Note: This episode originally aired May 5, 2019
Last year, the Alphabet Rockers, a musical group comprised of four elementary school-aged folks and two adult mentors, were nominated for a Grammy for their album, Rise, Shine, #Woke. That project focused largely on identity, with a specific look at racial identity.
This year, the group is back with more music that explores tough topics. Their forthcoming album, The Love, is set for release later this summer, with a focus on gender identity.
In talking to the next generation of Bay Area superstars—Tommy Sheppard III, Maya Fleming, Lillian Ellis and Kali de Jesus—it's evident this is something that young folks want to talk about. With the guidance of Tommy Sheppard, Jr. and Kaitlin McGaw, the group is making music that'll help all a wider audience of people further address topics that some might have a hard time navigating.
I caught up with the Alphabet Rockers crew at the Destiny Arts Center in North Oakland, where they often rehearse. We discussed what it means to be Grammy-nominated, the podcast they'll be launching soon, as well as songs and themes on The Love.