"Lah-Lah is a fun and energetic Australian children's band that creates kids music and educational content designed to entertain and educate young children. With catchy tunes and colorful, playful characters, Lah-Lah's kids music encourages kids to dance, sing, and learn while having a blast."
Groovy beats paired with smart, clever lyrics delivered with expert skill and musicianship. That's Lah-Lah in a nutshell. I'm yet to hit play on one of their songs and hear something I don't love. Every song is a masterful creation that pulls in young listeners and engages them in play, imagination, and movement. Their new track, What Colour Were the Dinosaurs, is a creative adventure that ignites new ideas with fun questions. You will dance. You will sing. And you will have a blast talking about colourful dinosaurs with your little ones. Hit play and read on to find out more about Lah-Lah!
How did Lah-lah come together as a band? Can you tell us about the journey of forming the group and how you decided on the name "Lah-Lah"?
It all feels like such a long time ago now. We were trying to do the math and it must be over 15 years now. I was running some early childhood music classes in Sydney. I was taking a break from working with Opera Australia and our daughters were really little. Our first class turned into 4, then a school, then I think we had 4 or 5 venues at one point. I used to get Mark to come in at the end of the term and we'd do a little sing along concert with the families. It was one of the mum's who said, "you guys should do a real show". That planted the seed and next thing you know, we had recorded an album and hired a venue.
The short story is, ticket sales were slow. I knew we had a great show because people would buy tickets to the 10am and come back again for the 11am show. Our beautiful choreographer said, 'turn it into an industry showcase, invite anyone you can', so we did. I invited Nickelodeon, The Sydney Opera House and the Enmore Theatre. Something I always advise my students is never give up, it took 3 months to get a follow up meeting at Nickelodeon but that was the turning point. We went on to make 12 music videos with Nick Jr, do 2 seasons at The Sydney Opera House and one season at the Enmore Theatre.
Fast track from there, we've now made 2 long-format TV shows for ABC KIDS TV and have toured Australia multiple times. Pre COVID we were doing 50 venues every year, now we focus on YouTube and music streaming services as well as mentoring other creatives in this space. YouTube is such an amazing way to reach people around the world. We're averaging about 1.2 million views every 48 hrs at the moment and it keeps growing.
The name Lah-Lah, well that was a funny one. Originally it was Wah-Wah because our youngest, Emily was really loud and that was her nick name but when we did a trade mark search we found club with that name, which wasn't so family-friendly so Lah-Lah seemed a better and more musical name:)
Mark was working with a jazz, world music group and a lot of our friends were playing music in that space. You can really hear this in our song "Brush You Teeth" which has been on TV in Australia now for over 10 years. I used to say we were a touch of classical, but really a word and jazz band for kids. Over the years, we've become a bit more pop on some of our tunes but still like to take it back to our jazz roots.
Your new single, What Colour Were the Dinosaurs?, is so fun! Where did this unique idea come from? Where can your fans find your new tune to give it a listen?
We've been wanting to write a Dinosaur song for ages but just couldn't seem to find the right hook. It was Mark's idea to combine colors and dinosaurs. He did a lot of work on the lyrics and had a lot of fun researching dinosaurs before we workshopped the melody and feel. It's available on all streaming services and we've created a fun dinosaur playlist to feature all our favorite dino song.
Lah-Lah's performances are known for being interactive and energetic. How do you encourage children to participate and join in the fun during your shows? Can you share any memorable moments from your live performances?
Yes, lots of energy! it's kept us all fit. Mark and I used to travel around to daycare centers and preschools doing little music shows. This was a really great time, learning to work with kids and developing musical crowd-control skills. Teachers will know exactly what I'm talking about, gathering songs, focusing activities, quiet time, crazy action songs etc. Then we'd create a show that incorporated all these things. We always ended every show with a family dance, why? Well, the kids enjoyed the dance so much more if mum and dad were joining in.
We've played some amazing venues, but working with the Melbourne Symphony and West Australian Symphony was a real highlight. Every show, no matter how big or small, we would always come off stage with the whole band and do a meet and greet. Often we'd spend longer in the meet and greet than the show. This is the thing parents would email me about over and over. It made a real connection with the individual child and seeing a little one have that tactile experience touching a musical instrument was magic.
You've released an impressive repertoire of music so far! Your collection includes 6 albums and well over 100 songs! What is your favorite song and least favorite song from your discography?
Oh tough question, hmmm I really like the Bicycle Song - it never made it to a TV show so it's not heard much but I think it's really lovely. My least fav, that's got to be 'We're a family'. I know lots of people love it, and I love the lyrics but I think there's one too many key changes:)
How long has lah-Lah been making music together and how do you find inspiration for new songs and ideas?
It's definitely over 15 years now. The band is our family, they're like uncles to my girls who are all grown up now. Inspiration is everywhere with kids. They just have such an amazing look on the world. But usually, I pop a post up on our Facebook and ask parents what they want or need or what crazy things are happening in their world. Parents have the best ideas.
If Lah-Lah's band had a superpower, what would it be and why?
Look, I really want to fly:) but if eating was a superpower, that would be our band. We all love food, Tom Tom is a great cook and he would often cook up a big meal on the road. Me, well, I brought the coffee machine on the road with us, so we were definitely powered by coffee.