Sisters Alexis Jones and Arin Jackson’s desire for more diverse children’s music has led to a Grammy nomination.
The duo, known as “The Magic Jones,” contributed to the 1 Tribe Collective, whose “All One Tribe” is up for best children’s album.
Neither Jackson nor Jones are new to the music industry.
Jackson is a member of the previously Grammy-nominated R&B group Brownstone, and Jones has performed as a member of Kanye West’s Sunday Service Choir. She also acts, with credits that include Tyler Perry’s “A Madea Christmas.”
They told CNN they began thinking about representation in children’s music during the pandemic and their desire for children of color to “be able to see themselves.”
“I was looking for nursery rhymes and content that we could relate to,” Jackson said. “Something we could sing as a family just to really get away from everything that was going on.”
Researching to try and find artists of color in the genre didn’t yield what they were looking for, she said.
So they decided to create what they felt was needed. It wasn’t easy.
“I would say the biggest challenge was kind of pushing the envelope and pushing our way into the genre of children’s music,” Jackson said. “Because it’s so dominated by white artists.”
But they pushed ahead and began creating music that both parents and children could listen to.
That aligned perfectly with the 1 Tribe Collective, comprised of 26 Black artists and musicians, and what would become a Grammy-nominated project.
Jackson said that during the pandemic music has been “a beautiful escape.”
“That’s one of the reasons we became children’s artists,” she said. “You can turn on a radio, you can turn on your favorite playlist and you are transported anywhere. It takes you out of whatever mood you’re in.:
The Grammy Awards are set to air Sunday night on CBS.