A Rhode Island based children’s musician and writer is currently ranked in the Top 10 nationally on the iTunes charts. Adults These Days is a new release from Greg Lato, his second children’s album. It follows the summer release of his second book, Everyone Needs Someone, based on a song from the album.

We spoke to the Providence native recently to learn more about the book and the album. “The book is called Everyone Needs Someone, and it also has a song with it like my last book Try,” said Lato. “It’s a book that’s about family, togetherness, belonging, and inclusiveness, universal themes that I think will apply to anybody, all kinds of caring relationships. My Illustrator, Sarah Lee Wills from the UK, did a phenomenal job.”

 The book was published in June, with the single “Everyone Needs Someone” released in July. It’s aimed for elementary school age kids, and “the new album even has a lullaby song on it which would be good for infants and toddlers. Generally my music goes up to about 9 or 10 years old,” explained Lato.

Adults of a certain age will relate to these songs as well. Parents will hear familiar 80’s and 90’s power chords behind kid-friendly lyrics that are easy to sing along to. There’s even a lyrical reference to Marty McFly.

“I like to say that my music is relatable to kids, nostalgic to parents,” explained Lato. “I grew up the 80s and early 90s. I get feedback all the time from kids saying ‘your music is cool, I’m always missing my socks or I love sprinkles’ or whatever. The parents may not relate to the lyrical content so much, but (they appreciate) the music itself. At the shows they’ll say ‘oh, that reminded me of Phil Collins or Tears for Fears.’”

Lato has recorded “grown up” music in the past, but he’s focusing his energy on entertaining the kids now. “This kind of music allows me to use that (classic rock) music, whereas before, when I was doing more adult pop-rock stuff, you kind of had to make an album as one cohesive unit. Now I can go all over the place on one album and just use the palette of that time.”

Lato is busy this time of year playing shows at bookstores, schools, and libraries around New England.

“I really just want to inspire our kids, I want them feel like they belong. My music is very inclusive, it ties parents and kids together, and not just parents, but really anyone who cares for kids. It fosters those relationships,” said Lato.

The album gives kids a voice. “The new album is really about how kids see us as adults, and how we see ourselves, in relation to kids. With Adults These Days, I’m flipping the narrative.”

In the video “Relive This Song Again” (above), filmed at the Cranston-based You Rock School of Music, Lato nervously tries to join a band. “In the video, I audition for a kids band. I show up and the kids are like, what’s this old guy doing here… and hilarity ensues,” laughed Lato. “The song is doing very well on Apple Music it was added to a couple of kids playlists.”

To listen to the Adults These Days, click here.

To learn more about Greg Lato, visit his website here.

Ken Abrams

Lifestyle Editor Ken Abrams writes about music, the arts and more for What'sUpNewp. He is also a contributor to Providence Monthly, SO RI, Hey Rhody and The Bay magazines. Ken DJ's "The Kingston Coffeehouse,"...