Interview with Corey Leland by Naila Francis for the March/April 2007 issue of MYSTIC POP Magazine: PLAY WITH PURPOSE: Beyond that Saturday morning cartoon vibe, you’ll find Corey Leland Children’s songwriter is actually aiming to grow more conscious and self-confident kids with his songs. Corey Leland was standing in line at a “.99 Cent” Store one day when he noticed the tension between a mother and her 5-year old son. Intrigued, as he often is by such moments, the California-based singer-songwriter approached the woman. Corey said, “Excuse me, I’m writing songs for kids about your boy’s age,” he recalls. “What would you want kids to hear in a song? More especially, what would you want to hear so that you wouldn’t have to get upset with your child? A song that would resolve the issue in theory before it even began?” The woman thought about it and said,” Be careful what words you use because my kid calls me stupid in public sometimes!” Corey Leland took her comments to heart and a song speaking to a mother’s very concerns was born! The song written by Corey especially for kids and their parents is called “Communication, Consideration (It’s Right To Be Polite)” was one of the 12 tracks to appear on his children’s music debut, “Corey Leland Presents The Insects Rock! Songs You Want Your Kids To Hear,” a collection of sunny pop-rock songs with a giddy 1970’s retro style and lovingly crafted positive affirmations and practical advice to help kids navigate the glorious and confounding process of growing up. From the importance of teamwork and healthy self expression to more pragmatic considerations such as potty training and putting away one’s toys to the celebration of delights as simple as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich! Corey Leland’s music honors, with genuine sincerity, the experience of being a child. His songs, after all, are sparked by his own recollections, babysitting experiences and the real life requests of parents whose hopes, frustrations and joys he is always eager to hear and write songs about. Corey Leland says it best. “I’m always listening to conversations that moms and dads are having,” he admits. “There’s a sense of un-fulfillment seemingly built in to the human condition, a constant "carrot and the stick" type seeking externally for the happiness that is always just beyond reach. It is my intention to teach kids to feel fulfilled and content from within, from their own being, so they’re not externally driven and always looking to other people for approval.” With 3 volumes already out (check out Vol 3 cover above), the latest, “Making New Friends,” was released last year, and a 4th on the way, Corey Leland is aware that he’s both filling a void and bucking a trend, delivering sweetly uplifting songs that aren’t too saccharine or silly for the parents who will be playing them, or too ‘dumbed-down’ for the children who will be listening. Corey Leland never wanted it to be just for kids! He’d rather it be for all ages. You can refer, as an example, to one song he wrote that recognizes the importance of having a symbol of security – “It’s More Than A Blanket To Me” fits the preschool market but because it’s about how everyone looks to something for comfort to get them through their day, it blows adult minds too! Corey Leland can see parents sitting there thinking about what it is that they might need to let go of. Corey Leland, also a spiritual teacher who’s been walking his path for 18 years, has no children of his own and never intended to write children’s music. More than 3 years ago, however, he was writing and singing adult-oriented pop with the same retro flair when he asked God to use him in a way that would most benefit the World. The prayer was answered when Director Keith Markinson found Corey Leland to write the lyrics and music for all the songs in the musical A KID’S LIFE! "A Kid’s Life” is a family musical that encourages kids to think positively and has been drawing rave reviews since it kicked off a national tour with its December debut in Southern California. “The Insects Rock!” series flowed naturally from that experience, Leland’s cast of colorful creatures drawn deliberately from the tradition of classic 4-piece bands like The Beatles. “Sparky is more like Shaggy in ‘Scooby-Doo’ – always hungry and thinking about food. Daisy, the butterfly, she is the brain. Sunshine the ladybug is very optimistic. Harrison the cricket, he’s the philosophical mystic,” says Leland. “We have the human urges with Sparky, and the mind and soul and deeper mystical sense with Harrison; the brain with Daisy, and then there’s the heart with Sunshine – which adds up with all the love. You put them all together and you have one integrated whole person!” People ask children’s songwriter Corey Leland why it is called “The Insects Rock!’ Here is Leland’s answer: “Adults tower over small children and small children tower over insects and to have such empowering wise messages coming from something as seemingly small, vulnerable and insignificant as a bug; I think psychologically there’s something there. If a child at age 2, 3, 4, or 5 can learn to have a respect and sensitivity toward something as small as an insect, they’re going to have a greater sense of care for dogs, cats, their brothers, sisters, classmates and of course, themselves.” Plans are already in the works for a TV series built around the Insects as a famous pop band whose interactions with their fans help them resolve everyday problems and experience greater harmony in their lives. “I see it as being blatantly helpful and supplemental parenting, like a multi-vitamin for the psyche” says Leland of his work. "I see myself as a cross between the Beatles and Willy Wonka, instead of candy I make music! I want to distill all my years of spiritual dedication and practice into healthful, enjoyable music that hopefully grows a more well-adjusted population. COREY LELAND: The Insects Rock! Songs You Want Your Kids To Hear...Vol. 1.
"Corey Leland has filled a need in the world of kids music that parents will deeply appreciate. Quality songs from start to finish, bound to become a best seller."
"I hear this song’s style (Everyday I excercise) as children’s educational rock--just what the market is looking for these days." Outstanding writing in this fresh, visual, action-oriented, motivational lyric. I like how it addresses kids’ lifestyles (watching tv) The contrast in the musical sections keeps the momentum going to the last bar. Catchy hook and the entire lyric supports this theme. The song is beautifully written and in my opinion it’s marketable in today’s childrens’ market. Fun, vibrant, rock melody that is memorable and makes you want to get up and dance
"LOVE THESE CD’s" "I work as a nurse in an E.R. One evening a 3 year old boy, Dylan came in requiring sutures to 3 fingers. It’s no easy task keeping a child calm for a 45 minute proceedure. I happened to have a copy of The Insects Rock! in my car ( I sometimes listen on my way to work-very cheerful music!) The CD played as we sutured little Dylan’s fingers, he loved the songs and we talked about the different songs while the Doctor put in the stitches. Dylan loved the CD so much that I gave him my copy to take home. He was so excited about the CD I think he forgot about injury altogether!" _-- ~Christi
"If the Monkees, the Beatles and the Partridge Family had collaborated on a rock album for kids, you’d have a gem just like "The Insects Rock!." With twelve tracks packed with sweet, poppy, jangly hooks and fun topics to keep kids singing along and learning, Corey Leland has filled a real need in the world of kid’s music that parents will deeply appreciate. Not only are these quality songs from start to finish but with the universally appealing retro style, adults- especially those parents who distinctly recall the hits of the 60s and 70s- can enjoy and relate as well. It’s a win-win situation and it’s bound to become a top seller." ~CDbaby
"Inspirational and high-spirited songs with valuable lessons!" "On a recent family ski trip we listened to the Insects Rock! volume 1 during the long car trip to the mountains. My six-year old daughter wouldn’t stop asking to hear "Why would I wanna wear diapers" over and over again. But my nine year old Son was really inspired by "You’re gonna do great things" in a special way. One day on the mountain he became frightened by a steep section of the ski run. Somehow he found the courage to ski it beautifully. At the bottom of the hill I asked him how he over came his fear. He replied, "I just kept singing "You’re gonna do great things" over and over. He was so proud of himself! and I’m so grateful to Corey Leland for inspiring my children with such positive messages. I highly recommend all 3 volumes of the Insects Rock! They really do rock! ~ Grant G
So upbeat and easy to follow - catchy wording!! My great-grandson is in the beginnings of the potty routine; he laughs and sings along. Age range is great to include his older sister, making it a family listening time. Good work Corey - your talent for writing children’s songs is remarkable." Harriett Chermak