As a special preview of the LA Baby Show, coming up on the weekend of November 5-6, we have interviewed or profiled many of the Show’s vendors and participants. You can read all about them on this Show blog, but of course the real fun is experiencing the Baby Show in person.
Tickets to the Baby Show are $30 per family, and $20 per individual, and can be purchased here.
So much of the music for children today is annoyingly simple or frustratingly catchy. All parents want is music their kids love that won’t drive mom and dad crazy when they listen to it forty times in a row. Paulie Z, an LA-based musician and entertainer, provides fun music that your kids will love and you might find yourself humming too! Paulie Z will be performing on Saturday, November 5.
We spoke to Paulie Z to learn more about his music.
How would you describe your kid’s music to someone who is unfamiliar with it?
I would describe it as catchy and engaging while maintaining a high level of songwriting integrity. What I mean is that my songs are not dumbed down and overly goofy because they are written for children.
They are written in a way that both the kids and their parents can appreciate them. Let’s face it: mommy and daddy have to hear these songs a million times too! The melodies are catchy, the arrangements are interesting and the lyrics are age appropriate. It’s similar to the way the Beatles wrote their music.
Kids don’t classify music the way adults do. They just know what they like and my music gives them opportunities to jump around to high energy songs that rock, lie down during gentle lullabies and repeat sounds and musical patterns that they hear. It’s entertaining and educational at the same time.
If an interested parent wanted to check out one of your songs, which song should they start with? Is it on Youtube?
I would say to check out the Achoo Song!
What kind of venues do you normally play in around Los Angeles?
For performances for children, I perform mainly at schools, stores, churches and private events. I do a lot of birthday parties as well. For adults I perform at all the major rock venues in LA including the famous Whisky A Go Go, The Viper Room, House Of Blues, and more.
What is the hardest part about playing for little kids and parents? What is the best part?
To be honest, it comes very naturally to me and I love what I do so I can’t say that there is anything hard in particular. I guess if I had to answer, I would say waking up early in the morning. Being a rock musician as well means that I am a night owl and sometimes get home really late from gigs so waking up can be a challenge.
The best part is seeing the smiles on everyone’s faces and knowing that the service I am providing is giving both the parent and child much joy. The world can use as much joy as possible and it is extremely satisfying knowing that I can provide that. As an educator I also love watching a child learn something new. That feeling never gets old.
How did you get involved with Pump Station? What was the process of developing the curriculum for such a unique class?
A friend of mine and fellow children’s educator from NYC put me in touch with the Pump Station when I first moved to LA about three years ago. I performed a few shows for them for free to show them what I can do and the next thing you know I was teaching music classes there.
At the time, I had just finished writing the Rockin’ Railroad music program for another place called Kidville. I recommended that the people behind Pump Station create their own signature program as well so that’s when we started working on it. I teamed up with one of their top staff child psychologists, Jill Campbell, who gave me an in-depth breakdown of infant development and how that corresponded to The Pump Station philosophy. I used all that info to create a class concept and then wrote the songs based on each topic.
The key to creating a signature class is to identify the personality and mission statement of the school and incorporate those elements into the framework of the curriculum. You can’t just write a bunch of random songs – that won’t work.
Do you also make music for adults? If so, do you go back and forth, or have you transitioned from one to the other?
Yes. I have been doing adult music professionally for over 20 years. I sing and play guitar and specialize in rock music. I have released multiple CDs with bands and on my own as a solo artist. I have toured the country with legendary bands like KISS and Poison, had my own radio podcast on iTunes, sang the national anthem at professional sporting events and even starred in my own TV series! My entire career I have balanced being a rock musician and kid’s musician and I love it! Actually, the TV show I was on was about being in a rock band at night and a kid’s band by day.
I find that doing both has not only kept me balanced as a musician, but also as a human being. People love the fact that I do both and it has opened up so many doors for me. I couldn’t imagine living without one or the other. It’s who I am.
Any career news that you would like to share – new albums? New projects?
For kids, I recently released a new kid’s CD for the Pump Station called “Melody Day.” My wife and I founded a company called Bebu Music which provides music programming and entertainment for kids. We have after school programs in place all over LA and are booking more and more birthday parties and events. In addition I am also working on an online guitar lesson series, a musical curriculum for elementary schools, a second Pump Station CD and teaching private lessons.
For adults, I released my own solo EP simply entitled “Paulie Z” which is available on iTunes. Recently I won an LA Music Award for hosting the hugely successful Ultimate Jam Night every Tuesday at the famous Whiskey A Go Go in West Hollywood. It is the best rock show in town and I host it and perform as well. So mommies and daddies, get a nanny and come on out to the show!!