“Cheerful Little Earful” is a new album by Canadian Musical Artist Diana Panton. The album will be released on October 18, 2019. The album combines jazz and pop with Diana’s beautiful voice and the splendid artistry of the instrumental team. Since the release of her first album in 2005, Diana Panton’s career has never ceased to accumulate momentum; she won two Silver Disc Awards in Japan, six JUNO nominations, nine Hamilton Music Awards, and a host of National Jazz Awards and Canadian and American Independent Music Award nominations, among other accolades.
Recently, Diana discussed her album, career, and more via an exclusive interview.
Meagan Meehan (MM): How did you initially get interested in music and how come you focus on kid’s music?
Diana Panton (DP): My love of jazz began with the discovery of my Dad’s vinyl collection when I was in high school. Once I outgrew his collection, I started going to the library and taking out the maximum number of CDs allowed each week. I started off performing in a 25-piece big band youth ensemble as a teenager, which I continued to do for about 10 years. It was during a jazz workshop at the Banff Centre for the Arts that I met my mentor and collaborator, Don Thompson. We recorded our first album together in 2004, and “A Cheerful Little Earful” will be our 9th recording together. Most of my albums are jazz albums aimed at an adult audience, however, at one point, I was getting emails from parents telling me they were using my interpretations as bedtime lullabies (such as “Moon River”). This sparked the idea for my first children’s album, I Believe in Little Things. This was a collection of gentle songs about imagination in the waking and sleeping realms. While preparing that album, I came across some great zippier tunes that I figured would work well for a sequel – which is now being released as A Cheerful Little Earful.
MM: How did you go about breaking into the music scene?
DP: I didn’t really “do” anything special. For the most part, I let the music spread by word of mouth and of course, with the advent of the internet, people from all over the world can discover your music via various online musical platforms. I opted to work with a publicist for the first time with I Believe in Little Things because I was unfamiliar with the kindie market. She was able to arrange an interview with NPR – which resulted in a huge listenership becoming suddenly aware of my music in the US and my album charting on Billboard and topping Amazon and iTunes.
MM: How much of an influence has jazz been on your style?
DP: Jazz is fully responsible for my musical career. The first time I heard Ella Fitzgerald, it sparked an immediate interest in music. This was a type of singing that appealed to me greatly and inspired me to be a part of this musical genre.
MM: How did you get the idea for the songs on “Cheerful Little Earful”?
DP: As mentioned above, many of the songs were ones I discovered while researching the first children’s album, but they didn’t quite fit the theme of that first recording. The songs on Cheerful are all thematically linked to joy and the power of music to make us feel happy!
MM: Of all the songs, have you any special favorites and what can audiences expect from your concerts and live shows?
DP: “I Don’t Want to Live on the Moon” is probably one of my favorites because the images are so sweet (ex. the sea, the jungle, the moon). I love the message that you may wish to travel and explore the world, but in the end, there’s no place like home, friends and family to be truly content. Audiences who attend my concerts often talk about how the music makes them feel – I think my choice of songs and delivery help people access their own feelings and trigger different emotions.
MM: What are you most looking forward to regarding the release of the album?
DP: I always get excited by the prospect that some little person out there may be introduced to jazz for the very first time through my music. I didn’t discover jazz until I was a teenager, but I can only imagine how cool it would have been to hear jazz as a toddler!
MM: What are your ultimate goals for the future of your career?
DP: I just hope to continue following my artistic muse and make music that best reflects my creative spirit.
“A Cheerful Little Earful” will be available in the U.S. and Canada from Amazon.com, iTunes, and Spotify. The album will also be available internationally. You can learn more about Diana by visiting her official website, Facebook, and Twitter.
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Meagan J. Meehan is a published author, poet, cartoonist, and produced playwright. She pens columns for the Great South Bay Magazine, Blasting News, and Entertainment Vine. She is also a stop-motion animator and an award-winning abstract artist. Meagan holds a BA in English Literature and a MA in Communication. She is also an animal advocate and a fledging toy and game designer.
Meagan is a contributing editor to Kidskintha writing on Toys, Games, Entertainment, and other topics that are happy and fun!