The SqueeGees provide an irresistibly playful musical adventure for the entire family. Parents love the positive messages reflected in their songs such as environmental awareness, animal rescue, and healthy eating, while the band's younger fans have a blast singing and dancing along to tracks such as “Apples, Oranges and Peaches,” “Nala the Chihuahua,” “The Elements of the Earth,” “Making Noises,” and “Rules of the Road.” The SqueeGees’ songs deliver important messages that are educational, clever and most of all, fun for the entire family!
Samantha Tobey and Pierre De Reeder are the kids-at-heart behind this grass-roots musical journey. As a former “Mommy and Me,” music/movement, and baby sign language teacher, Samantha brings a natural flair and years of experience to her passion for interacting and working with children. Pierre is a well-known bassist from the popular indie band, Rilo Kiley and a father of two. They are joined by Rich “Shaka” Sherwood on the drums, who teaches drum lessons to children and loves being a SqueeGee.
How do you describe your music to people?
Silly, feel good, spirited, whimsical, wholesome, healthy and happy tunes for the whole family. Also, parents often tell us it is parent friendly which is really cool.
Tell me about how you originally got into your craft.
Samantha Tobey: Well I come from a pretty musical family and started writing songs for my dogs when I was about 5 or 6-years-old and I guess I never stopped. I have always sang and was making music with my other band, Samantha Tobey and the Bluebirds, which turned into Byrds of Blu. I started writing kids music after I started teaching Mommy and Me classes and music and movement for toddlers. I was alway searching for songs about healthy subjects and animals and kept stumbling on different versions of songs about farm animals and ice cream...thus came The SqueeGees.
Pierre de Reeder: I come from a musical family as well and like other musicians, played in many bands and jammed often with friends. Being in the indie band Rilo Kiley has been great and I feel lucky that I get to run my own music studio. Now that I have kids it is alot of fun to be in The SqueeGees, it's something that my kids can get excited about.
What is your favorite thing to do in the whole wide world?
There are so many things we love, but we would have to say being The SqueeGees. We are blessed to be able to wake up and sing and dance for a living. Also, interacting with children is just so rewarding.
What is your biggest challenge when it comes to running your business?
Samantha Tobey: Sometimes we're required to do math and that is never terribly fun for us.
Pierre de Reeder: Ya, the math is not fun for us at all.
When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
Pierre de Reeder: So many things that have nothing to do with what I do now.
Samantha Tobey: I wanted to be a vet, ballerina, play Eponine in Les Miserables, and at one point I really wanted to be a writer.
In what way has your community impacted your development as a musician?
Samantha Tobey: Living in Redondo Beach, California is really great because it is a small community and has a lot of family-oriented events and it just feels more intimate. Also, it is a great environment for inspiration and songwriting.
Pierre de Reeder: Jamming with my friends really shaped my musical outlook and experience. My father, who's a doctor, moonlights as a musician and his father was a musician as well. Of course having my own family has influenced my writing with Samantha for The SqueeGees.
What other artists out there do you love?
There are so many amazing artists from the past and the present that we love. In terms of children's music, Raffi was a big influence on us. His energy is so pure and loving and watching him interact with children is the best. Current kids music we both love include Gwendolyn and The Good Time Gang, Melissa Green, The Flaming Lips, Bob Marley, and our own occasional Klezmer jam.
Also, we were influenced by alot of great TV shows when we were kids. We loved Marlo Thomas' Free To Be You and Me, Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, Schoolhouse Rock, Sid and Marty Krofft, The Muppets, Pee Wee's Playhouse, etc. It was nice to grow up with the kind of ideals provided by all the artists mentioned.
What does your future hold?
Pierre de Reeder: We expect to be psychic with lots of outer space and international tours. A television show, holiday album and more bubbles would be great!
Samantha Tobey: Our future includes touring the entire world and spreading lots of love. Also, having a TV show would be fantastics and just continuing to be The SqueeGees.