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Kids’ entertainers make the world go round

Lisa Sonshine and Brock Burford
Lisa Sonshine and Brock Burford

Lisa Sonshine and Brock Burford, better known as Sonshine & Broccoli, have been singing their way into Canadian children’s hearts for 11 years.

Singer Sonshine is full of light and excitement with a jubilant personality to which her fans, kids ages two to 10, gravitate.

Burford’s childhood nickname of “Broccoli” stuck, and pretty much describes the singer/guitarist’s playful demeanour.

Following the successes of Sonshine and Broccoli Jam in 2004, and their second album Feel The Beat in 2009, the duo recently launched their third children’s album It’s A Beautiful Day.

The album is a collection of 12 songs ranging in style from rock to pop to bluegrass, including a gospel song.

“Kindie Pop and Kindie Rock is a new wave of writing for children’s music where adults, as well as kids, can listen.  If you took the children’s lyrics out, it would be a pop song you would hear on the radio,” explained Burford. “On this album we wanted to expand our story-telling skills, elaborating on themes of conquering your fears and freedom of expression.”

With songs such as Making a Fort, Wave Hello, Sing It Out, The Painter, Rock Paper Scissors, Time Travel Song, and Try Something New, one can’t help but anticipate  where the lyrics will lead.

“My favourite song on the album is Music Makes the World Go Round. It contains both melodies and crossover melodies, where Lisa is singing one part and I am singing another part, and we harmonize together but in different rhythms. I like the song structure and the melody and I love the music. It has a beautiful flow and the message is what I like most: music does make the world go round and it connects everyone together,” Burford said.

Fresh out of the musical theatre program at Sheridan College, Sonshine saw herself headed to Broadway, while Burford aspired to be a rock star.

Nevertheless, life had other ideas.

One day Lisa, was asked to lead a sing-a-long mom-and-tot music class.

“I called Brock, who was my best friend, and asked if he could help me out. We wrote The Welcome Song and The Goodbye Song,” said Sonshine.

“I always responded well to kids and Lisa was a child whisperer. It capitulated from there,” added Burford.

Touring across Ontario this summer, Sonshine & Broccoli performed some 50 shows.  One show in particular left a huge impact on the performers.

“We did a show at Camp Aim, a therapeutic camp for children. We rocked out so hard it became a big dance party. The counsellors got these kids out of their chairs and some even out of their wheelchairs.  It was one of the best shows we have ever done.  The energy was over the top. I left Camp Aim knowing that music is a universal language.

“We were so inspired from our performance at Camp Aim that we penned Music Makes the World Go Round that night,” said Sonshine.

What’s next for Sonshine & Broccoli?

“We have submitted It’s a Beautiful Day to the Junos and are hoping for a Juno nomination, if not a Juno award. We will continue building our brand, touring, and working on getting a television show,” Sonshine said.

Sonshine & Broccoli will be performing songs from their newest album It’s A Beautiful Day at Associated Hebrew Schools Chanukah party on Nov. 29, and at Kidstock Feb. 7, with proceeds going to Chai Lifeline

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