STORY WRITTEN BY BRIAN BINGAMAN
@brianbingaman on Twitter
Lisa Loeb discovered she liked making music for kids even before she had children of her own.
The “Stay (I Missed You)” singer had been friends with successful children’s musician Elizabeth Mitchell ever since they were roommates at Brown University (they even formed a band together in the late ’80s). It was when they collaborated in 2004 when Loeb discovered that kindie music was actually “smart, clever, silly and funny, with a lot of heart.” The best children’s music, she said, is the kind when you’re not entirely sure if it was made for kids or adults.
“It’s music for everybody. Maybe it has more imagination, more color, more silliness (than adults are used to),” she said in a phone interview.
She’s since won a Parents Choice Award and an American Library Association Award and written two children’s books. Because she takes requests when she performs live, Loeb said it’s not unusual for a “pop-up kids concert” to happen in the middle of a show that’s intended for grown-ups.
Loeb — who through the ’90s made two gold-selling albums, bolstered by the top 20 hits “Do You Sleep?” and “I Do” — continues to appear in movies and TV shows, such as “Last Week Tonight” with John Oliver, “Orange is the New Black,” Sprout Channel’s “Sunny Side Up Show,” “The Muppet Show,” “About a Boy” and “Hot Tub Time Machine 2.” In the latter, Craig Robinson’s character goes back in time and takes credit for the chart-topping and Grammy-nominated “Stay.”
In a laugh-out-loud twist, the actor sings with Loeb on two songs on her forthcoming kindie album “Feel What U Feel.”
“We met on the set of ‘The Office.’ Every time we touch hands, we start singing like we’re musical theater geeks,” Loeb laughed.
The singer/songwriter is also actively involved in a designer line of Lisa Loeb Eyewear that’s available at Costco. She said she was hesitant at first to be associated with the glasses she wears, rather than her music. But then Loeb remembered that Elton John — one of her favorite musicians — was also famous for glasses, especially the outlandish ones he wore on stage in the ’70s.
A mother of a 6-year-old daughter and a 4-year-old son, how does Loeb manage to wear all these different hats?
“I try to be organized and try to keep my priorities straight,” she said, noting that it’s family first, followed closely by health and then work. Loeb gave credit to her husband, Roey Hershkovitz, and her children’s grandparents, for their support.
“It’s gonna be really fun,” she said of her upcoming set at the Haverford Music Festival, promising songs from her whole catalog.
One song that was released as a single, but didn’t quite catch on, was 1995’s “Taffy.” According to Loeb, it’s one of her most requested numbers these days. She thinks that back then, people were not accustomed to her rocking out the way she does on that song.
Did you know?
Lisa Loeb’s children appear on her 37-track, 2015 kindie album “Nursery Rhyme Parade!” One of the musical nursery rhymes that did not make the cut was “Three Blind Mice.” “No, Mommy, that song is too violent,” her daughter, Lyla, reportedly said.