With almost 15 years of working together, Toronto children’s entertainment performers, Sonshine and Broccoli, show no sign of stopping.
The kids’ pop rock group just released their fourth album, It’s Cool to Be Kind, a collection of songs that aim to spread messages of positivity and kindness.
“Kindness right now in our world is so needed,” said Lisa Sonshine. “With bullying and the pressures that kids face nowadays, kindness is huge…and it’s cool.”
Sonshine and Broccoli’s target audience are 2-to-10-year-old children, an age where kids begin to learn to communicate and build relationships.
The duo incorporates messages such as “kindness is contagious” or “spread a little love” in their songs in hopes these principles will be adopted into the children’s daily lives.
“It’s simplifying things for kids so they can really understand it,” said Brock Burford, the Broccoli of Sonshine and Broccoli. “It just comes down to a small gesture of giving your friend a hug or just a smile.”
The two got together in 2004, after Sonshine’s aunt told her she should start teaching her own Mom & Tot music classes.
“[My aunt] said to me, why don’t you do this?” Sonshine said, who remembers her aunt attending Mom & Tot music classes with her three adopted children. “I called [Burford] and I was like, can you help me? He said yeah, and we got together.”
Since then, the two best friends have been songwriting, recording albums, touring across the country, and performing as Sonshine and Broccoli.
In 2005, they wrote and recorded their first album, Sonshine and Broccoli Jam, which they remember writing in subway stations and Starbucks cafes.
“It was very grassroots but people loved it. It was very simple,” said Sonshine.
Throughout their career, they say they have been lucky to experience a steady incline of success.
“It’s just so cool to see how much we’ve evolved and grown,” said Sonshine. “It’s just been an organic [incline]. I don’t really think there’s ever been a bump.”
The duo has worked hard to differentiate themselves from others in the children’s music industry. With this new album in particular, they wanted to ensure the music was enjoyable for both the parents and the children, and they did so by writing and recording their songs in a variety of genres.
“We’re making music that parents can enjoy along with the kids,” said Burford.
He explained that while their lyrics and messages are aimed at their younger audience, the variety and modernity of the music genres is something the parents can also enjoy. “I think that’s where we tend to shine.”
At the same time, they are looking to foster a unique relationship with their audience.
“We’re not dumbing down our music to kids, we’re not speaking down to them,” he added.
In addition to their albums, Sonshine and Broccoli have a fulfilling career performing around the country.
Most recently, they opened for Silento, who is famous for his Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae) song, at an NBA kids event, and recently performed 14 days straight at the Royal Ontario Museum, where they will be playing again during March break in 2019.
As the pair prepares to start their busy holiday season with shows, they are also filming a pilot television show, which they say, will be the next step/project in their careers.
“I do see us on TV as we are performers. That’s why we shine on stage because we know how to perform and sing. Especially Lisa,” said Burford.
And they don’t show any sign of stopping.
“It’s very rare for people who spend that much time together to still love each other. We have the best thing going and this is our job until forever,” said Sonshine. “Whatever feels right and comes our way, we are open and we’re just grateful. That’s the truth.”
It’s Cool to Be Kind is out now visit sonshineandbroccoli.com for more information.