Lola Pyne on Why Scents, Like Songs, Are Essential to the Soul

by Marisa Torrieri Bloom

Like music, fragrance is intrinsically linked to mood and memory. And for Washington, D.C., area mom Lola Pyne, founder of Oasis Soul Scent Co., fragrance is intrinsically linked to music. 

In fact, it’s sound, as much as scent, that inspires Oasis Soul’s line of song-inspired candles and body products, which capture the moods of the tunes they’re named for:  “LOVE SONG” (vanilla and rose), “CARIBBEAN QUEEN” (mango & papaya), and “CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’” (blood orange).  

Photo Credit: Isis Nishae

“The same way you create a vibe with music, you can do that with scent,” Lola tells Rockmommy. “I absolutely LOVE music so that crossover of inspiration is easy for me. Sometimes I start with a name that is a nod to a song or lyric and look for fragrances to match that mood, sometimes it’s the other way around.” 

We recently caught up with Lola to talk about her new venture, motherhood in 2020, and why escaping into a delicious scent can change your emotional latitude during tough times. Read our interview and visit Oasis Soul Scent now through November 30, for a 10% discount on all purchases. 

Rockmommy: Hi Lola! For our readers who don’t know much about Oasis Soul, can you give us a little backstory? How did you get started? 

Lola Pyne: Sure! I actually just celebrated the two-year anniversary of Oasis Soul Scent Co. at the end of September. I got the idea to start making candles after attending a work function at an event space that smelled simply amazing. I had the distinct feeling of being transported out of the busy city and into another place altogether immediately upon entering the building and encountering this lit candle. The lightbulb moment for me was that we should always have this feeling when we enter our homes, the feeling of stepping out of the world and into our own sanctuaries that we deliberately cultivate. And, that sensory experience of smell is one easy way to make a home an oasis.

That was the catalyst for me to learn candle making, which I picked up through numerous books and YouTube videos. The process of selecting, mixing, and testing various fragrances got me hooked! I went through more than 60 scents to select the initial seven that I launched the company with, three months after getting the idea for the business. Oasis Soul now boasts 28 scents offered in a range of handmade self-care products including shower aromatherapy steamers, fragrance sprays, body oil, and more.

Through the process of researching candles and candle making, I became aware of the harmful chemicals that many store-bought candles contain. For example, many wicks can contain lead or metal cores, and paraffin wax itself is a byproduct of petroleum and can release harmful toxins when burned. Therefore, it was paramount for me to select non-harmful materials for products I’m positioning as self-care. I make my candles with a natural coconut wax blend, lead-free cotton wicks, and phthalate-free fragrances.

Rockmommy: Can you tell us about how music inspires and influences you? Or, How does music play a role in the creative process of candle making? 

Lola Pyne: The main angle for Oasis Soul Scent Co. is that I craft “scented goods inspired by soulful music.” When it initially came time to name the scents that I’d meticulously selected and mixed, I wanted to really convey the feelings that each fragrance was meant to evoke. That’s not any easy task in the complicated way that scent, emotion, and memory are so intrinsically tied. It’s the same way with music. So I opted for musically inspired scent names to say that this fragrance will make you feel the same way that a specific song, or genre, or artist makes you feel with their music. 

Oasis Soul Scent Co. candles and body products. Photo credit: Isis Nishae

I have a light airy blend of white tea and ginger that I named SMOOTH JAZZ. A rich, sweet, romantic blend of vanilla and rose is known as LOVE SONG. You get the picture. The same way you create a vibe with music, you can do that with scent. I absolutely LOVE music so that crossover of inspiration is easy for me. Sometimes I start with a name that is a nod to a song or lyric and look for fragrances to match that mood, sometimes it’s the other way around. For me it has become my art, and I love the process and products, and especially the way that the concept really resonates with my customers. The reviews let me know that they experience my products in a meaningful way that engages their senses.

Rockmommy: You have a young son. Does he participate in the family business? 

Lola Pyne: Absolutely! So my son has participated in every step of the process from testing out the initial scents in my kitchen (though he’s over that part now), to attending my vending events, to now helping me carry packages to the car for our daily post office runs. As a mom, it is extremely gratifying to know that he is watching me every step of the way in building and growing a business from the ground up. I’d like to think it is an example that will stick with him of how consistent hard work pays off, and that you can really do anything you dream.

Rockmommy: This year has been incredibly difficult for everyone. How are you and your family navigating these times?

Lola Pyne: Certainly living in the midst of a global pandemic while the next chapter of the long, long struggle for freedom for African Americans is unfolding is A LOT. The emotional and spiritual toll is a heavy one, along with the added pressures of re-imaging and re-tooling schooling for our young ones in a world with COVID.

Self/soul-care is a primary tenant of Oasis Soul Scent Co. and I believe that daily rituals are integral to creating and maintaining balance. And, at a time such as this, the ability to tend to one’s soul is all the more complicated yet critical. The importance of self-care is resonating and I’ve actually experienced an increase in business as people prioritize making their spaces comfortable and calm, while they are also making conscious choices to seek out and support Black-owned businesses.

For my own wellness, I put together a prayer corner/personal altar with candles and other items to remind me to practice daily the things that sustain me. I need the reminder to work on and nourish myself for the strength and courage to mother, and to fight, and to care, and to love, and to create joy, and even to thrive. That too is a form of resistance. I created a LET IT SHINE Affirmations Candle specifically for this use which has been quite popular: 10% of the sales from this candle will go to organizations fighting for social justice.

Being able slow down, and spend more time at home with my son, who is six now, has been the blessing in all of this. Having this uninterrupted time together is something I’m sure we will always look back fondly on.

Rockmommy: What’s cooking this fall, for candles? Any new soulful scents we should know about? 

Lola Pyne: This year I created my first full holiday collection with 6 candle scents that just launched this month. With so much time spent at home now, I feel that these candles with signature scents that we associate with autumn and the holiday season, will help people mark time, and celebrate as best we can, and provide the backdrop for new family memories. GROOVE (apple bourbon) is what I’m currently burning these day.

Rockmommy: What candles would you recommend for rockmommies who love the beach (like me)? 

Lola Pyne: Listen, beach is one of my favorite words! I have whole collection named ESCAPE that is meant to evoke seaside/resort/bungalow vibes. (I actually love those scents in the winter when I’m trying to escape the cold in my mind.) From that collection, SUMMER BREEZE is the most popular scent. It is a lovely, beach-y blend of sea salt and jasmine that people adore in the candles as well as in the Room/Body/Linen Mist Spray. I’m telling you, spray this on your pillow at night and ocean dreams are yours. 🙂

Marisa Torrieri Bloom is the founder and editor of Rockmommy. 

Kids Imagine Nation Swaps High-Energy Live Shows for a Virtual Music Program That’s Fun, Engaging and Whimsical

by Marisa Torrieri Bloom 

It’s not always easy to capture the imagination — or attention — of a toddler or grade-schooler in a virtual music class. My kids love their music teacher, don’t get me wrong, but they are already weary from singing “This Land is Your Land” over a Google Meets connection. It’s chaotic at best, trying to get them to focus.

Aaron B. and Rachel C. of Kids Imagine Nation, a live performance kindie rock act hailing from Orange County, get that. While virtual (aka, “distance”) learning can work academically, music class doesn’t necessarily translate well. 

But their new online music program might just change that.

[RELATED: The Most Danceable Kiddie Record for Ska- and Punk-loving Parents is Coming in September

Like their Kids Imagine Nation live show, the Kids Imagination Kindie Music channel leads little learners through movement exercises, musical instruction, and other hands-on educational activities, which are the perfect supplement to any 2020 distance learning curriculum. 

We’ve only begun to watch them, and I can attest that they’re awesome.

My kiddos and I opted to try out music class, which is live-streamed at 11 a.m. PST on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, but available on demand anytime, to check it out. The one we tried — an October 10 Music Class, on demand — kicked off with a yoga-like movement sequence (Aaron growing into a big, strong tree), and featured a singalong sequence, dance time, and a music history lesson on the bass guitar (I had no idea the bass guitar was invented in 1930, did you?!). 

While the music class is designed for learners ages 4 to 8, other content in the Kindie Music program, such as the weekly storytime and crafting classes, are perfect for children ages 2 to 4. All lessons move from one sequence to the next every three to five minutes, to ensure that even the most finicky preschooler can focus. As a guitar teacher, I know this is the only way to keep children coming back for more — especially over a virtual platform. 

We recently caught up with Aaron over email to talk about Kindie Music program, and why it’s a fun way to enhance online learning during challenging times. 

Rockmommy: Tell us about the creation of Kids Imagine Nation’s Kindie Music program. How did this come about? 

Aaron B.: Rachel and I — two-thirds of Kids Imagine Nation — have always been performers and educators. While we created videos and music for kids, we have also been teaching preschool music classes at various schools in Southern California. We would also perform over 200 shows a year at schools, libraries, and The Disneyland Resort. But when Covid-19 hit, and our schools shut down and all our shows were canceled, we needed to adapt.  We took our music curriculum and our love for creating videos, and began teaching online.  It was a way for our schools and students to still interact with us, but it now opened up the possibility that our Kids Imagine Nation fans could participate as well. Right off the bat we offered five music classes, four story times and Friyay dance party every week.  

Rockmommy: One of the biggest challenges I’ve found is keeping kids engaged in music over a virtual connection. How did you curate the content based on kids’ real-life personalities and needs for engagement? 

Aaron B.: This is a great question! There are pros and cons to teaching over Zoom. Being able to see your students is a huge plus, but with that there becomes a lot of distractions, especially when everyone can see everyone else.  We decided right away to present our class like a live tv show.  We know, as early childhood educators, that activities need to be done no more than 5 minutes. So, every 5 minutes we are doing something different, and each section has its own video introduction.  We have the ability to put items on the screen, during class, that we use for games that turns our class into “Active Screen Time.” We also provide a chat feature, where parents can participate, if they choose.  

This allows us to specifically call out names during class. Another tool we use is a polling feature that the kids can use to vote for different things that Rachel or I do at the end of class. We also ask the students to draw pictures that we use during our Fairy Tale Night, where Rachel tells a story and we put the children’s artwork on the screen, live. Because of our years as performers and teachers, we know what to say, and more importantly how to say it, to keep the children engaged, and to make them feel that what they are watching is specifically for them.

Rockmommy: What do you hope to impart with the show? (e.g., life lessons, etc.)? 

Aaron B.: Of course we want to show that music is fun, and encourage the love of performing it, but more importantly we want to provide a virtual place that is safe, inclusive, and empowering.  

Rockmommy: How are you trying to create a sense of community during this isolating time? 

Aaron B.: Because we feature videos and pictures that students submit, and we offer an “interact” section on our site where families can post and comment on other families discussions, a lot of our families now follow each other on social media sites.  Although our live stream network is designed to watch what you want, when you want if you can’t watch the actual live stream, most of our families watch live, and because we talk about what students are doing (because of our chat feature) our students literally refer to the others watching as “friends”.

Rockmommy: What kind of feedback are you getting from your audience? 

Aaron B.: The feedback we receive is overwhelming great.  When we hear from families telling us how our program has affected their lives, it fills our hearts up because we love what we do and we are so glad that other feel the same.

Rockmommy: Any hopes of performing live again? 

Aaron B.: WE LOVE PERFORMING LIVE!  We know its coming, and when it does we will be out there!  We are already planning a full country tour once we are allowed to!!!

Marisa Torrieri Bloom is the editor and founder of Rockmommy.

Nashville Singer-Songwriter Elliott Park Spent Quarantine Making an Album with his 3 Teenage Daughters — And it’s Perfect

by Marisa Torrieri Bloom

The first few months of pandemic life and quarantine may have been the most difficult in many ways, as we grappled with the unknown.

Yet this period of uncertainty spurred creativity among musicians, who found themselves writing new material for the first time in months. 

Nashville singer-songwriter Elliott Park is among them. Over the spring, Park and his three teen daughters Anna, 18, Autumn, 16, and April, 14, created an acoustic, 12-song collection —  Songs With My Daughters  — that is beautiful and compassionate, with the daughters’ gorgeous harmonies intertwined with jazzy pop-rock tunes, like “To the Moon and Back,” and nostalgic tributes (like “Blue Skies Over the Rainbow” — my favorite).

It’s like hearing Jack Johnson but better, because daughters make everything that much more awesome.

Elliott Park “Songs with my Daughters”

We caught up with Elliott in one of his rare free moments to talk about the new record, and life in this crazy new world. 

Rockmommy: Talk to me about this album! When and how did the idea to do a quarantine album with your three daughters come about? 

Elliott Park: Well it wasn’t really intended to be a quarantine album. I had been planning a new family album for several months but midway through recording process the pandemic hit and I started feeling like the songs I was producing didn’t quite fit the mood of the times. So I put my nose back on the grindstone and reworked it with a little different vibe. Still quirky but with a little more intimacy and organic feel.

Rockmommy: Who wrote the songs? Was there any teenage angst about lyrics (kidding, kind of) or musical direction? 

Elliott Park: I wrote all the songs except one, Blue Skies Over the Rainbow… which is a mashup of two of my favorite classics; Blue Skies and Somewhere Over the Rainbow. The girls and I collaborated on that one. It was a ton of fun coming up with the parts. There was not TOO much angst haha, but at times it was a little difficult to pull them away from what they were doing. I’m proud at how hard they worked.

Rockmommy: How long have you been playing music? How has that influenced your girls? 

Elliott Park: I was raised in a musical family but never learned an instrument. I was always too shy to sing. But when I went to college something clicked. Almost every evening after basketball practice I would sneak over to the music department and tinker on the piano. That went on into my twenties and then I started singing and writing music at around age 30. I found I had a knack for songwriting and it sort of developed into a career. My girls have grown up with it as well. We have an old Magnivox record player we call Maggie. She’s sung us all to sleep a few thousand times and still does to this day. I’d like to think they’ve developed their musical interests from listening to all those old records. Sweet Maggie.

Rockmommy: These songs are so sweet — do your daughters and you have similar music tastes? 

Elliott Park: Thanks! Well I think we have overlapping sets of musical interests. But I really dig a lot of the stuff they listen to. I think it surprised them one day when I was singing along to a Billie Eilish… It kind of crossed their wires there for a few seconds haha!. Likewise they REALLY love the old classics, and I don’t just mean rock. If you look at their personal playlists you’ll see Sinatra, Billie Holliday, The Carpenters, some Gershwin tunes… a lot of different genres. I think those overlapping interests shape this album and I love it to pieces. They can mimic the elevator voices on a Percy Faith track or knock off the Andrews sisters like nobody’s business. 

Rockmommy: What was the recording process like? Did you do this DIY with a good DAW, or with an engineer? 

Elliott Park: I had a lot of it remotely recorded, but it all came together in my bedroom using Logic Pro X on my old iMac. Towards the end of the project it would crash about three times an hour no lie. We did all the vocals in my bedroom. I had to yell through the walls for silence many, many, times.

Rockmommy: Obviously the pandemic sucks. But is there some level of gratitude for the time with your daughters that you had BECAUSE of the pandemic? 

Elliott Par: Definitely! We made the best of it. I’m proud of us all for staying at it all the way through. 

7. Are you planning a social distance concert or parking lot shows?

Not at this time. I’m not huge on performing and honestly I’ve used this pandemic as an excuse not to perform. It’s awful and I need to change that about myself. That’s some bare bones honesty right there haha.

Marisa Torrieri Bloom is the editor and founder of Rockmommy.

Frances England’s New Single ‘Glue’ Celebrates the Silver Linings of Constant Togetherness

by Marisa Torrieri Bloom 

It’s been quite a year, and if you’re a mom, dad, or kid, you’ve likely experienced a level of family bonding you never thought possible. Frances England, mom of two teenage sons, gets it. Her latest tune, ‘Glue,’ out today is inspired by the intimacy of living in a coronavirus pod, for better and worse. 

Frances England (Photo Credit: Margaret Preble)

But the song is also a welcome respite from the severity of the pandemic in our everyday lives. 

We recently caught up with her to talk about the new tune, the first single off her forthcoming album, ‘Honey,’ out November 16. 

Rockmommy: What inspired the song, “Glue?” 

Frances England: The idea for “Glue” came from the CoronaCoaster we’ve all been riding since March of this year. I was just thinking about how our worlds got so small when we were suddenly only allowed to be with a very limited group of people — our immediate families, our partners, our pets. “Glue” is a song about appreciating the people you’ve been stuck with 🙂 

Rockmommy: What messages do you hope to impart in your music? 

Frances England: For kids, I try and subtly weave in messages about being compassionate, empathetic, a curious observer, animal protectors, good stewards of the earth. For parents, I try to create songs that speak to how wondrous and magical the ordinary is when you have young children. My kids are older now, but I remember how stressful and exhausting it can be to parent young kids. It’s also the most special space in time and I hope my songs capture a little bit of that. 

Rockmommy: What are you most looking forward to, over the next few weeks, during these crazy times? 

Frances England: COVID +  the California fires + our country’s political reality have made for a hyper stressful time, and to be honest, I have been feeling anxious about pretty much everything. During the next few weeks I’m hoping to balance all those externals with some quiet things that calm me down and fill me up: songwriting, family bike rides, experimenting with a new camera. I also manage a community park in my neighborhood so that keeps me busy in all sorts of interesting ways. 

Marisa Torrieri Bloom is the editor in chief of Rockmommy.

NYC’s Val Kinzler Reflects and Rocks On

Playing rock n’ roll requires a lot of stamina. So does motherhood. This month, Rockmommy correspondent Rew Starr talks to NYC rocker mom Val Kinzler — a self-described cross between “Janis Joplin & Karen O” — about life, music and finding balance in a crazy world. 

Rew Starr: Hows it going? What have you been doing these days?

Val Kinzler: I’m still adjusting to the aftermath of the COVID-19 lockdown. Living on the Lower East Side in NYC with my son and two pugs. I’ve been teaching music virtually — which still feels kind of strange — and hosting songwriting webinars. I work with an LBGTQ non-profit record label. 

Val Kinzler (Photo: Donna Malech, Parkside Lounge, NYC) 

I also participated in a successful livestream fundraising effort to help save The Bitter End venue on Bleecker Street, which was produced by Room Full Of Music and Off Stage Tunes,  and another livestream benefit for the NAACP via Tune Hatch.

Beyond that, I’ve been cooking, cleaning, eating, taking 8- to 10-mile walks with my son to avoid public transportation and trying to squeeze back into my skinny jeans!

RS: How is this different than pre-pandemic life? 

VK: Prior to the pandemic, I co-curated a week long NYC Women Who Rock Fest in conjunction with Mike McHugh and New Century Booking that featured some awesome, 

power house women artists including you! I’m amazed that we were able to complete all of the fest dates just before the lockdown!

RS: What about the kids? What does going back to school look like?

VK: Jesse is thirteen and actually did great with Google Classroom, and is still participating in online distance learning. Recently he informed me that after taking a “mental age calculation test” he is actually 27! So, I kind of feel like I have a “QuaranTEEN” and an adult child rolled into one!

RS: So tell us about your life. So how many bands have you been in? Is it more than boys you have been with or less? (laughs)

VK: This is a loaded question. I dissected and re-assembled the trajectory of my varied band experiences and realized there’s got to be a book penned by me eventually called “Road Kill!”

My earliest girl band was The Sirens, which played classic rock and Grateful Dead covers at Long Island colleges and bars, with a born-gain Christian manager who desperately wanted to “get to know us better,” and I went from there to my excuse for dropping out of college: a punk-pop all girl band called The Technical Virgins (i just received newly rendered live and studio tracks and a pending script/screen play for the “TV’s” that the singer/songwriter/bassist/flute player Susan Neuffer wrote). The TV’s played in the 1980’s at A7, with Marilyn and The Movie Stars and The Bad Brains, at Maxwells in Hoboken, CBGB’s on Valentine’s Day (we opened for the Sick F*cks) and at Queens College (on the bill with ISM) and other rock n roll joints that are long gone. 

Val Kinzler (photo by Alan Rand; The Red Lion, NYC)

We had interest from the Go Go’s producer and I met with Sid Bernstein several times. Sid wanted to change our name. The founding TV’s said no. I still miss him, though. 

After playing piano exclusively for years, I picked up the guitar because, I was moving from squat to squat on the Lower East Side, sometimes sleeping under a friend’s kitchen table.

I had to sell my piano and started writing a lot more on the guitar which proved to be a blessing because, with my limited chops, I was forced to keep my writing simple and more intuitive rather than getting sidetracked by riffing on the keys.

I joined open blues jams at places like Dan Lynch on Second Avenue between 13th and 14th Street where the Holmes Brothers, Joan Osborne, Jon Paris, Grant Green Jr., Harry Holt and others packed the joint. I also backed up some groups as a keyboard player — most notably, The Jive Five, which was really cool because, we’d play the oldies shows with Little Anthony, The Dixie Cups, Ronnie Spector and these singers and their tunes still remain timeless!

Valkyrie and The Vikabillys was my first all original band. But, I was still doing back-up gigs, singer-songwriter open mics and blues jams. 

I played The Lone Star, Bitter End, Village Gate, Kenny’s Castaways, and after recording two projects, one with Popa Chubby (I still love those tracks!) and my debut East Third Street record produced by Genya Raven who also sang backgrounds with me. 

Hilly Crystal (CBGB’s) came in to the studio to lay down the voiceover of the sanitation worker in “Alleyways Of Love,” a song I wrote about a hooker and a garbage man who fall in love when he spots her as he’s picking up the trash. That record landed me some cool gigs, I opened  solo in California for Marty Balin and Chuck Negron at a show where Joe Walsh and Clapton were also booked.

After joining a heavy metal band called ICU (Intensive Care Unit) for a brief time, I then joined Blue Lagoon, a hard-hitting blues rock band, as their lead singer.

Eventually, my music evolved when I met Joe Vasta, who also became my romantic partner. Joe and I originally connected through Thommy Price, who I’d worked with in the 1990s.

My main band now is the Val Kinzler Band. David White whom I met and played with in King Bee and The Stingers, Joe Vasta, and Jon Ihle. We recorded our debut record “Nothing Sacred About Hatred” in Oklahoma for a Christian label. The label’s owner was busted for embezzlement but, we got a great record and two videos out of the deal! I refer to VKB as my grown-up band because we’ve all been there, and are done with “THAT!” I’ve also joined several other all-female groups.

Val Kinzler Band

RS: We met in the Dirty Mothers. You had a newborn. How were you so able to try anything even at that vulnerable state?

VK: Yes! I also remember Joey Zero years earlier when I was playing at Sun Mountain in the West Village insisting that I must meet his friend REW!

Joey booked us both at The Continental and after seeing you perform for the very first time, I totally understood why Joey wanted us to coordinate!  I was totally psyched to learn that Kelly Britton and you had teamed up! Jesse was under a year old. I was not yet healed after having a cesarean section. But, it sure was a blast and I loved playing all of our original songs.  We each had a slightly different style but the vibe was in sync. I had no immediate family to help me with Jesse when he was an infant. Also, took me two years to get back into shape physically because I gave birth at 46!

I used to take Jesse to rehearsals and wherever I needed to be. But, there were times when I had to pull out of gigs because I didn’t have a sitter or money to pay for child care and it became really strenuous carrying my guitar on my back and the diaper bag while having the baby harnessed to my chest using public transportation.

There were also rehearsals when Jesse was sleeping in the harness on my back and we’d turn down low to keep rehearsing. I literally couldn’t put him down at times or he’d fuss. I think he wanted to be close to the music! Luckily, certain musicians (like you and Kelly) were also parents and were cool with me having to bring my baby! 

RS: I love your twist words. When did this start? Ever think of making a Val dictionary?

VK: I think my “oops” with words comes from a learning disability known as dyscalculia and perhaps a touch of dyslexia. I used to write everything backwards in elementary school out of boredom I thought but, as the years progressed, I began to reverse how I saw numerical equations and it’s become such a part of me that I simply create new words automatically.

I read signs in reverse and it can really screw me up at times if I’m not concentrating.

Like, if the teacher gave an exercise with two rows of words, and instructed me to take one word from each column to fuse together sensibly, I’d write “road rail” and incorporate it into a sentence rather than “rail road.” 

Songwriting for me is challenging because it’s like inventing and solving a crossword puzzle simultaneously.

RS: Are you making any new music?

VK: My most recent single “Some Bitch” is on Spotify and desperately needs a video! 

It’s a quirky tune about cyber cheating. “Some Bitch is dancing topless on your lap top, I can smell her perfume from out here… etc.”  I also wrote a quartan-tune inspired song called “In the Rain” and am still catching up on half completed songs my band was working on for our forthcoming record.

RS: What about playing out? have there been opportunities?

The only live show I did recently was in Tompkins Square Park for the anniversary of the riots. 

It held meaning to me due to the history of The Lower East Side, the squatters, the musicians and artists and Monika Beerle, who became my muse in “Broken Ballerina.” Also, it is so important to join other musicians and artists right now as these are uncertain times and music is the universal language of healing and inspiration!

I am scheduled to play at Porch Stomp, 2020 as part of Kat Minogue’s Stage on Governor’s Island on October 10th. Violizzy, Rigel Mary and Jesse will probably join me.

RS: What’s the greatest part about being a rockmommy?

VK: All of my personal achievements can now be applied to reinforcing life skills in my own child and the students I teach. 

To me, being a rockmommy means dissecting and recycling stressful moments creatively by incorporating my love for music! Jesse and I always turn on the radio in the morning and wind up dancing to our favorite tunes. Pain in life is inevitable, remaining stagnant is no longer an option. 

I’m grateful that my son is tenacious and driven. We both use music, dance and exercise to keep a positive mental attitude. I love my close relationship with Jesse especially when we have opportunity to jam together. Taking him to rehearsals, gigs and not sheltering him from my artsy friends has lost me some people along the way. I was definitely mis-judged as being reckless at times.But, interestingly, those particular ex-friends never had children of their own. 

Rock n’ Roll is all encompassing and celebrates uniqueness and survival!

I’m definitely a survivor and passionate about inspiring hope in Jesse and others.

Rew Starr is an actor, musician and rockmommy who lives in New York City.