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At A Glance
With a new CD set for release this summer, oZoKidZ is busy developing characters, songs, dances, and languages that fit into oZoWorld. “We’re always looking for the best way to connect to the kids starting at their level and then take it from there to another place,” says bassist Wil-Dog Abers. With most members of the band being dads to kids ranging in age from 2 to 13 years old, we’re pretty sure oZoKidZ will resonate loudly with the youngest of generations. L.A. Kid Stuff: Congrats on Ozokidz! Ozomatli has always had an intergenerational reach, but what inspired you to create specifically for the younger set? oZoKidZ: Thanks so much!!! Ozo has always played for and connected to young people. Over the past 16 years we’ve performed for countless schools , orphanages & youth centers of all ages. We also always invite the youngest members of our audience (under 12) up on stage to play percussion and jump around with us during the last song of the set. Mario (ozo’s drummer for 7 years) has saying for years that he thought that it would be a cool idea to make a kids record although it wasn’t til last year in Feb that we decided to actually do it. We were playing at the HOB in Chicago late on a Tuesday night and we couldn’t figure out why there weren’t more people coming to the show. Wil-Dog put out a blast on FB and Twitter. The response was interesting. Most people were saying things like “I’d love to come but I can’t find a sitter” or “why are you guys playing so late on a weeknight? I’ve got kids!”. Then we realized that making a kids CD was imperative. L.A. Kid Stuff: How would you describe the Ozokidz sound and album? oZoKidZ: We’re developing the sound as we speak and right now we’re doing trial and errors with our new songs in front of a live kids audience to see which ones connect with them the best. L.A. Kid Stuff:What are some of your favorite songs on the new album that fans can look forward to? oZoKidZ: The Piranha song which is about a father and his child encouraging the child to jump into he water. The parent reassures the child that there is nothing in the water that will hurt them and the father will protect them. It also encourages the child to learn how to swim. We have a song about putting your thumbs up while taking pictures – it’s called “Cheesy Thumb”. We’ll also have some Ozomatli classics about animals that fit into the set really well. L.A. Kid Stuff:Any plans for touring this album? oZoKidZ: Yes. Big plans! We’ll be playing all over the states this year doing family shows. L.A. Kid Stuff: What role did or will the kids in oZomatli’s life play in oZoKidZ? oZoKidZ: Asdru’s (singer and trumpet player) daughter is actually singing on the Piranha song and Will-Dog’s daughter is currently working on a character that will be at our live show. It’s an Ozomatli bird named “Dozer”. All of our kids are a definite inspiration and our guinea pigs to see what will work before jumping into a live audience. L.A. Kid Stuff:What’s in store for the future of Ozokidz? oZoKidZ: A CD, a DVD, a book, a TV show and a fully realized Ozo world for kids!
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