Let me introduce you to a women with a smile as big as the sun and a character to match! Pamela Sunshine. Pamela is a multi-talented gem who shares her colorful energy with children and inspires them to be positive and free spirited.
Hello Pamela. What musical fun are you up to today?
Hi. I am currently recording a 5 song EP of my grown up songs. This is very exciting and the songs are turning out great. Some are songs I wrote quite a while ago and it is great to see them coming out into the light. I am also starting new kids CD in March, which is very exciting.
Let’s talk about childhood. Where are you from?
Born in Vancouver BC to parents who emigrated from England. I grew up in the small town of Haney, now Maple Ridge and moved to England at 17 with my family. It was a very exciting place to be as so much incredible music was being made there.
What was your childhood like? Was there a lot of music?
My mom always sang and my parents loved music. I grew up listening to a widely eclectic mix of genres. Every Sunday my Dad put on classical music after dinner and it was quite amazing. Also Ella Fitzgerald and Lois Armstrong, the Harmonicats, everything really.
Are there other musical people in your family?
All my kids are musical, and my daughter Beth is a singer/songwriter and we often perform together. We used to do so regularly as Two Tall Women and even toured the UK together. Now we support one another and pursue our own projects as well.
What types of creative things did you do as a child?
I took piano lessons from the age of 6 and loved singing. I was in school choirs etc and also in the school musical.
What inspired/inspires you to create your music for children?
I became a teacher, I always wanted to be a teacher, and loved sharing songs with kids in my class. When I had my own kids I started doing childrens CDs and shows. My philosophy with kid’s music is that children should be empowered to be music makers and not spectators. I encourage participation and audience involvement in my shows.
Your music is empowering and engaging. And nature appears to be a big inspiration. Is that the case? What about it inspires you?
Quite a few of my songs for children involve nature. I used to play outside a lot and as a teen and got great solace from being outside, sitting by the river or ocean. I guess it is natural to write about this subject. Let’s Go Climb the Rockies and See The Snow among others, are songs that just came to me, they are like all songs, a gift.
You live by the water, I know that must be awe-inspiring. How much time do you spend at the water? Are you inspired to write or sing when you’re there?
I used to be inspired by this, the first song I ever wrote involved the sea at Scarborough in Yorks, England, where I went to college. Also many early songs referenced the Alouette River where I used to play as a child. Now I am more inspired by hope and joy.
Do you write all of your own songs and music?
I love writing my own songs and music. My first children’s CD when I performed as Pamarama, a singing clown, had a mix of originals and traditional favorites. I also did a childrens CD of singing games and chants, which were traditional. As Pamela Sunshine, my CDs are full of my original songs.
Pamela, do you or have you performed live? If so, where?
I have been performing live for years. I started out entertaining children as Pamarama and then Pam Southwell and now my children’s music is presented under the stage name Pamela Sunshine. I do concerts, festivals, community events etc. Last year I played the Kids Stage at World Fest in Los Angeles and that was lots of fun.
Of all of your songs, which is your favorite?
Probably Growing Up Green.
What one thing would you like to do that you haven’t yet as far as your career is concerned?
I would like to release a Storytelling CD. It has been a dream of mine for a while and I have the name, The Stories of Three. Recently I connected with someone who does soundscapes and sound effects, so we plan to work together on the stories.
Do you have any other Creative Outlets and what are they?
I am currently uploading songs and chants for children to my youtube channel, http://www.youtube.com/pamelasunehinetv and promoting it. I am excited to be archiving all the songs etc that I have gathered over the years I have worked with children.
I also blog. I have several blogs, one supporting and promoting women in music, http://violetfemmesmusic.blogspot.com and another that shares my ideas and work within education, http://www.pamscreativeclassroom.com . I sing for adults as well as children and have just set up a site for my grown up music, http://www.pamcarrmusic.com
I also paint when I get the time. lol
What Inspiration would you share with others following their dreams?
Right now I just feel so joyful to be supporting my artist and I encourage others to commit to their creativity. Once you do you are led to do what is right for you. Listen to the creator within and follow your heart. I had so much help from books like the Artists Way by Julia Cameron.
How can we find out more about you and hear more of your music?
You can buy my kids music at CD Baby and download it from iTunes.
I have a productions company called Magic Puddle Productions and we are excited to say that the Growing Up Green CD is in libraries across Canada and is now in US libraries. This month Growing Up Green won a Kids Music Award for CD of the month and also got a rave review in New York’s School Library Journal, the world’s largest reviewer of Children’s multi media for libraries.
Thank you Pamela! Keep on Shining!
Pamela Sunshine is active on the Scene and you can find out lots more at these other sites.