You’ll Love Bobs and Lolo
Giveaway alert! Bobs and Lolo will be giving away a copy of their DVD On Your Feet! Scroll down to find out how to enter.
I’m always on the search for kids music that doesn’t drive me mental. At first, I thought I could just rely on the music I like, but I find myself fast forwarding through songs that aren’t appropriate, for fear that someone will think my child is saying something different than “Don’t phunk with my heart.” My husband’s father is an excellent musician who’s produced some wonderful tunes for the girls (the most recent an incredibly sweet Valentine’s Day song). I also have The Johnny Cash Children’s Album and my kids (and my husband and I!) adore it. I’ve also heard that the Barenaked Ladies’ Snacktime is also a great choice for kids.
One local kids music group that should be on your music player is Bobs and Lolo. Recently nominated for a 2010 Juno award, Bobs and Lolo and their videos played on Treehouse and it’s easy to catch them around the Lower Mainland since they play a lot of local events and festivals. I’ll say my kids adore the music (and they do!), but my husband tells me that I should admit that I’m really the superfan of the house. My four-year-old gets downright giddy whenever she sees them on TV and yells “Bobs and Lolo are on!!!” so that I can come and watch with her.
VancouverMom.ca had a chance to catch up with Robyn Hardy (Bobs) and Lorraine Pond (Lolo), who do everything together – including answer our questions! Find out how they got together, what inspires their songs and what’s in the duo’s future.
What were you doing before Bobs and Lolo?
Before we started our musical adventures, Robyn was teaching grades four and five at Lynn Valley Elementary School in North Vancouver. Prior to teaching, Robyn completed a degree in linguistics at the University of Victoria and a Bachelor of Education at UBC. Lorraine previously worked in the fields of environmental education and non-profit fund development. Her academic background includes a Bachelor of Human Kinetics (Exercise Science) from UBC. Following the completion of our post-secondary adventures, both of our parents were just as confused by the direction of our career paths as we were… it all worked out though!
Tell us about how you two met and the inspiration behind Bobs and Lolo.
We first connected at a Girl Guide camp on Vancouver Island when we were both around eight years old. After a fun-filled weekend of campfire sing-alongs, silliness and laughter, our friendship was sealed! While we remained at different elementary schools, we ended up filtering into the same highschool (Dover Bay Secondary) in grade nine. Our friendship continued to grow from there and we began to singing together in the school choir as well as studying piano with the same music teacher. We also hit the courts together as power forward (Bobs) and shooting guard (Lolo) on the Dover Bay girls’ basketball team. Go Dolphins Go!
Any “big break” story to share?
Our biggest “break” to date has definitely been the broadcast of our music videos on Treehouse TV. We feel so fortunate to have been able to (a) get our On Your Feet DVD in front of the right folks in Toronto and (b) have them LOVE our content! The opportunity to connect with families across the country through Canada’s only national television network completely dedicated to preschoolers has been amazing. While the partnership with Treehouse is still relatively new, the TV exposure has already opened up new performance opportunities for us, and we’ve been able to build our CD and DVD distribution beyond Western Canada. We’re hoping this is just the start and we’ll be able to keep things go, go, growing in the upcoming years.
How do you come up with the songs?
Our song-writing process can really be broken down into three stages (this sounds way more formal than it really is!):
- A creative sit-down to flush out and develop a really solid album theme and subsequent song overviews – generally best accompanied by a good bottle of wine!
- Writing the lyrics, composing the melody and mapping out the basics of the song structure – this is the really fun part!
- Meeting with our producer to solidify the feel of the song and map out vocals arrangements, instrumentation etc. before hitting the studio – this is where the song ‘magic’ happens!
What is a typical collaboration like?
Our collaborations involve a lot of back and forth to share and elaborate on the song ideas, before expanding and arranging the pieces into fullly developed recordings with our producer. Co-writing is something we both enjoy and it is one of our best creative outlets behind-the-scenes!
How would you characterize your music?
We put a lot of energy into making our music educational, family-focused and listener-friendly for all ages. We want our music to engage and inspire children to learn more about the topic at hand, to care about the world around them and above all, to get up and dance! In terms of a specific ‘sound’ for our music, we often hear that we’re a good blend of Barenaked Ladies meets Indigo Girls…for kids! The Vancouver Province also once described as as the Radiohead of children’s music – we’re not really sure how to interpret this one, but we both agree that it’s a good thing!
What do you love about what you do?
Performing for young audiences is by far the best part! The things kids say, the way they move and the endless energy our audience brings to our shows is rewarding, inspiring and motivating. We can both honestly say that we would not be performing or putting in the long hours behind-the-scenes without the kids cheering us on (parents too)!
Are either of you moms?
Not yet. Kids are definitely in the plan though! In a best case scenerio, we’d both get prego at the same time, keep performing as long as we’re able and then take a little break from the stage while we focus on being new moms. We’d eventually love to be able to take our families on the road with us and continue performing as much as possible. We do recognize that timing things right and coming up with a plan that works for both of us (and spouses) could be our most challenging, albeit exciting collaboration yet!
Any funny stories to tell?
Our lives are full of funny stories: from travel adventures to show mishaps (thankfully no wardrobe malfunctions!) to the ups and downs of learning to run and manage our own business. The humorous anecdotes are endless!
Probably our best travel story to date involves a trip to Atlin, BC, for the Atlin Arts & Music Festival. We ended up flying into Whitehorse for a couple of shows first, and we were told that a bus shuttle would pick us up there to bring us back into BC for the Atlin event. Turns out that our “shuttle” was actually the mailman who also turned out to be the mayor of Atlin and the operator of the local SPCA. The drive into Atlin proved to be a memorable three-plus-hour adventure as we stopped in every small town along the route to drop off mail, toilet paper and even a few gallons of ice cream!
Travel stories aside, our most regular laughs probably come from the kids. As all parents know, preschoolers are bound to say the funniest things! Two of our favourite fan “quotes” happened during a 2008 fall tour in Alberta – our first time in the province. One little boy in Edmonton kept yelling at us during the show “thank you for coming to Canada!”, followed by another child who adamently thanked us for “coming out of his TV” to sing for him!
What would you like Vancouver moms to know about Bobs and Lolo?
We didn’t start our Bobs and Lolo adventures with a real plan – just a dream. It’s incredible to do something we’re really passionate about and begin to see tangible outcomes from our commitment to create a legacy for children through our work. The one thing we’d really like Vancouver moms to know about Bobs and Lolo is what an important role they have played in allowing us to be “Bobs and Lolo”. We really don’t think parents understand the impact of their support and encouragement. We still keep every email, file every Facebook message and box up every card, drawing and photo given to us by the kids. We received immeasurable encouragement to keep writing and performing from every mom that hired us for a birthday party in our first few years, and we still hold close every word of support we receive after live shows today. For every mom that has since bought a CD or downloaded a song for their kids or friends, you make it possible for us to keep working and doing what we love. Thank you!
What’s next for you?
We’re currently putting together some ideas for a fourth album that we hope to release in the Fall of 2010 (still at stage one!). We also have a lot of upcoming performances including our first mainstage feature at the Vancouver International Children’s Festival in May. We’ll also be heading out-of-province this Spring for the Canmore, St. Albert and Winnipeg Children’s Festivals and hitting the summer schedule hard with performances throughout Alberta (Calgary Stampede, Westerner Days and Capital Ex) as well as a return to the PNE in Vancouver at the end of August. We are also looking to continue building our relationship with Treehouse TV and hope to produce some new content with them down the road. Fingers crossed!
Anything else to add?
As we mentioned earlier, we get a lot of motivation and encouragement from our fans. We’re very active on Facebook, Twitter and MySpace, and we also regularly blog about stories from the road and current news flashes. We invite Moms and families to connect with us online through one (or more!) of these social media sites – we love the personal connection and it’s an extra treat when families send photos or share stories of their own. For info on how to reach us, our live show schedule, music and more, please visit www.bobsandlolo.com.
Giveaway alert! Bobs and Lolo will be giving away a copy of their DVD On Your Feet. Here’s how to enter:
- Check out their music on Amazon. Listen to a few tunes.
- Come back to this article on VancouverMom.ca.
- Leave a comment below letting us know which song(s) you like and why.
- Subscribe to the VancouverMom.ca newsletter (see the right column) with the same email address you’ve used to leave your comment.
Can’t wait to find out if you’ve won? Get your Bobs & Lolo digital downloads now from Amazon.
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I first saw Bobs and Lolo with my 2 yr old at the Vancouver aquarium. I really enjoyed Dolphin Dance. It’s catchy, fun and gets the kids moving. 🙂 Plus, they have lovely voices, so all their songs are a treat to listen to.
We love Bobs and Lolo… but just recently found out about them! Our favourite song is Cyndy Seahorse!!! her name is Cyndy and the ocean is her hooooome..
love it! we sing it all the time around here!
We also love their I love bugs song!
So glad to have read they performed at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics!
Yay, Bobs and Lolo 🙂
We love ALL the songs but our favorites are I love bugs, Cyndy Seahorse, My Bike, Recycle w/ Me, and of course Raindrop Plop. 🙂 Thank you for creating such fun songs. Even my 2yr old sings along. 🙂 The videos are so much fun to watch too!!!