Life After the Wiggles – Interview with Sam Moran

I have to admit my kids love watching your show on Nick Jr! Tell us about your project ‘Play Along with Sam’.

It’s great to hear they love the show so much!  Play Along With Sam is a daily block of Nick Jr’s most popular shows, hosted by yours truly.  I invite all the children at home to help me collect sounds and join me on my musical adventures.

How do you find it singing and dancing in front of the camera? What’s the process of filming the show? You seem like such a natural in front of the screen.

Well thank you!  It’s so much fun to film.  However, on the set, there’s generally no children around.  So usually I find I’m making a fool of myself in front of all these grown-ups working behind-the-scenes.  However, I’ve come to realise that if I can get the crew laughing at me, then I’m probably doing it right. 🙂

We’d love to hear more about the creative process behind the songs. Do you write all the songs yourself?

I do write all the songs!  Because we film the show in blocks throughout the year, I have to write/record the songs ahead of time which takes some time. Nick Jr has provided me with a lot of creative freedom though to write the songs I want to write and about subjects that I know children connect with.  Quite often, they don’t even hear the songs until a few days before filming.  My test audience is my own daughter, who is now 6.  All my songs have to pass her test before they even get heard by anyone else.

Congratulations on your recent Aria win for Play Along with Sam! You were up against some pretty tough competition and even beat the Wiggles! How did it feel winning off the merits of your very own project?

It felt amazing!  People have asked me if I felt some sort of vindication with the win over The Wiggles, and I honestly didn’t know how it would make me feel before it happened.  Fortunately, it just felt like a wonderful reward for a lot of hard work by not only me but a whole team of people who put the music together.  I think that’s exactly how it should feel.

Do you still stay in touch with the other members of the Wiggles? Was Jeff really that sleepy?

No I don’t, but yes Jeff really was that sleepy.  Backstage between shows, you would often find him curled up under a table somewhere having a quick nap!

Ha ha! You’re a very talented kid’s entertainer, but not many people probably know that you are trained as an opera singer. Do you prefer this style of singing as opposed to performing for kids?

What’s fantastic about performing and writing children’s songs is that I get to sing all sorts of musical styles.  I do Reggae songs, Country, Rock and even get to use my Opera training every now and then too.

What was the last song you listened to on your iPod/iPhone/Music Player?

Well I just recently saw a wonderful production of West Side Story, so I think I probably had the soundtrack for that blaring in the car for me to sing-along to while I was driving Haha!

How do you juggle your career and family life?

I, like most parents, have to actively try to keep this balance.  As a creative person my mind never switches off and inspiration can come at the strangest time.  But I do try to not work when I am home, so that I can be ‘present.’ I have a studio that I go to every day and try to keep my work there. 🙂

How does it affect your family life being in the spotlight because you are so well known to all our little Australians and their parents?

I get recognised when I’m at the park with my daughter, or at the supermarket etc.  But it’s always a positive experience.  A child wanting to say hello, or a parent saying they enjoy what I do.  My daughter used to be confused by it, and thought that I knew a LOT of people.  But she understands it now and thinks it’s cool.  She’s quick to point out to those same people that I am HER Dad.

Very Cute! What is the funniest/weirdest white lie your parents told you? 

That if I swallowed a watermelon seed, a watermelon would grow inside my belly.  A very strange thing to tell a child.  It took me years to get past the anxiety that created.

And what is the funniest white lie you tell your daughter?

I am generally as honest as I can be (in a child appropriate way) because I really want to foster my daughter’s natural curiosity.  And besides, every parent knows that they get caught out by their children eventually.  I do think I had a few “birds & the bees” questions when my daughter was about 4 though. I may have bent the truth a little in order to delay those questions for a few more years. (laughs)

Definitely! Do you find yourself travelling often for your career?

I do, which I love.  I’m fortunate that it’s not as much as I used to though.  I used to be away from home for 8 months of the year touring, but with a little one at home now, that would be unfair to both of us.

What is something your parents said to you that you find yourself saying now?

“Will you PLEASE put your shoes on!” haha

Hypothetically, if you were to retire tomorrow what would you do instead?

Travel.  I love visiting new places and my list of places to visit is still very long.

Who does the cooking in your household?

It’s pretty shared, but probably mostly me at the moment.

Who is your hero?

I have many, but particularly the doctors and nurses at all the Children’s Hospitals I visit.  They are such heroes!  Against all odds, they somehow manage to make those wards seem fun and joyous.  They can be extremely scary places for young children, and the staff are daily heroes to me for doing what they can to eliminate that fear.

What do you like doing in your spare time?

Does any parent have time that is ‘spare’?  Haha.

No I guess your right!

I am a bit of a tech geek, so whatever spare time I have is probably playing with some new gadget.

What’s the weirdest thing a fan has ever done for you?

Not so much weird, but astounding.  I did an album of songs for adults a few years back with Sony Music.  I did a small concert for the album launch in my hometown of Wagga.  After the concert, I met everyone in the audience and there was an American family that flew from the U.S. to Wagga Wagga just to see me perform the album live.  Now that was amazing!

What is your favourite moment/biggest accomplishment of your life so far?

There are so many “pinch myself” moments over the years.  From singing at Madison Square Garden, to travelling all around the world, receiving an Honourary PhD.  All incredible.  But really, winning last year’s ARIA for my album BOO! was such an amazing personal career milestone, because I achieved it by myself without riding anyone else’s coat tails.  That’s something that meant a lot to me personally.

What’s next for Sam Moran – New tours? New albums releasing soon?

We are planning tours for this year already, and I am half way through the next new album too!  There’s 2 Play Along With Sam DVDs out now, and of course the last album (Boo!) has been selling well since the ARIA win.  There’s a lot happening Haha!

Where can My Child readers find out more?

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