7 Minutes with Steve Syatt
When my daughter ( Bibby Gumbo ) couldn't go to sleep at our new time of 8pm I went into "MUM panic". By MP I mean I searched endlessly through cable channels hoping to find a show tailored to her cute protest of a good night's sleep at a decent hour. There it was on #BabyFirstTV in front my stressed out eyeballs... SHUSHYBYE !! It's a TV series that caters to little ones as they go into "Dream Land " The concept was adorable and I was in love. I admit to getting a little Nyquil'ish myself. As I watched my daughter literally melt into the screen I had to seek out the creator. There was no toys around just her, the floor and her attention span fixed on these sleepy little life sized puppets. I popped one pic to freeze it in time.
Their main live singer, Michael North has the most velvet voice to "PJ the DJ", a cute little peace loving character employed by Moon FM who plays everyone to sleep. Its the cutest thing since itty bitty kittens and puppies on Youtube. Since then its been a fun faired favorite here at the Bibby Gumbo Book Club house. I sat down with ShushyBye Creator, Steve Syatt and to my surprise there's more to meet the eye than a couple of dolls. His 10 year empire of animation and puppet mastering is coming to the fore front around the world and it was an honor to pick his brain. Check it out... ~ Thais`
Who inspires you most and why ?
I feel fortunate growing up with such awesome music and music artists in every category (every generation feels this way - and certainly should!). Like many of my generation, I would say artists such as The Beatles and everything Motown provided the soundtrack for my growing up years. My Dad (proud of his own generation’s music) introduced me to swing – and you can hear all of these influences in my Shushybye songs.
2. How did Shushybye come to life ?
When my son was a toddler, he never went to sleep – until I told him about a land where dreams are made just for children. Soon, bedtime became Shushybye storytelling time – and later on, I wrote songs to the stories and performed them for him with my guitar. It is unbelievable that people across the country (and in many countries around the world) are singing many of those songs to their children thanks to our Shushybye Baby television show on BabyFirst (www.babyfirsttv.com)!
3. Considering you are a part of the most soothing TV shows for babies, how do you relax ?
I love going places with Sandy (my wondrous wife of 30 years) and, of course, hanging out in my home studio writing songs.
4. What made you create a real to life radio station component within the show's structure ?
Great question! Radio is my first passion – I actually wanted to be a DJ when I was a kid and worked at several radio stations (including being a DJ on a country radio station where I fell in love with the genre – hence lots of country-style Shushy tunes!). Now, I get to own a radio station (well, an imaginary one) – but MOON-FM does appear on the Shushybye website (www.shushybye.com) with streaming shows where we play Shushybye songs, offer contests, share the latest Shushy happenings – all announced by the Shushies themselves! (You even get Shushybye weather and traffic updates). With the tremendous influx of all new media platforms, radio is still the perfect medium for community involvement and enjoyment – and Shushybye is all about community.
5. Can anyone bring Shushybye to their town ?
We recently launched a Shushybye party opportunity and lots of families have signed up in So California (where Michael and the Shushybye dancers reside). We can certainly bring Shushybye to parties anywhere in the country as well. Everyone is welcome to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We also perform live concerts in 5-10 cities each year during the summer and holiday season.
6. What's to be expected from Shushybye Town in 2015 ?
Just today (January 6) BabyFirst – the broadcast home for Shushybye – launched on Time Warner Cable in many cities, including New York City and Los Angeles – a huge development for both BabyFirst and Shushybye. As I’ve written lots of new songs, we are planning to produce new episodes of our BabyFirst show. Of course, we look forward to touring to different cities in 2015!