Treat yourself and the young music-lovers in your life to the latest animated video in our collection! Multi-talented SteveSongs is the author and performer of The Shape Song Swingalong, a colorful, fun-filled adventure in learning how to draw with basic shapes. We asked SteveSongs a few quick questions to learn more about him and the story behind this new Barefoot book.

Q: What was the inspiration for The Shape Song Swingalong?
Every year since 2008, my co-writer Anand Nayak and I have gotten an assignment to write a batch of songs for PBS interstitials (the musical interludes between shows like Curious George and Dinosaur Train). That year, “art” was the final topic of 15, and I remember sitting in the studio with Anand talking about different ideas for a song about art. We brainstormed about colors and artists and even a character named “Art” who left colorful footprints as he walked around. Then Anand started to sing some shape names to a little melody: “line, line, circle, square”. Aha! That’s it! And for the next half hour we worked on the “shape” of the melody, and Anand was even able to get a couple of rhythmic triplets in there for triangle. I put together the music and lyrics for the first verse and we started to cobble the whole thing together.  I must say that we were very pleased with the end result. It was simple and catchy and it told a pretty neat story.

Q: If you could turn yourself into a shape, which one would you choose to be and why?
Tough question! I would have to say a square, because I’m not typically very smooth and there is a bit more edge to me than a circle.  I also like the idea of symmetry, and while people like to say that a circle never ends, neither does a square and there is a little more variety with the straight-aways and sharp turns.

Q: Would you please share a little about when you knew you wanted to spend your life singing and making music?
I’ve sung in choirs for as long as I can remember, but I was always quite nervous when singing solos. It really wasn’t until I was in college that I fully overcame my stage fright–I think mostly because I was performing so much, it just got too tiring to be nervous all the time. It’s funny to think that I stuck with performing so long. I have to say I’m immensely glad that I did.

Q: Growing up, did you sing in the shower?
Yes, I always sang in the shower and still do. In fact, many of my best song ideas come when I’m getting pelted in the face with water. As a child I sang my heart out in the shower but was definitely shy in public.

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