Be Who You Are is a kids’ album with music and spoken word pieces that teach kids to choose love over fear, shine bright, be kind to other people and follow their guts!
This collection of songs and spoken word pieces has a message of empowerment, so the themes touch on topics that creators Paula Tiberius, Tara Samuel and Richard Duguay think are important for raising good people. The infectious pop-rock title track “Be Who You Are” says it all – the lyrics encourage kids to stick to their beliefs, opinions and tastes, no matter what others say. Being yourself is the lynchpin of the Be Who You Are movement!
Enjoy diverse musical styles, ranging from rockers like “Question Everything” (featuring Ron Reyes of Black Flag on vocals) and FREE (a ballad sure to get stuck in your head – in a good way!) all the way to kazoo and slide whistle ditties. There’s a touch of the 1950’s with the Jerry Lee Lewis style “Fear of Love” (featuring Meher Steinberg on grand piano) and an ode to a little girl that rivals the Beach Boys layered style called “Into The Garden” with beautiful harmonies and miraculous music by Richard Duguay.
Critical thinking is also a main theme with “Question Everything” and “Your Toys Could Be Better” a song sung by 7-year-old Violet Duguay, serving as an open letter to movie companies that market princess toys. You’ll love it when she tells them not to make her likeness too skinny : ) and the Johnny Cash style blues guitar by David ‘Raven’ Rutchinski will have you tapping your feet. Check out the R.d. Cane video for this one on YouTube! Then, “Perfectly Imperfect” is an experimental dance style track by actress Cara Pifko, which has a message about messing up and how important it is to make mistakes!
And what kids’ album would be complete without a ukulele? Check out “Postcard from Hawaii” which is all about how fun it is to go traveling, and “It’s Not Fair”, a hilarious redemption song about a kid who thinks she owns all the sand in the sandbox, only to discover it’s not so fun to play on your own. Also in this vein, “How to Fly” gives kids permission to let a group dynamic become its own thing – encouraging the joy of cooperation and synthesizing ideas, and “Share What You Find” suggests lots of amazing things that can be done in the world and why it’s fun to share experiences.
Finally, there are three spoken word pieces that you can use as bedtime stories, teachable moments and more! “Rosalind Peacock” is the hilarious rambling stream of consciousness of a young student who idolizes one of her classmates and then has a big realization at the end, wonderfully narrated by actor / painter Jon Rannells. Then actress Kathryn Winslow will make you weep with empathy listening to “Cojak the Cactus with no Needles”, the tale of a not-so-prickly pear cactus who becomes emotionally hardened to ward off predators. Will he find his gooey center again? Lastly, “Speak Up” is an homage to a famous poem “First They Came” from the 1940s about the importance of sticking up for other people – set in a modern classroom setting where bullying is affecting the students’ lives.
Fourteen eclectic tracks in one from-the-heart package! Enjoy : )
More on the Be Who You Are philosophy:
There are a lot of tough moments to live through as a kid, and every one of those moments is a chance to learn and grow. Sometimes kids take away the wrong message from these moments, which is very easy to do. Messages like: I won’t be loved if I stand up for myself because it makes other people uncomfortable. Or, My opinion doesn’t matter because I’m just a kid. Or, I didn’t do it right, so I should stop trying. We carry these messages into adulthood and become afraid to live our lives to their fullest. This record is meant to empower kids with the freedom to choose their own thoughts, feelings and emotions – ones that make them feel good, big, strong and important. Because every kid is important.
And we don’t mean that in an “Aw, kids are so cute and ‘important’” way. We mean that these future adults have the power to relieve pain, suffering, injustice and inequality in the world as they grow up and become teachers, doctors, artists and leaders. It’s a complex society we live in with very real challenges like systemic racism, poverty, greed, and all the unfair things that go along with that. Rather than shelter our kids from this storm, let’s give them the proper gear to handle the weather. They’re not afraid to splash in puddles, but they need to be told it’s okay. It’s okay to say what you think, it’s okay to go against the grain, it’s okay to fail, it’s okay to speak up when you think something’s not fair, it’s okay to trust your gut, it’s okay to Be Who You Are. Authenticity is the greatest gift humans can offer the world. When your heart is behind something, you can make anything happen.
BWYA team : )