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When Punk Rock Heads to Pre-School
GENRE: Children’s Music/Punk
HOMETOWN: Sacramento, CA
ARTISTIC APPROACH: Playing music for kids that won’t drive parents crazy.
After years of perfecting his chops in the pop-punk scene, song-writer/singer/painter/all around positive dude Kepi Ghoulie has released his latest record, Kepi For Kids, a collection of songs written specifically for, you guessed it, kids.
When long-time label owner/friend Mike Park opened up his Fun Fun Records imprint (an Asian Man Records subsidiary dedicated to children’s music), the first artist he approached was Ghoulie. According to Kepi, he was, “Raised on classic Disney and roots music” and once he realized most of his songs “were kids songs anyway,” the transition was easy.
Ghoulie originally got his footing during the Lookout Records explosion in the mid-’90s, which if the math is correct means most of the kids who spent their time pogo-ing along with The Groovie Ghoulies in the pit have since grown up and had children of their own. Ghoulie’s music is fun, yet not as grating as your little nephew’s old Barney: Live in NYC cassette. Longtime Ghoulie fans will also notice that a children’s version of “The Beast With 5 Hands” has made the record (originally released on the Ghoulies’ album Appetite for Adrenochrome). Also, Ghoulie makes a nod to his punk roots with the Ramones-laced tune, “Dee Dee Taught Me How To Count” (1-2-3-4…get it?).
So far, the rocker has taken his new tunes to art shows and schools, as well as a punk rock festival in Montreal. He currently isn’t working with any management or agents, but is excited to see what the future holds for his project. Sky’s the limit and he describes his current plans as “up for whatever.”
Ghoulie doesn’t like to describe his music as “punk rockers making kids music.” At the end of our interview he concludes that, “I just really like a good song, and I like the way people like Neil Young or Jonathan Richman can play acoustic or electric or maybe a Johnny Cash song [that] will appeal to kids.” Years into the game, he’s still as positive as ever, saying, “I just like good music.” And now he’s here to help your kids like good music, too.