Wednesday , February 28 2024
"The goal for this project was to create a upbeat global CD highlighting various areas of the world..." - Mona Kayhan

Interview With Putumayo Kids Manager Mona Kayhan About Animal Playground CD

While I don't have children, though I do hope to one day, I do work with kids and teenagers through my various jobs. Besides, I like to say, I keep the kid inside of me alive which helps both make me more empathetic and helps others see how much fun I can be. Plus, it helps me stay sane and that's always a plus.

I mention this to explain one reason why this is at least the tenth interview I've done regarding an album for children and at least the fifth one regarding the Putumayo label.

The second reason is my sister and two nieces, who I love and adore and I figure can enjoy and appreciate the albums even more than me. This interview is dedicated to the Butki girls.

The Animal Playground album comes out this week. It's fun, cute, happy, educational (especially with the notes that come with the cd) and listening to it makes you want to sing and dance. So perhaps listening to it while I was driving to work was a bad idea but that's another story.

As with all albums I've heard by this label, you would be wise and smart to go buy it.

Here is an interview I did by email about the album.

What was the goal for this cd project? Was it accomplished?

The goal for this project was to create a upbeat global CD highlighting various areas of the world, especially since our original World Playground album has been so successful. But, of course, we wanted to give it a nice twist, and figured animals were a catchy subject for kids. It has absolutely been achieved and has gone beyond my expectations!

How did you decide which songs to put on the album?

I coordinate song selection for Putumayo Kids albums while Dan Storper is the Executive Producer and has the last word on the song choices. However, because there were so many hurdles to jump in this album (what animal are we missing, having too many songs about the same animal, making sure the countries of origin are varied,
etc.), we had our entire division literally hunting (no pun intended) down songs by the end of the process

Which is your favorite? I think mine is the fast-paced Italian version of Old MacDonald Had a Farm"

Ha, that song actually makes me laugh every time I listen to it. Every song has a special aspect that I love about it, but I could probably play "Eagles" by Terri Hendrix on repeat and never get sick of it.

How did you get artists like Jon Langford of the Mekons and Waco Brothers, who I love, involved in the project?

Our Events and Marketing Coordinator, Stephanie Mayers, found that one for us! Great opening song.

You guys are doing a tour at zoos? Is there a link for more information about that?

Absolutely! Our website has the details. “The Animal Playground Tour” is also going to museums, venues and kid’s stores throughout the country.

Is the cd really being sold in zoos?

Absolutely. Many of the zoos throughout the country have been selling Putumayo in their gift shops for quite some time, so it was a natural connection to bring in the album and do events at some of them to help promote it.

Is there anything I didn't ask that you wanted to mention?

Well, this album is especially unique because we produced a fantastic music video of Asheba's Caribbean arrangement of "No More Monkeys" that is included on the CD. We shot the video on location in Trinidad, but it's especially entertaining because the Putumayo Kids' signature characters come to life throughout the video, adding a nice
magical element. Great added value to the album!

Thanks to Mona for the interview and Beth for arranging it


About Scott Butki

Scott Butki was a newspaper reporter for more than 10 years before making a career change into education... then into special education. He has been working in mental health for the last ten years. He lives in Austin. He reads at least 50 books a year and has about 15 author interviews each year and, yes, unlike tv hosts he actually reads each one. He is an in-house media critic, a recovering Tetris addict and a proud uncle. He has written articles on practically all topics from zoos to apples and almost everything in between.

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