Tuesday, September 25, 2012

"Rhyme and Reason: Ozomatli presents Ozokidz"

     Hello readers, I was privileged to interview Wil-Dog Abers of Ozomatli on their latest album, Ozokidz! Learn about his perspective about their very first children's album!

What motivated you all as a band to create an album for the kids? 

It started three years ago when we were in Chicago backstage at the house of blues on a Tuesday night.  .. Nobody was showing up to our show and we couldn't figure out why so  I went on Facebook and posted up that said "who wants to come to our show tonight?  I'll give you free tickets"  Everybody was responding saying "sorry it's a school night! Or " I can't get a babysitter tonight" .... so our drummer said "we should do a kids album since all of our fans have kids anyways". Then we started looking into it more more deeply and figured out there was this whole other market of kids music and kids products that we could tap into that would allow families to come to our shows with their children.   

Are there any particular messages you intend to deliver in your songs?

The message with ozokids songs are pretty much consistent with the messages of ozomatli that is inclusion rather exclusion....
As for those ozokidz record ...each song has its own message.  We have  songs about exercising, skateboarding, overcoming fear of water and swimming.  I think that's one thing that is different between out kids stuff and the regular Ozo music is that each some has a defined subject. 

Growing up, were there any artists who influenced you to reach out to children through music?

When I was growing up I never listened to kids music. I was more into groups like the Clash and Prince and Rap music. I did start getting into  kids music until really recently because of doing this album. 

What type of genres would you say you interpret into your music and is there a particular age range this album is dedicated to address?

For the most part we interpret dance music from all over the world. Anything that you can dance to we'll put into our music. I would say this album is geared towards younger children probably age ranges 1 to 6.

The music you have on the Ozomatli albums are very similar to the Ozokids album, what makes the two diverse?

I would say it's a subject matters we would not talk about a moose on the loose on an Ozomatli album.

I caught the Ozokidz concert in Echo Park and if I remember correctly, Asdru's daughter helped sing a song. Is she or any other children of your bandmates included in this album as well?

On this album Asdru's daughter is the only one on it. 

Me and my brother with Wil-Dog after an Ozokidz show.

What do you enjoy most about performing for young adults and children?

I like that you have to read the audience, stay on your toes and never miss a beat or they might get bored. It's defiantly been a learning process for us.  

Ive been to an Ozomatli concert and an Ozokidz concert. I notice that you give the same amount of energy for both. Would you say you have just as much fun performing for both?

I definitely have just as much fun playing for both however for the kids it's been a learning process and it's not easy it takes constant energy. Where on a regular Ozomatli show there's times that you can relax and take a breather with the kids you can never relax recently offered a free download of the song, "Balloon Fest". You can download it here.

What is your personal favorite song from the album and why?

"Germs" is one of my favorites because it has Justin and Asdru singing. I like it when different people are singing on one song it makes it really interesting and different.  I also like how the song talks about good germs that you need and also germs that are harmful to you.

All the songs on this album have a very positive vibe. They are upbeat and motivational. Not to mention educational aswell. For instance, the song about exercise and how to stay healthy and enviornmental friendly. I highly recommend this album for those of you who have children. As for those of you who don't, you still might find this album enjoyable. Afterall.. it is Ozomatli!!

Brianna Marie is a an over achieving Sophmore at a local High School. Her many interests include painting and writing but making music tops the list. You can find her singing with her band, hanging out with her friends or volunteering at the library.

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