mom, and the radio was never off. The kind of music I heard a lot while growing up included Simon & Garfunkel, The Beatles, Cliff Richard, Queen, ABBA and a lot of French chansons. Things like that. And then there was music like Peter and the Wolf, the classical composition by Sergei Prokofiev. Albums with real children's music I don't remember. My parents would sing traditional Dutch songs to us, but I don't think there was a lot of recorded Dutch kid's music available back then. We're lucky now that for our son we can choose from German, English and Dutch songs (we’re raising him trilingual), and that the internet makes all of those relatively easily accessible.

o Different culture makes a different sound. Do you think that me and my friends -or anyone else in my country, should do the same? as I’m not really sure it will work the same sound as you have. Any suggestions?
For this project I'm not limiting myself to European or American bands necessarily, but obviously most of it is going to be in English. It would be very interesting to hear what Indonesian or other Asian artists would come up with. Before you would start anything like this you should probably realize though that we're really talking about a niche market within a niche market. Not a ton of people listen to indiepop music to begin with, so to reach the people within that limited group that have kids… it's a challenge. A fun one, if you're as excited about the idea as I am, but still a potentially frustrating challenge.

o One last question: When your son growing up, will this project stop?
Probably. Possibly long before that, too. I'm only trying to contact the bands and artists I really like myself. Of course new bands will come up every year, but after a while the project will certainly slow down, until a point is reached where I feel I've asked everyone I can possibly think off. But we'll see! For now, there's still plenty to look forward to.


ps: Okay, well now i think you can not miss all the songs posted for the project, especially the story telling Monster Island by MJ Hibbett. Funny!

and Dennis' another blog