Friday, January 4, 2013

DADsquared Interview with Music Producer, Suzi Nash

Okay, so remember when you were little, watching the television or listening to music?
Do you remember when it may have dawned on you that you did not necessarily see or hear yourself represented?

So may be you don't... but those early childhood memories, although not always vivid, certainly silently sank in and helped to define us as adults.

For many Gay and Lesbian adults today, we never saw other people like us on the television, and we certainly never heard our lives serenaded in the form of lyrics (today's GLBT youths are growing up in a different world, thank goodness!)

But what about our children?
What are they hearing?
What songs are they being sung?
What are they themselves singing?
What is silently sinking in and helping to define them as adults?

Cue Intro.....

That's where Suzi Nash comes in.

Producer, Suzi Nash

Who is Suzi Nash?

Suzi Nash
Suzi Nash is a left handed, mixed race, lesbian who has a problem taking things seriously. "I've always felt incredibly lucky in life... good family, good friends and always enough food on the table. All I have to do to keep my spirits up is look at the nightly news and say, "Okay, that wasn't me or someone I love and it's a good day". A former co-host of the Bozo the Clown show, I'm a Jill of all trades. In addition to writing, producing and singing on Rainbow Sprinkles, I work in the film industry, hosted a long running karaoke show at Philadelphia's #1 lesbian night club and write a weekly column for the Philadelphia Gay News.

What made you want to produce "Rainbow Sprinkles," an album for LGBT families?

Rainbow Sprinkles came about when I observed my nephew in his kindergarten class. The class was getting a bit unruly until the teacher put on some music and all the kids snapped to attention and started clapping along and participating with the song. I realized that as much as adults enjoy music, with the Grammy's and VH1 awards, music was an extremely important part of kids lives as well. As I listened to them sing about the farmer and his wife I realized that not all kids have "tradition" families and that the farmer and his wife may not apply to a lot of children in today's world. So I set out to create a kids CD that had music that reflected many different types of families. And so Rainbow Sprinkles was born.

How did completing this album change your life?

This album was created because I felt there was a void that had to be filled. The CD covers all sorts of LGBT families but two moments stand out. The first was when I was at Mountain Meadow, a camp for kids with LGBT families. There was a young boy there and I asked him if he wanted to hear on of the songs from the CD. He put on my headphones and listened to a song called "The Power of Two" about having two moms. As he listened he broke into and ear to ear grin. He ripped off the headphones and said, "That song is about me! I have two moms!" I asked him why it was important to him and he said that now he could play it for his friends and they would understand him and his family better.

The other moment was because of a song called "Uncle Mike". It is about a young girl who's (whose?) Uncle Mike was soon to become her Aunt Michelle and her confusion about what was going on and why people would make fun of her beloved Uncle. She realizes how much happier he will be once he transitions and decides that his happiness is all that matters and she welcomes her new Aunt. Students at the Art Institute of Philadelphia created an animated video of the song that has been shown in film festivals around the world. I got to travel with it to South Korea and Barcelona among other places. Because the film was about a trans person, I had to do a lot of research and outreach to the trans community so that I could speak knowledgeably about the subject when the film was shown. One of my best moments was in Michigan where I was performing the songs from the album. A young woman in her teens practically knocked me over when I arrived at the venue. She threw her arms around me and said, "My father is transgender. I NEVER in my life thought I'd hear a positive, fun song for kids written about a trans person. It makes me so happy I listen to it every day! I wish I'd had something like this when I was young but I'm glad I have it to share with other children of trans parents." It was a great moment.

Is it wrong that I am completely obsessed with the song "Double Dads?''

Lol! I think it would be wrong if you weren't!

Are there plans for more?

Right now there aren't plans for a 2nd CD though a lot of people have written me with plenty of suggestions like a song about an LGBT grandparent. I am thinking of taking/making a few of the songs into book form. 

Thats great to hear!
How do my readers find the CD?

Well there are several sites where its available but I'd have to say the easiest is through our friends at
 My Family Products

Suzi, I know you have to hang up, but before you go I would hate myself If I didn't tell you how much I LOVED Bozo the Clown...I grew up on him.

Hush, your giving your age away!

Thank you for your time and your contributions.

Thank you.

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