Children love made-for-them-music that they can listen to, sing with and dance to.
But Helen Austin’s gone one better. Her latest kids’ CD, Colour It, allows new owners to do just that — colour the CD cover. It even comes with four crayons.
Austin, along with her children, Daisy and Charlie, will launch Colour It at a free concert at the Nov. 2 Farmers’ Market in the Native Sons Hall in downtown Courtenay from 9:30 to 11:30 am.
“We had so much fun launching Always Be A Unicorn at the Farmers’ Market last year that we decided to use that venue again,” says Austin. “Depending on the weather we’ll be outside or upstairs in the hall.”
A prolific songwriter, Austin says she had a “whole bunch of kid-friendly songs” and when people kept asking for a followup on Always Be a Unicorn, which was nominated for a Juno Award, she decided to go for it.
Following a similar theme to Unicorn, Colour It is all about feeling good about yourself.
“The CD is geared for parents and children,” notes Austin. “Parents usually listen to the songs with their kids so I want them to enjoy the music, too.”
Several tracks feature Austin’s children Daisy and Charlie, as well as children from Austin’s neighbourhood.
Since moving to the Comox Valley in 2002, Austin has been nominated for and received numerous awards, recorded a new alternative sound album with renowned L.A.-based producer Blue, begun a recording project called Big Little Lion with songwriter and recording artist Paul Otten and has placed more than 70 recordings on ads, television and in movies.
Oh, yeah, she also wrote a song a week for a year, as well as a special song for Relay for Life, which is available on a CD to raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society. She also does Twitter, Facebook and all her own website work and marketing.
When asked how she manages all this plus fills the role of wife and mother, Austin replies, “I’m not as busy as people think I am. From 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., my life is all about music and the rest of the time it’s all about my family. It’s actually pretty balanced.”
“And I don’t feel busy because I love what I do,” she adds. “Well, all except for the vacuuming.”
Although Austin’s hard at work on the Big Little Lion project, she says another children’s album is always a possibility as she writes those type of songs all the time.
As well as being nominated for a Juno, Always Be A Unicorn was recently nominated for a Western Canadian Music Award and a Canadian Folk Music Award.
Colour It will be available at the Nov. 2 Comox Valley Farmers’ Market at the Native Sons Hall and on Austin’s website for $15. A Colour It video will be released on her website on the launch date. Look for it at www.helenaustin.com.
Paula Wild is a published author and regular contributor to the Comox Valley Record’s arts and entertainment section. www.paulawild.ca.