ASHLAND, Ma. – (Jan. 27, 2010) Being herself obviously has paid off for children’s musician Charlie Hope. Her “I’m Me!” album and its title track were just named cream of the crop in the children’s music division of the 9th Annual Independent Music Awards (IMA).
Hope’s debut CD “I’m Me!” was chosen as “Best Album,” and her folksy title track was awarded “Best Song”, sweeping the children’s category. She is in good company with Dan Zanes, who won best album last year.
Released in July 2009 under the Little Maple Leaf Productions label, “I’m Me!” was among thousands of entries submitted by independent label and self-released artists worldwide. The eclectic field was pared down by a panel of judges, including notables such as Pete Wentz, Ricky Skaggs, DJ Spooky, The Black Keys, Suzanne Vega, Hanson, Aimee Mann, Bettye LaVette, Zooey Deschanel, M. Ward, and Judy Collins – among others.
“This is really exciting!” said Hope. “I’m really enjoying what I’m doing, and these awards are another confirmation that I am on the right path.”
Hope earned a bachelor’s degree in art therapy with children, from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and has worked with children in preschools and privately as a nanny. Music abilities nurtured in her youth, found an outlet in these childcare settings, said the Ashland High School graduate.
“I’ve worked with children for many years at preschools and in the home and believe music is an integral part of a child’s well-being,” she said. “My desire to really pursue children’s music came out of the blue one day while reevaluating my career. It was the obvious move…but it’s all in the timing. When I heard the first mixes of the songs, I just knew. ‘This is it,” I thought. ‘Now it gets exciting!’ ”
A Canadian by birth, Hope currently lives in Los Angeles. However, many of her concerts still take place in New England, where she grew up. Her music focuses on elements relevant to children’s lives and gives a positive spin on things like naptime and new siblings.
“One of my favorite things about doing children’s music is the live shows. If only one child is jumping up and down and dancing to the music, it makes my day,” said Hope in an interview with her hometown paper, the Ashland Tab.
The IMA award comes on the heels of recognition throughout the children’s music industry. Hope’s “I’m Me!” album garnered a Parents’ Choice Awards Silver Honor in October 2009 a Preferred Choice by Creative Child Magazine, and Favorite Kid’s Album by Boston Children’s Music. Her “World of Dreams” lullaby CD was also honored with a Seal of Excellence Award by Creative Child Magazine.
“I’m so happy that the IMA judges recognized Charlie’s talent,” said Rob Wilson of Challenge & Fun, an Ashland wholesaler of children’s natural toys and distributor of Charlie Hope’s music. “She really understands children, and her voice is absolutely charming.”
IMA recognizes noteworthy albums, songs, music videos and album art designs from all over the world – particularly those artists “who follow their own muse.” To hear Hope’s music, go to www.charliehopemusic.com and click on the “music” tab.
Music fans have until June 25 to champion their favorite Nominees at The IMA Vox Pop Jukebox (Click Here) to determine The 9th Independent Music Awards ‘People’s Voice’ Winners.