There can only be one Grammy’s Best Children’s Music Album (winner announced on April 3), but we think these artists all deserve a shout out.
Actívate by 123 Andrés invites families to get moving with an hour-long lineup of cumbia, salsa, and rock music featuring more than 40 artists. It’s mainly in Spanish—principalmente en Español—providing accessibility for fluent listeners and a learning opportunity for others. Album proceeds will benefit social organizations in Colombia and Venezuela.
All One Tribe, by 1 Tribe Collective celebrates the diversity of Black voices in the family music business. Feel-good lyrics—“I love my skin, gonna let the melanin,” “I am the future of Black history”—combine with uplifting hip-hop, soul, pop, and African percussion mixes.
Black To The Future, by Pierce Freelon is a multigenerational collaboration; the artist mined family archives to include clips from his grandmother, parents, and children. The soul, hip-hop, and jazz fusion music backdrops the Afrofuturist concept and lyrics that promote values such as vulnerability, gratitude, and boundary-keeping. “Children’s music is a really important genre for Afrofuturism,” Freelon says. “Our children are going to create the world we inherit.”
A Colorful World, by Falu is a classic children’s album in that the music is upbeat and the lyrics are simple yet thoughtful. Listeners will find wonder in the simple things like dreaming and using colorful crayons. They’ll also not be able to resist dancing as Falu encourages clapping, stomping, and finger wiggling. The artist truly creates a colorful world by merging rock, pop, and South Asian musical traditions in her work.
Crayon Kids, by Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band combines lighthearted tunes with signs-of-the-times songs. The first track, “Generation C” covers challenging experiences of young families during the pandemic, while the hit single “Sábado” takes a joyful spin through the days of the week. The bright husband and wife duo artists, Lucky Diaz and Alisha Gaddis, weave silly rhymes into the bilingual English/Spanish lyrics.