Genevieve Goings is a voiceover artist and singer/songwriter of children's music. She's the host of the Disney Junior's "Choo Choo Soul" and the voice of both Radio Disney Junior as well as the Disney Junior Network (singing its theme song). Genevieve has worked with the likes of The George Lucas Company, Hello Kitty, X-Box, Fisher-Price, and the First Lady Michelle Obama, and is the narrator of the Disney Princess stories on princess.disney.com. Genevieve's independent children's album 'Do You Know?" teaches pre-schoolers everything from learning their telephone number to telling time, all by way of her unique brand of "Kids Music with Soul."
Genevieve is currently performing on the 'Choo Choo Soul" live concert tour.
For more information on Genevieve, please visit: gogenevievego.com.
Question: What do you enjoy most about working on Choo Choo Soul?
Genevieve Goings: I love the energy from children and the fact that they are so honest and willing to try new things. It also helps to be with the most magical company around! (Disney!) I love filming with live kids, hearing the silly things that they come up with and seeing how free they are with what they love. Music is a pretty powerful thing! As much as I love studio work and filming, I really love being able to be in public settings with the kids at events and concerts.
Question: Can you tell us about the Choo Choo Soul live concert tour?
Genevieve Goings: We have been touring Choo Choo Soul live for about 8 years now, and it is by far my favorite part of the job. At our shows we have video playing and DC and I are very interactive with the kids and parents. This year's tour is focused on the Entertainment Business, and we encourage kids to try their best to sing and dance along with us! DC is an amazing breakdancer and beatboxer, and I have a blast singing over our soulful, upbeat music.
Question: What are you enjoying most about the tour?
Genevieve Goings: I love to be able to see the excitement in the children's faces when they see us and hear the familiar songs. They love to imagine, and we come from a magical, cartoon world. I also love meeting families after the show, and seeing old friends and fans and how much they have grown up since the last time seeing them. It is so much fun. We also have fun as a group, because DC and I are really good friends and my dad is our road manager!
Question: Can you tell us about the special sensory-friendly Choo Choo Soul live performances?
Genevieve Goings: I am so excited and proud of this new venture, where we offer a sensory-friendly performance with a lower volume level and less extreme lighting. Children and adults on the autism spectrum are often sensitive to loud sounds and bright lights, and this show offers them a chance to experience a concert with that in mind. Beyond the production of the show, we also take into account that they may want to talk, move, bounce, scream, or anything that feels right to them during the performance. We encourage everyone to relax and be themselves in a no-judgment zone. I hope that more artists and venues offer these shows for families who want to be able to go out to a concert without having to explain their child's needs. We just had a sensory-friendly show in Hartford, CT at the Bushnell Theatre and it was wonderful! The kids had so much fun!
Question: Why is providing special sensory-friendly Choo Choo Soul live performances so important, to you?
Genevieve Goings: Autism is something that is near and dear to my heart, and I have many friends on the autism spectrum. I have found that many of these precious kids have really connected with my voice and my music, and I am always trying to learn more so that I can offer more to them. Since so many of us don't know much about Autism, we sometimes make assumptions about the children and what they may be capable of. These kids, just like so many kids, love music and new experiences…They just process things in a different way.
Question: Why is music the best way to educate young children?
Genevieve Goings: I love teaching through music, because children gravitate towards music and toward something that they can participate in. Music allows everyone to chime in and try new words and concepts, to sing phrases that may otherwise be intimidating to speak. Patterns work very well with kids too, and they really catch on quickly. I feel that music gives kids a chance to excel and participate without worrying about failing or looking funny. I just love it!
Question: Can you talk about your recent experience at the White House?
Genevieve Goings: This trip to The White House was incredible! I was honored to be asked to come and read 2 stories on the lawn at the White House Easter Egg Roll. I had been the previous year, and decided to attend this year as my 'Choo Choo Soul" character, with my Co-star DC. There were so many people there, including celebrities, and we were all in awe of where we were. I had the honor of meeting the President and First Lady as well, and even got to take a photo with them and my Family!
There are several different areas/sections throughout the event, with people reading books, performing music, a 'Fun-Run" and Easter Egg Roll, and more! They really made everyone feel like guests at their home. It was amazing.
Question: How did it feel to receive this honour of reading to children at the White House?
Genevieve Goings: I am beyond proud and amazed at where my journey has taken me. I feel so blessed to have been trusted enough to get to share stories on such a special platform! I must say that this honor has showed me that I must be on the right track. I really felt that I became a part of American History.
Question: What's next, for you?
Genevieve Goings: I stay incredible busy and I am so lucky to have a lot going on. I am now the host of Radio Disney Junior, which is available on the Radio Disney Junior app. I am currently in production on a new video series for Radio Disney Junior, where we will teach musical lessons, have fun games and challenges, and dance with Radio Disney Celebrity talent.
I have a new Clothing Accessory Line for Kids with Bow Ties, Suspenders, Pocket Squares and more! 'Troy James – The Genevieve Goings Collection' will be available soon!
I am also touring with my independent Kids Project, 'Do You Know?" And doing school assembly tours sharing my music and inspirational story.
Question: What advice do you have for young women who wish to pursue singing as a career?
Genevieve Goings: My #1 piece of advice for a singer is to record yourself often! You need to hear yourself recorded to get to where you want to be. A lot of times we think we sound a certain way, or we love a song so much the way an artist sings it, that we think we sound like them. When it comes to singing, it is important to be honest with yourself. Practice makes better! If you can download a simple program like garage band, and find a USB mic that plugs right into your computer (around $100) you can get yourself started.
As far as the business goes, just remember that at the end of the day, this is entertainment. You need to appeal to consumers and give them something enjoyable to listen to. Long stories about your personal life may not have main-stream appeal. Think about what people around you like to listen to. Also, ask yourself- What am I offering that doesn't exist? What can I do with my music that will make people want to hear it, from me? Remember that there are many different platforms: Music for TV & film, music for video games, children's music, and other avenues other than standard 'Super-Stardom." It's a fun ride. Be yourself, but make it easy for new fans to sing along with you. If they can sing your chorus in Italy without being able to speak English, or if they are five years old, you are really onto something.
Interview by Brooke Hunter