In this episode, we get to know Kaitlin McGaw and Tommy Shepard, the dynamic duo who lead the children’s music collective Alphabet Rockers, and who just won a Grammy for their latest album The Movement. The collective was born out of their passion for Hip-Hop music and culture, social justice work, and letting the young people in their community be a driving force in the media made for them. The collective includes Kali De Jesus, Tommy Shepard III, and Maya Fleming, as well as other collaborators like DJ Roza Do and Samara Atkins.
Kaitlin and Tommy talk about how the goals of the collective have been shaped, deciding early on that young people are sophisticated enough to enjoy authentic Hip-Hop and giving them opportunities to write songs from their perspective, as well as choosing not to compromise their focus on racial justice and bring up uncomfortable topics just because they make children’s music.
They also talk about what led up to their Grammy win, how the landscape in their field has been changing, and how the win has opened up new opportunities for them, and how they plan to make sure to keep those doors open for others. They talk about their working dynamic and the business model they have developed and how a policy of giving people a chance when it comes to input for the project has led to discovering new talent.
Listen to the Grammy-winning album The Movement here: https://open.spotify.com/album/6OJMNs9bxCaxUc72OfzcO9
Check out Alphabet Rockers Website: https://www.alphabetrockers.com/
Learn more about their projects: https://www.alphabetrockers.com/links
Listen to more Mentor My Mix episodes here: http://www.mentormymix.com