A little more than a year ago, I had a dream. It was a dream that I could, perhaps, write some fun songs for children that parents would also enjoy. Sounds like a simple dream, right? It was. But I think most great dreams probably are simple deep down at their core.
I really wanted to write something inspiring. I wanted to create something that would encourage kids to sing and dance and laugh and play - something that could, perhaps, even allow grownups to feel like kids again (don't we all dream of that from time to time?).
Also, as a parent myself, I was tired of hearing kids music that sounded like an afterthought - like low budget, poorly written, dumbed down clamor. It bummed me out. The truth is, kids are creatively capable of much more than we often think...
So... I began writing a batch of songs.
Enter Jeremiah John Dunlap (or, DJJD). He is a fairly well-known producer in Central Florida, and he's one of the most creatively talented guys I've ever met. Last summer I approached him over coffee with the idea of making an album together. Looking back, I realize how absurd the pitch must've seemed:
Me: 'It's for children, but grownups will like it too. Picture the smarts of Feist with the loud guitars of Weezer, but we're singing about the potty...'.
JD: (Puzzled look)
Me: 'Do you know how to program dubstep?'.
JD: What's your budget again?
After much conversation and planning, Jeremiah and I came together last summer to create the first Sugarcrash Kids album, Play All Day and Sleep All Night. It released on November 25th of last year, and the response has been stellar!
After the release, DJJD and I started dreaming big things together, and then we decided to become official partners in Sugarcrash Kids.
Fast forward to December (yes, one month after the album released...) of last year. Another dream started brewing:
What if we could create a podcast that was as smart and well-produced as some of the shows we loved (RadioLab, This American Life, Serial, etc.), but it was for kids?
What if we could develop a cast of interesting characters and tell stories that invite kids to get lost in between reality and dreamland - right in that sweet spot where learning actually happens...?
What if we could write a brand new song for each episode and ask kids to come on the show and talk about topics in their own words?
The idea was huge. It had potential. It was really fun to think about. Whoa - it could be huge!
There was one hangup though. Neither of us had ever done anything with a podcast before.
So... we did the logical thing and invited one of our friends who had also never done a podcast to join the team and help.
Enter Robyn the Bird. When I first approached Robyn about doing the podcast, she kind of had a perplexed look on her face - and rightfully so. She had never done a podcast before, and actually, we had never worked on anything together before... But, somehow Jeremiah and I were convinced that she'd be a great co-host and part of the team. We did know she was great with children and well-liked by everyone in our community, and we had a sneaking suspicion that there was a lot of untapped talent there.
Luckily, we were right.
In late December of last year, the three of us basically locked ourselves in a room together for ten hours and wrote the very first episode of The Cramazingly Incredifun Sugarcrash Kids Podcast.
The podcast released in January of this year, and we have been blown away with how people have responded. In just seven months, our listenership has grown from 0 to between 3,000 and 5,000 per episode. Which is CRAZY. What the heck? I mean, I'm happy about it...
To me, the numbers aren't even the coolest part, though. It's the stories from the families who listen to the episodes. It's hearing how kids like to pretend they are the different characters on the show. It's parents telling us that their morning commute to preschool is so much better now because the show is on repeat in the car. It's people sending us clips of their kids singing our songs as loud as they can. It's hearing from you!
This is why we made a podcast...
But, there's more now...
The next part of the dream is creating one place where parents can go to always get great content for their kids. Instead of sifting through YouTube, Pandora, or some podcast app in the car to find a song or a show that kids will like, we wondered what it would look like to create a hub of curated, quality content.
So, in the same fashion that we created a podcast way before we knew how, we are creating an iPhone/iPad app.
But, don't worry. It's going to be amazing!
It's called SCK Radio, and it is intended to be a hub for quality family content. When it launches in late August or early September, it will come preloaded with both of our existing albums (PADSAN and Rad Songs) and all of our podcast episodes. Whenever a new album or podcast episode is released, it will automatically become available within the app. Meaning, for Sugarcrash Kids content, you will never have to look anywhere else.
Oh, and it's free to download.
This is so exciting, but it's also phase one. Eventually, the app is intended to have other artists' songs and other podcasters' material curated in, making it a one stop shop for great kids and family entertainment!
So, here's the thing: We are currently raising $7000 on Kickstarter to pay for the creation and release of the SCK Radio app. Our desire is to be able to keep making great content for your family for FREE, but that means we'll need your help on certain things to keep the ball moving forward.
Please take a moment and watch the video below. If you are a fan of what we do or wish to support the creation of the SCK Radio app, click HERE. There are lots of great prizes for contributors too (t-shirts, concerts, a spot on the podcast, etc.).
Thanks SO much for the support! We're glad we can be a part of your family...
- Mr. Josh