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. “It's hard not to sometimes overhear conversations that moms and dads are having with thier kids,” 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, so they're not conditioned to constantly look outside themselves for fulfillment and contentment, respect or appreciation..."Is it possible to evolve a new kind of human?" Leland continues, "All the problems of the Earth come from the inability for people to sit quietly and feel loved, happy, supported and respected from thier own Divine connection, that creative energy that animates each one! Corey Leland has no children of his own and never thought he would be writing 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 a Director 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.”
Corey Leland is ready for the right creative partners to help with 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 dedication and practice into healthful, enjoyable music that hopefully grows a more well-adjusted population.