Yoga used to carry a pretentious preconception – a pencil-thin woman carrying a yoga mat would pass the train station and eyes would roll. A few decades and a sea change of cultural transformation later, there's no eye-rolling at the number of yoga outfits and yoga mats walking around any given neighborhood. Kira Willey teaches music, yoga movement, and mindfulness for children – mixing all the concepts on four prior CDs as well as her newest release, EVERY VOICE.
There's a ton of empowerment behind the dozen songs on EVERY VOICE, from the gossamer anthem title track, to "The Leader In Me" and "Community." Kira and company (including producers Zak Rizvi and Dave Padrutt) believe in putting the foot to the pedal as well as crossing the legs in a lotus position.
It's truly important for Kira (a mother of three) to promote kid power – not girl power, although that sentiment is the topic of the CD's first video, "Real Girl," featuring numerous authentic adolescents (see below). Kindness is an over-riding theme, from the closing "Kindness Mantra," to "Come On In," where "kindness always wins" and "Hello Hope" with the line "Fill the world up with kindness and love and joy." Children's music icon Laurie Berkner guests on "Dream It Up," helping harmonize on the sweet-tempered reveries:
If you're chilly paint the sun
If you're lonely paint someone
If you're sleepy paint a bed to cuddle up in
Close your eyes and dream it up
In your mind imagine it and see
What it can be
Kira's airy vocals are sometimes doubled and tripled to create a hypnotic wall of sound that accompanies the mostly acoustic arrangements. That doesn't mean EVERY VOICE isn't a dance party. With the possible exception of piano ballad "Hello Hope," it's inevitable that young impressionable minds will command little feet to do some cavorting and gamboling. And in a final Bharadvaja's Twist, that could be the most empowering act that Kira gives your kids.
EVERY VOICE is available on June 15 from Kira Willey's website, Amazon, Apple Music, CDBABY, and Soundcloud.
Here is the video for "Real Girl":