Laurie Berkner is a former preschool teacher by day and indie rocker by night. She started marketing her music more than fifteen years ago from her living room under her own label, Two Tomatoes Records.  She is now widely recognized as a pioneer in the kindie Music genre and was crowned "the undisputed queen of kindie rock," by USA Today. It's been eight years since Laurie released an album with brand new songs and her new album Superhero is set to be released on September 23rd. Recently Laurie Berkner sat down with Blasting News for a Q&A about her upcoming album.

Blasting News (BN): Your new album Superhero drops in September.  I know your fans can’t wait!  What can they expect from this album? Is it different at all from your last albums i.e.

more rock, acoustic, etc.?

Laurie Berkner (LB): This album feels very upbeat to me. I think after my last two big projects being classics and lullabies I found myself wanting to record a lot of very energetic and fun songs. Even songs that I originally planned to leave a cappella have become something more. The core of the songs are still there, though, and I hope what I've added brings out the best in them and that the kids love them. Sometimes it's hard to tell when I'm right in the middle of creating something, so I'm really looking forward to when Superhero releases and I start to get feedback from the families who are listening. 

BN: What was your inspiration behind the new album?

LB: I realized that I hadn't released an album of completely new music in eight years.  While I had written many songs during that time for multiple projects, I was really feeling like it was time to just dig in and write a whole batch of brand new songs.

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BN: Do you have a favorite song from the new album?

LB: That's a very hard question to answer - like, who is my favorite child? I guess if I had to choose...I have really been enjoying a song called Bubbles In The Bathtub and one called Yes!

BN: I hear you recently signed with Simon & Schuster to create three picture books based on your songs. That sounds amazing. Can you tell us a little bit about this project such as when it launches, which songs, and did you illustrate and write the books as well? Does the book come with audio so kids can hear the song as they read?

LB: So far we have planned to publish three books together, all of which are based on songs I've previously recorded. The text will be the lyrics to each song, along with some dialogue spoken by the characters in the books. The first title is We Are the Dinosaurs, and it will be out in March 2017. We already have a picture of the cover, with illustrations by Ben Clanton, that I'll send you. I love how it's coming out! 

The second book is going to be based on the song Pillowland and will have a very different look.

The illustrator is Camille Garoche, and she works in cut paper collage. Her style is delicate and beautiful, and I'm really excited to see what she'll do with the lyrics. That one is slated for the end of 2017.

The last book will be based on the song "Monster Boogie," and we will go back to Ben Clanton for those illustrations. It is scheduled to be released in the summer of 2018.

The books won't come with actual audio but we’re hoping to get the sheet music included, and there will also be lots of complementary online material for kids to watch, listen to and discover. 

BN: Any other new projects that you'd like to talk about?

LB: I have a new venture called The Music In Me. It’s a “Me and My Grown-Up" style music program where I have been training teachers to lead music classes built around my philosophy of teaching, and the music I’ve written and recorded. I recently launched an online version of the training so anyone can take it, potentially become a licensed teacher, and then start their own classes. It is so rewarding to watch these talented men and women take what I share with them and make it their own.