If you could trade places with anyone for a day, who would you choose? For me, it would be Justine Clarke. Oh to be a Playschool presenter – singing to, reading for, and entertaining children around the country! While I might not ever be on Playschool, I was delighted to have the opportunity to interview Justine about her latest album Great Big World. (You can read my review of the album here, and check out the title track below if you haven’t seen it already. Please note that if you are still using IE the video may not play…)
Cath - Congratulations on another wonderful album that kids (and their parents) are sure to fall in love with. Which is your favourite track?
Justine - It changes but at the moment it’s My Shadow and Me. I love the arrangement and the sentiment of the song – that you can always make your own fun. I loved dancing with my shadow when I was a child. I adore that jazz feel that Peter Dasent (composer) captures so stylishly.
Cath - Do you sing your songs at home with your own children, or does it feel like work?
Justine - I do find myself humming them occasionally. My kids are getting beyond the songs age wise so they like to make up their own words to them now which can be pretty funny. Singing never feels like work. I love what I do.
Cath - You give so much to families around Australia. How do you make sure there is still enough of you for your own family?!
Justine - That is something I have to keep in check. We try to keep one day of the weekend to being at home as a family and I tour only once in the year and try to bring them along when it isn’t too disruptive for them.
Cath - Peter Dasent and Arthur Baysting just keep coming up with brilliant melodies and lyrics, and again you have collaborated with them on a few songs. How do you go about writing songs together?
Justine - Over the years the process has changed. At first Peter and Arthur had so many brilliant songs already written that it was just a matter of tweaking them before we recorded them. Peter had half-written a song (Scoot On My Scooter) which he was about to give up on until I resurrected it, I liked the idea of an action song that had a good rock feel with a chorus (‘Do it again, do it again’) that is so simple but so true. Now, Arthur and I communicate via Skype and have ideas we are working on together from scratch. There’s one we are trying to write together at the moment called Silver Trails, it’s about a snail who has to leave home. It’s tricky, I hope it stays in the mix.
Cath - I promised my four year old daughter she could ask a question (to which she promptly replied, “Dear Justine. Can you come over for a play?”) We’ll go with her second attempt! “Dear Justine. My favourite song is Happy Dog. Do you have a dog?”
Justine - I don’t have a dog. I’d love one though. Until then, I’ll just pretend to be one – a happy dog!
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If you missed out on winning Justine’s CD a couple of months ago, thanks to my friends at Roadshow I have FOUR copies of the new Great Big World DVD to give away to SquiggleMum readers! Just leave a comment below either sharing a favourite Justine Clarke song (from any of her three albums) or one thing you like about Justine. One entry per person please, Aussie residents only, winners will be drawn at random 8pm Sunday 1 August, Qld time.
Tickets are still on sale for the upcoming Great Big World Tour too. You can find tour dates and details here. We’ve already bought our tickets as we didn’t want to miss out! Don’t worry – if Justine invites me backstage I’ll be sure to post photos for you all to see…
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