#BigThingsThursday is a weekly series of short interviews with people who are doing big things for the community and for the world. If you know someone who's doing big things, let me know: BigThings@LucyKalantari.com.
Meet Steve Pullara, music maker, writer, producer and someone who makes everyone feel like they're family. His releases win awards left and right, as he sings and speaks of difficult topics while still keeping a beautiful uplifting spirit that can assuage any discordance. One of his albums, All About Bullies...Big and Small, went on to win a Grammy Award for Best Children's album. And he doesn't stop there–he also makes himself available to other artists as a mentor and advisor.
Q. BIG THINGS begin with an intention, what is yours?
A. My BIG THING is to give joy, reflection and a can-do inspiration from the things in life that move me to share with others.
Q. How are you fulfilling this intention?
A. Through this life's talents of music, art and literature I've been achieving my mission...and it keeps growing. I want to be me. That is who I share.
I created a company called "Cool Beans Music and Art Studio," to create many albums and perform concerts for children, families and educators. I make music and lyrics often containing a gentle awareness or challenge, reflecting on matters such as bullying, dreaming for big things, getting along, growing-up into adults/parents with kids of their own, social awareness, songs about faith, and conversations between parents with their kids. But, I also write about silliness and fun, because zany songs are part of who I am too.
My audience ranges from 2-year-olds to 90-year-olds. As there has been continuous personal exploration and evolution outside of my comfort zone, I've been branching into other genre's such as Country and Gospel, while always simultaneously having a foot in the perspective of Family Music.
I've also been involved in creating and developing projects as a lead producer, writer, art director, etc. that helped build a peer community for charity albums.
Q. What barriers have you encountered, and how have you dealt with them?
A. Sometimes people don't fully understand my motives or the goals of my recordings, but as a professional with a focus and gifts, our responsibility is to create music to be heard, art to be seen and lyrics to be read. As a tip, just do not take the word "No" for an answer, but instead hear that word "No" as a beginning to get a "Yes." There are biases and all kinds of politics even in Children's Music. If you have a talent with conviction, keep looking for ways to get heard and played. Trust me, God is testing you to make you stronger.
Extra: Share a favorite quote that keeps you motivated.
"Go hunting where the ducks are!" - President, Lyndon John B. Johnson
Thank you, Steve, for helping communities feel safe and loved. For more info on Steve and Cool Beans Music, visit www.CoolBeansMusic.com.
I'll leave you with one of mine and my son's favorite tunes by Steve, "The More Teeth Missing." Enjoy!