A Bit of Sonshine and Broccoli Does Kids Good
It’s Cool to Be Kind
By Natalie Secretan
With the release of their fourth CD, It’s Cool To Be Kind, children’s musical entertainers Sonshine and Broccoli continue to inspire kids with hip jams and positive messages of kindness and conviviality. “In a world now where we need to spread so much love and so much kindness, it was very important for that message to be the headliner,” says Lisa Sonshine. This pop-rock duo has been rocking out the tunes since 2004 and has grown into one of Toronto’s best-loved kids’ performers. “It’s been an incredible ride!” she says.
Lisa Sonshine, who thought she was headed to Broadway, and Brock ‘Broccoli’ Burford, who “thought he was going to be a big rock star,” have been best friends since studying Musical Theatre at Sheridan College. But, another calling beckoned the lyrical pair. After graduating, an opportunity came up to teach music to moms and tots. They were an instant hit.
Children and parents adored their sound and insisted they get it out there. So, Lisa and Brock released their first CD, Sonshine and Broccoli Jam. “It’s such a beautiful fit, because the roles we play as Sonshine and Broccoli give the kids something to admire and look up to. We get fan mail and parents telling us that all the time,” says Sonshine.
Just recently, Lisa received an email from an adoring mom whose nine-year-old daughter has been a fan since she was two. Her daughter had been having trouble lately, making friends at school, and she wanted to give her a little support, so she took her to see a child psychologist. After meeting her daughter, the psychologist remarked that she exuded a lot of confidence and wanted to know where she got it from. Her daughter simply replied, “Lisa Sonshine.”
“I have to say that was one of the biggest highlights of my career; it made me cry. Sometimes you don’t realise the impact you leave on kids,” says Sonshine.
“We travel all over Ontario and when the kids sing along, it’s the coolest. But when you know you’ve touched them in a way when life is challenging, it’s the best feeling.”
Over the past 15 years, Sonshine and Broccoli has developed a sound that stays current and relevant today: “Our sound has changed drastically over the years. As our fans have grown, so have we and so has our music,” says Sonshine.
“For our latest album, we co-wrote some of our songs with our producer, which was a very different experience, and it opened up a whole different realm of music and relevant sounds. We’ve just submitted to the Junos for Best Kids Album, and we’re hoping and praying for that.”
Amazing vibes and feelings of pure joy have always been at the forefront of Sonshine and Broccoli’s sound. In January, they’ll be taking their energetic and interactive show on the road to China where they’ll open up for Asian sensation, Ladybug. But don’t worry, they’ll be back at the ROM in Toronto for March break.
NATALIE SECRETAN is a self-confessed word nerd and owner of Blogwitt.com, with a background in communications, content marketing, and journalism. A former fitness leader, she also writes on a variety of topics including health, wellness, and lifestyle.