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Can I Laugh On Your Shoulder?

Jul 22, 2020

As a mom, I can’t help but look at my kids and think about the kind of world that they are growing up in. I feel an immense sense of responsibility to teach them to be good humans and citizens who are kind, generous, and thoughtful justice-seekers. There are times when we the world feels crazy and when I see amazing young people working to improve it, it gives me hope. My guests today are going to inspire you to feel like the next generation is changing the world. This week on the podcast I’m talking to the incredible all girl, pop rock band, Girl Pow-R. The group consists of incredibly talented girls ages 11-17 years-old who create and sing original music, play cover songs, and dance. They have six original songs and debuted their first album last summer. The group is based in Toronto, but its members are all across Ontario from Windsor to Niagara Falls to Collingwood to Oshhawa. Girl Pow-R’s sound is rooted in pop rock with the goal of inspiring others to be their best through their music and lyrics. All too often, young people are influenced by the thoughts and life experiences of singers and musicians who are in their late teens and twenties. Girl Pow-R believes it’s time to give young people alternatives to these messages. In addition to their passion for music, each girl also has a social cause that they represent like advocating for better education for girls around the world, ending youth homelessness, Give Peace a Chance, mental health support and awareness, and all of us taking better care of ourselves through the food that we eat. Girl Pow-R is Juno nominated (like the Canadian Grammy’s) for album of the year in the children’s category, making them the first ever group of young people to be nominated in the children’s category gor album of the year. I loved having these amazing girls on the show! Be sure to stay until the end of the show because I will be including their hit songs, This Is Us, and Never Let Go.

Girl Pow-R 101

  • Girl Pow-R is based in the Greater Toronto area (like Drake😉). They play their own instruments, sing, and perform at local events. The group started over three years ago when their now manager, Dawn Van Dam, set out to start a girl band that would inspire the world.
  • Dawn found the first band members through an online audition where each girl sang a song they liked. From there, Dawn selected members based on who would best represent the name Girl Pow-R.
  • Today on the podcast we have members Aashika, Prajeet, Chloe Rae, Kalista, and Chloe. Each has a unique contribution to the group.
  • Aashika is 12 and comes up with a lot of group ideas and sings lower harmonies.
  • Rajesh is 13, and her unique contribution is her sense of humor and electric guitar playing.
  • Chloe Rae is 12 and she also sings with a lower voice. She’s one of the newer members, having joined in the last few months!
  • Emma is 14 and has been singing from a very young age. Her unique contribution is playing piano chords and her knowledge of technology. (She helps Dawn with that too)!
  • Kalista is 16 and has been in the group since it started. She has learned how to play three instruments since joining the band. She loves helping new members learn songs and choreography.
  • Chloe is 12 and has been in the group for two years and has learned a lot of new dances and vocal skills. She can also hit very low notes like Ashika and Kalista!

14:05 – Empowering Songs That Are Fun to Listen to

  • Girl Pow-R songs have positive messages about empowerment for all types of people. Their hope to inspire others. Their song This is Us highlights each of their social causes.
  • The group uses their music videos and social media to further amplify awareness and support around the causes they care about. Each girl has her own cause that she focuses on.
  • 16:20 – Tune in to hear more about each girl’s social cause.

21:00 – Original Songwriting

  • Girl Pow-R covers songs when they perform but they also write their own original songs. They break into smaller groups to determine what subjects they want to cover in their songs and start brainstorming with sticky notes in their dance studio. The mirrors are usually covered with ideas.
  • Girl Pow-R songwriting in a collaborative effort where each girl has a chance to speak about something that is important to her. Then their producer gives them a beat to work from and a guide melody to get the timing and order of the song just right. Everyone has a chance to add their own input within the group.
  • The girls have found that their mutual love of music and like-minded hopes to help change the world helps them work well together.

23:12 – Touring Fun!

  • Girl Pow-R joined the Boys of Summer Tour in Washington, Boston, and New York. One of the craziest memories they have is going to the wrong hotel that was an hour away from the hotel they were supposed to be in!
  • During another Summer tour, they group was in a rural area in Ontario. In the middle of their set, there was a huge rainstorm with thunder and lightning. The girls had to stop the show for a few minutes while tents started blowing away!

25:49 – JUNO Awards Nomination

  • The JUNO Awards is like the Grammy’s in the US. Girl Pow-R was nominated for best album, which means, for the first time ever in the JUNO Awards, kids were nominated for an award!
  • No matter the results, the recognition is a huge accomplishment for Girl Pow-R. Their hard work and touring is starting to really pay off in people listening and their causes being heard!

27:51- Big Girl Pow-R Dreams

  • The group wants to open for one of their favorite artists. They love the Spice Girls, Avril Lavigne, and Alessia Cara. They hope to be the opener for the Spice Girls if they go on a reunion tour.
  • Alessia Cara is also young and advocates for similar issues like kindness and loving yourself. Girl Pow-R got to meet Alessia recently, and she loved their music and ideas.

30:18 – Get to know a little more about each of the girls in Girl Pow-R!

37:15 – Getting To Know Our Guests

  • Find out who each girl would pick to play them in a movie, what music they like to listen to get hyped up, what books and movies they like, and of course the best part…hear from each girl about what it means to them to run a business with purpose (48:50).

Memorable Quotes:

49:18 - “It’s really cool to know that we’re inspiring young adults to never give up and to always believe in yourself.”

50:29 - “Music influences so many other people. It feels so good knowing you can just make someone’s day by playing music and singing and dancing and doing what I love and helping other people at the same time.”

You can listen to two Girl Pow-R songs right here on the podcast by checking out these time stamps:

52:04 – “This Is Us”

55:17 - “Never Let Go”

You can follow Girl Pow-R where they hang out on social media and listen to their songs by following the links below!