#AskAwayFriday With Mister G

It is time once again for Ask Away Friday. This weekly link up is hosted by Penny of  The Real Housewife Of Caroline Country and Amber from Bold Fab Mom. Typically for Ask Away Friday, bloggers pair up, swap 10 questions, and then answer them on their blogs. This week, I’m doing things just a hair differently. I asked Mister G, a children’s musician, a few questions and am hosting his answers here, interview style.

Mister G 1a

I don’t know about you, but I listen to A LOT of children’s music. There are a lot of great artists out there making music for kids. I don’t have a technical ear, but I can spot passion a mile away. I am thrilled to have recently discovered Mister G, someone who radiates passion for children, education, and music when he’s performing. His music is thoughtful, his catchy rhythms make me want to dance, and the way he weaves Spanish/English vocabulary is into his songs is so flawless Malone doesn’t even know he’s learning. On top of all of this, Mister G is also a excellent guitar player. If I had to describe his musical “style” (and please keep in mind here that I am NOT a trained musical ANYTHING), I would say it was singer songwriter rock with a smidge of folk and a strong Latin undertone. 

I approached Mister G about participating in an Ask Away Friday here because he is genuinely 100% someone YOU NEED TO KNOW. This is not a sponsored post. Mister G has offered a copy of his latest CD, ABC Fiesta, for me to giveaway (see the bottom of this post) to one lucky reader.

Welcome Mister G!

You are fluent in Spanish, a former teacher with a Masters Degree, and studied songwriting at Berklee College of Music. Your seamlessly weave Spanish/English vocabulary through your songs. Was combining your passion for education and music always your end goal? Or, did it evolve over time?

Mister G: For many years I wrote and performed exclusively for grown-ups. It wasn’t until I went back to school and became a teacher that I became interested in combining music and education. Everything about the Mister G project has evolved organically (and surprisingly) over time.

There are certain songs that are written on my heart because I heard them so much throughout my childhood. My mother loved the Beach Boys and whenever I hear Help Me Rhonda, I am immediately taken back to riding in her yellow Buick. What song(s) are written on your heart?

Mister G: Pretty much everything that played on FM radio between 1977-1983! “Message in a Bottle” by The Police has some particularly strong childhood associations as does “Look Sharp” by Joe Jackson. And, somewhat embarrassingly, The Carptenters greatest hits album which was the first record I ever owned.

You are very approachable during your concerts and often invite children on stage to dance while you perform. What is the craziest thing that has ever happened during one of those moments?

Mister G: I love getting the kids up on stage and letting them become part of the show. Part of the fun is that no two shows are ever the same and I never know what’s going to happen. The craziest moment was probably a show in Mexico City where every kid in the audience ended up coming up to sing and dance. The stage was shaking!

On your new album ABC Fiesta, you collaborated with a husband and wife animation team in Argentina to produce the music videos for Cocodrilo and ABC Fiesta. Can you briefly describe how that collaboration worked? 

Mister G: Cocodrilo is a collaboration with an amazing Leandro Antolini and Andrea Cingolani who are based in Argentina. I had worked with Leandro originally when he illustrated my song  ”Sneaky Chihuahua.” We met on Skype and became fast friends. I sent them the song and some video clips of us performing in the US and Latin America and they did the rest.

Two interesting facts: In the original version of the video, Mister G is eaten by the cocodrilo and that’s the end. Leandro and Andrea adopted a dog in Buenos Aires who looks exactly like our dog Josie.

This is a reader question from Jennifer. She’s wondering what your favorite song to perform is and why?

Mister G: Favorite songs seem to change with the seasons for me. These days, it’s “Bailamos” from the Chocolalala album, because it gets everyone in the theater up and dancing.

You have a great educational series called Under The Hat on your website where you combine music and science facts. How did this series get it’s start?

Mister G: Originally, the “Under the Hat” series was designed to teach kids about songwriting. Before I started touring, I was an elementary school teacher and I’ve always been interested in combining music and education . The videos grew out of my desire to share interesting facts about music, science and creativity.

What albums are you listening to right now?

Mister G: Too many to list! Last year I got a turntable, so I’m listening to vinyl albums for the first time in years (kids, ask your parents to explain what I’m talking about!). There’s nothing like that sound when the needle touches down! But to answer your question, some recent albums include: Miles Davis “Sketches of Spain,” Buck Owens “Tiger by the Tail,” Joni Mitchell “Wild Things Run Fast,” Mongo Santamaria “El Pussy Cat,” and Elvis Costello “Punch the Clock.”

This is another reader question. Swansea is wondering how old you were when you wrote your first song.

Mister G: I wrote my first song soon after I started taking guitar lessons when I was nine years old.

This one is for Missus G. My son, Malone (age 4) is wondering what hair color is her favorite?

Missus G: I actually don’t have a favorite hair color, but our dog Josie has very strong opinions on this subject. If she howls when I put my wig on, I know that’s the right one for the show that day.

How did you and Missus G meet?

Mister G: That’s one of my favorite stories. The short answer is that Missus G came up to me in a crowded bar in New York City and asked me to dance.

What has been your favorite place to visit internationally and why?

Mister G: We’ve had amazing experiences performing in Mexico, from big  public concerts in Mexico City to small schools in little villages. The audiences are always incredible; kids, parents and grandparents singing and dancing together along with us. We can’t wait to go back next year!

Mister G Mex hi-rez

I am a parent who cannot carry a tune in a bucket or play an instrument to save my life. I love music and want to gift my kids with a childhood of music. Do you have any advice for me?

Mister G: Love of music is, by far, the most important thing to share with your kids. Whether you can carry a tune or not (and I bet you can), it’s a great gift to kids to create an environment in the house where music and creativity are a natural part of everyday life. Dancing too!

If you are interested in learning more about Mister G, please visit his website or connect with him on his Facebook page.

As I said before, Mister G has offered a copy of his latest CD, ABC Fiesta for me to give away to a reader. To enter to win, click below. This giveaway did not influence today’s post at all. Mister G is amazing, and I am so grateful to get to share him with you today!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



  1. 1

    The Real Housewife of Caroline County says

    I love mixing in a guy’s perspective! Thank you for joining us again!
    The Real Housewife of Caroline County recently posted..#AskAwayFriday Week 18 with Home on Deranged!My Profile

    • 2

      NJ says

      I know, right Penny?!? I’ve actually got a guy blogger lined up to swap with in January too! I love this link up, it is one of my favorites.

  2. 3

    Wendy May says

    This is awesome and Mister G is great! Can’t wait to share him with my niece, even though she’s only 9-months old!
    Wendy May recently posted..#AskAwayFriday, #18!My Profile

    • 4

      NJ says

      Wendy, she’ll love it, I’m sure. Studies have shown that the sooner you introduce a child to a foreign language, the more likely they are to pick it up.

  3. 5

    Tiffany says

    Love your twist on the questions…Mister G seems really cool and the video animation is amazing! Always great to see you at #AskawayFriday
    Tiffany recently posted..Christmas Time Is Here Tag!My Profile

    • 6

      NJ says

      Thanks Tiffany! Mister G is super cool. The same team did the video for ABC Fiesta, which you can find on Mister G’s website.

  4. 7

    Stacey Gannett says

    What an amazing twist on Ask Away Friday! There is nothing more amazing than sharing that love of music with the kids. My 20 yr old and I often share music, when we find a new song or artist that we like. My daughter will spend hours on her computer, listening to music and singing at the top of her lungs and well lil man likes to listen to music, but he is a bit more reserved about it. Thank you so much for sharing this! Have a great weekend!
    Stacey Gannett recently posted..#AskAwayFriday 18 with Anne from Anne’s Blog!My Profile

    • 8

      NJ says

      Stacey, what a fun way to share music with your kids. It is so weird to think that someday it could be 20 year old Lola and I sharing music together! We’ve started to introduce classic rock to Malone. Currently, his favorite song is Lola by the Kinks (which is how our Lola got her name). I am so thrilled to have had the opportunity to share Mister G with you. I hope you love his music as much as we do!

  5. 9

    Elizabeth says

    Love this post! I love sharing my love of music with my boys. Especially children’s music. You are my sunshine holds a very special yet sad place in my heart. Have you heard of Slugs and Bugs by Randell Goodgame and Andrew Peterson? Slugsandbugs.com. They are awesome and have really cute Christian songs on their first album. I need to download their Christmas album for the boys.

    • 10

      NJ says

      I’ve had to work hard to love music, it just doesn’t come naturally to me the way it does to some people! You are my sunshine also holds the same kind of place in my heart, my great grandfather used to sing it all of the time. I can’t sing/hear it without thinking of him!

  6. 11

    Rabia @TheLiebers says

    I love music and I love singing. There is a song called “beautiful Mother” written by a group called Daughters of God. I had it playing when I delivered my kids and it really holds a special place in my heart
    Rabia @TheLiebers recently posted..Five Minute Friday; ReflectMy Profile

    • 12

      NJ says

      Rabia, that sounds like a beautiful song! I wanted music playing when Lola was born, but I literally walked into the hospital room and 3 pushes later she was born. There wasn’t even time to put a gown on!

  7. 13

    Sonya says

    I enjoyed reading your interview with Mister G, hoping to win his CD. My five year old have shown a lot of interest in learning Spanish lately.
    Sonya recently posted..Free IZZE Sparkling Juice at KrogerMy Profile

  8. 15

    Carissa says

    NIce way to switch things up!!! I played the video for Emma she LOVED it!!!
    Carissa recently posted..#Ask Away Friday: W/Christy from Uplifting FamiliesMy Profile

    • 16

      NJ says

      Yay! I am so glad Emma loved it! If you go to his webpage, Mister G has tons of others. Malone also really loves Chocolalala!

  9. 17

    christie elkins says

    I love anything from the 1990s grunge/alternative era of music. Those ballads helped me survive middle school and bad acne ;)
    christie elkins recently posted..black friday 2013My Profile

  10. 21

    Dalaina says

    This is my first encounter with Mister G. I think my 4 boys would go crazy over his music. Since we left Peru, I have been wondering how to keep them connected with some of their Peruvian roots. I love the idea of doing it through Spanish/English music. Thanks for the great post, NJ!

    • 22

      NJ says

      Dalaina, I think your crew would adore Mister G! I think it would be really fun for them, because he has some word plays in Spanish that the casual native English listener would likely NOT catch on to the same way someone who is fluent in Spanish might!

  11. 23

    Nancy Cavillones says

    Probably Carolina in My Mind. I listened to it a lot as a kid because my mom was a fan, and when I was 18, we saw James Taylor at Tanglewood together.
    Nancy Cavillones recently posted..Balabusta Cred.My Profile

    • 24

      NJ says

      Ah, what a great song! And I can see why your mom loves it so much. It seems like one that would be right up her alley. And James Taylor at Tanglewood.. who can beat that??

  12. 25

    Dana says

    That music is pretty catchy – I’m listening as I type. If my kids were little I’d be all over this CD! Interesting interview, NJ – glad you stepped out of the box!
    Dana recently posted..Sign here, SantaMy Profile

    • 26

      NJ says

      I agree, Dana. Mister G’s music is catchy! But I love that it is catchy in a fun and intentional way (as opposed to some children’s music that is catchy and annoying on purpose)!

  13. 27

    Gracielle says

    Thank you so much for introducing me to Mister G! My daughter and I thoroughly enjoyed watching the “Cocodrilo” video! I think his music is something that both parents and children can appreciate. Some of the kids’ music is too cheesy or annoying. I could definitely dig this!
    Gracielle recently posted..{Ask Away Friday} Questions with @MamaRabiaMy Profile

    • 28

      NJ says

      You are welcome Gracielle! Malone also really likes the Chocolalala video! I agree with you, Mister G is a great listen for both kids and adults. I am sure it has something to do with the fact that he played music for grown ups before crossing over to music for kids!

  14. 29

    Beth at Structure in an Unstructured Life says

    Great idea! I love the twist you put on things this week! My boys love any kind of music! One of my favorite albums we got for them is from The Verve Pipe – who were a local college band when I was in school. They grew up just like the rest of us and made a family album. It’s so fun to share it with my kids!
    Beth at Structure in an Unstructured Life recently posted..Ask Away Friday with Lanaya!My Profile

    • 30

      NJ says

      Thanks Beth! I don’t know if I’ve ever listened to Verve Pipe, but I am going to put them on my to do list now. Special thanks today to Mister G, who was a great sport to play along with us!

  15. 31

    Christy Garrett @ Uplifting Families says

    Thank you for sharing MR G with us today. I have always enjoyed listening to music on the radio since I was fairly young. I still remember listening to nursery rhymes and vinyl records too as a kid. My grandmother had a record player and picked up some children’s records for us to listen to. Oh the memories that you made me remember.
    Christy Garrett @ Uplifting Families recently posted..#ASKAWAYFriday with Carissa at The Green Eyed Lady BlogMy Profile

    • 32

      NJ says

      Yay for great memories! I had the old school Fisher Price record player for kids. I’m pretty sure I wore out my Sesame Street album. Mister G is putting out some amazing stuff! I hope you get a chance to check it out soon!

  16. 33

    Shannon Dillard says

    Crash by Dave Matthews and Shame on You by the Indigo Girls both take me back to my college days. Anything by the Beatles brings back my childhood.

    I also just want to say that Mister G’s smile is infectious. I just can’t help but smile when I see him, even in a photograph.

    • 34

      NJ says

      I love the Beatles too, Shannon! Crash also has a special place in my heart! I agree, Mister G has an infectious smile!

  17. 35

    Tabitha Vos says

    I have several songs written there! I love all types of music. this is a great post and a great interview!
    Tabitha Vos recently posted..GIANTmicrobes Christmas Boxes- win one!My Profile

  18. 37

    Stevie says

    I love that you mixed it up this week with an artist! I haven’t been exposed to much children music yet, but my nephew is 5 months and I’m hoping to have my own this coming year. I am taking note because one of the things that is so important to me is to have my children learn Spanish. I am half Mexican (third generation) but my mom didn’t speak so neither did we. I am learning now as an adult.
    Stevie recently posted..Ask Away Friday with Heather of The Frill of LifeMy Profile

    • 38

      NJ says

      There are some really fun things out there, Stevie. Mister G is one of our favorites. The Nields are a close second (they are also local). Malone is currently taking a full immersion Spanish class at preschool, and he is learning TONS!

  19. 39

    The Dose of Reality says

    What a great interview!! Mister G is fantastic!! His answers were so thoughtful yet fun!! (And his own playlist is to eclectic! I’m that way too! Fantastic!! –Lisa
    The Dose of Reality recently posted..We Do Want THIS “Cole” in Our StockingMy Profile

  20. 41

    Eli@coachdaddy says

    My hope is that if I win the CD, my musically-inclined 9-year-old will play it around me so that I can learn some of the Spanish I’ve forgotten. Very cool stuff, amigo.
    Eli@coachdaddy recently posted..Elf of a Shelf, Chicano Style: Why Ours Could Beat Up YoursMy Profile

    • 42

      NJ says

      Malone is constantly teaching me some of the Spanish he’s learned from school. Isn’t it fun when something clicks with them and they want to share it with you? I’ll cross my fingers for you that you’ll win.

      • 43

        Eli@coachdaddy says

        It’s sad that my kid has learned more Spanish from Dora than from her Hispanic dad.
        Eli@coachdaddy recently posted..Guest Post: Toby of Dumbass News is My Maine ManMy Profile

          • 45

            Eli@coachdaddy says

            I just realized how sad that sounded – I’m glad to be learning from her. She actually had to translate for me once in a Mexican bakery. Proud and embarrassing moment.
            Eli@coachdaddy recently posted..Guest Post: Toby of Dumbass News is My Maine ManMy Profile

    • 47

      NJ says

      Thanks Jodi! Be prepared to fall down the rabbit hole of awesome. It happens to me every time I visit (we end up watching ALL of his videos)!

  21. 48

    judy mitchell says

    I grew up in a household liestening to nothing but old school gospel music. Now that I am married and having children of my own I listen to a much broader spectrum of music but the old school gospel still just touch my heart in fact I have alot of them on my ipod

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