“Kindred” is a new album by Renee Stahl that features an array of equally famous musical guests. The album is an exquisitely nuanced masterpiece of effervescent reflections, messages of kindness, empowerment, and community, and, above all, impeccable standards of singing and playing music. The album sparkles with contributions from such luminaries as 8-time GRAMMY winner Ziggy Marley, GRAMMY winner Lisa Loeb, GRAMMY winner Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, Elizabeth Mitchell, and Chris Stills. Also sharing their considerable talents are Jennifer Paskow, Renee’s daughters Amelia and Isadora Dektor, and Jeremy Toback, her longtime collaborator in the beloved family duo Renee & Jeremy.
Renee Stahl notes that “Kindred” is a collection of songs that promote kindness, empowerment, and love. Renee is both a singer and a songwriter who is praised for the rich melodies, harmonies, and atmospheres that flourish in abundance on her records which she has been producing since 2015.
She recently discussed her work via an exclusive interview.
Meagan Meehan (MM): How did you initially get interested in music and how come you focus on kid’s music?
Renee Stahl (RS): I started singing at a very young age. My mother tells me I would walk around the house with a hairbrush while singing into the mirror. I was in different choirs while growing up in Ohio and my focus turned toward acting and musical theater. I began writing my own songs in my early 20’s and that changed into music for children/families when I got pregnant. We like to call it music for children of all ages.
MM: How did you form your musical alliances and select your name?
RS: Most of the people I have asked to collaborate on both of the Renee and Friends are friends. I love the idea of joining together and community. It’s especially important in this day when so much is and can be done alone.
MM: How did you go about breaking into the music scene?
RS: I just started singing in different venues and slowly started meeting people. I also sang back up with many people in their live shows and on their recordings.
I was involved with various song circles where we would meet and challenge ourselves to stop outside of our comfort zone and write songs.
MM: Your new album “Kindred” features many musical guests, so what were these collaborations like?
RS: It was wonderful and fun! I always tell people it’s called “playing” music so you have to enjoy it otherwise why do it? I loved working with all of the musicians and cowriters on this CD. I am really excited as both of my daughters are on this CD.
MM: What inspired the songs on this new album and have you any special favorites?
RS: I wanted to write about themes that are currently up in my life and many I know with children. For instance, kindness, empowerment, finding a place where you belong. I love them all.
MM: What can audiences expect from your shows?
RS: They can expect a wide variety of songs from both Renee & Friends and Renee & Jeremy -along with some cover songs. I am excited that some of the “friends” on the CD will be joining me in the shows as well.
MM: What experiences do you hope fans take away from this album?
RS: I truly hope this inspires people. My hope is always to moved people. Whether that’s to tears or to empower someone to create their own art, whatever that may be.
MM: Is there anything else that you would like to mention?
RS: YES, I am thrilled that my daughters, Amelia and Isadora are on this new CD with me. It feels amazing that it has come around full circle. I hope this CD makes people feel connected and loved.
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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!