ALREADY a children’s music Grammy winner and Emmy nominee at 34 years old, Tim Kubart spent two years working on his latest award nomination called Building Blocks.
The New Yorker has chosen to write and record original music for children — kindie as in indie for kids.
“I love being a children’s musician. I love being part of a community of people who think of themselves as educators before they think of themselves as rock stars.
“I think whenever you have the attention of a child whether it is on stage, or through a speaker, or on the other side of the screen, that is very important and it’s important to do and say the right thing.”
For Kubart, it all began when he was doing volunteer work at a homeless shelter in on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
“I studied acting at Fordham College at Lincoln Centre. Because Fordham is a Jesuit school, community service is part of our education.
“I was volunteering at a homeless shelter for women and children and taking care of kids in the nursery while their mums looked for housing or work.
“The director of the homeless shelter asked if I could come in the next week and sing songs. I only knew how to play a little guitar, but I said yes, and within the first few songs, I knew this was what I wanted to do.”
As for volunteer work, he says doing such service, through a bunch of organisations he was a part of growing up, was something that was expected.
“I’m very happy to have that as part of my upbringing. I make sure to continue to look for opportunities.”
Kubart took on performing at events, parties for children and families. He also joined eclectic bands like Postmodern Jukebox, as the “Tambourine Guy”, and writes songs for “Sesame Street”.
“I haven’t been to Malaysia but I hope to! As a member of the group Postmodern Jukebox, I sometimes travel with them. They have done shows in Malaysia so maybe I can get on the next tour there! I’m able to travel overseas a bunch with them, and have just started doing overseas gigs with children’s music, hopefully more soon!”
But it’s kindie music and performances for Kubart as he likes the energy of a great family show.
“I love when everyone is dancing and helping to make memories for families to share and keep is something that keeps me going. Messages from families are treasured,” says Kubart whose favourite artistes include Sara Bareilles and Jack Antonoff.
“I love great pop songwriters. In children’s music though, my two greatest influences are Justin Roberts and a group called the Alphabet Rockers. Both do incredible work that I think lifts the genre up.”
As to a song he himself might listen when happy or sad, he says: “I think the Beatles song “Let it Be” is the perfect song for any feeling.”
Kubart’s album, “Home,” won a Grammy for best children’s album in 2016, and “Sunny Side Up”-which has hosted guests like First Lady Michelle Obama, Tim Gunn, and Julie Andrews-was nominated for an Emmy for “Outstanding Pre-School Children’s Series”.
For the 61st Grammy Awards, Kubart’s ‘Building Blocks’ gets the nod for for Best Children’s Album along with “All The Sounds” by Lucy Kalantari & The Jazz Cats, “Falu’s Bazaar” by Falu, “Giants Of Science” by The Pop Ups, and “The Nation Of Imagine” by Frank & Deane.
“Building Blocks” is a pop celebration about growing: growing wiser, growing bolder, and, above all, growing the circle of caring for family, friends, and those around us.
“As a society, it’s our job to nurture the good in children. We take what we learn at home to the wider community,” he told www.broadwayworld.com when talking about “Building Blocks”.
On his latest Grammy nomnination, he says: “It is always nice to be recognised by your peers. It took us two years to make Building Blocks, and truly thought hard about every note and lyric in every song.
“It was incredible to find out other musicians thought it was worthy. That being said though, this is an album for children and families, and messages I receive from families that feel closer connected because of the album, that is the truest honour.”
You can get all the Tim Kubart news on www.timkubart.com. The 61st Grammy Awards celebration will be held in Los Angeles on Feb 10, 2019.