Adults These Days: Interview with Music Artist Greg Lato

Greg Lato
Greg Lato is a singer and songwriter who is preparing to launch his new album, “Adults These Days,” on August 26, 2022.

Greg Lato is a singer and songwriter who is preparing to launch his new album, “Adults These Days,” on August 26, 2022. Greg Lato is also a children’s book author who just published a book titled “Everybody Needs Someone” which is based on a song from the forthcoming album. Greg is deeply inspired by his daughters, Siena and Brianza, and his musical style ranges across genres and decades.

Greg grew up in Rhode Island surrounded by a music-loving family. He has composed scores for TV and movies and has been awarded twice via the Billboard World Song Contest. His music videos have aired on the FUSE channel, his first children’s album has reached #15 on the iTunes charts, and his songs have been aired by major companies including McDonalds, Subway, several department stores and Planet Fitness franchises. Greg also co-wrote the “Young Survivors” theme song for the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Foundation.

Greg recently discussed his career and more via an exclusive interview.

Meagan Meehan (MM): How did you get interested in music and songwriting and did you always gravitate towards the children’s genre?

Greg Lato (GL): I grew up in a musical family. My dad is a jazz musician who plays sax and flute and would always be rehearsing in the house when I was growing up. He had an extensive record collection that I would dive into, and I would spend hours in my room listening to albums and studying the liner notes. I had a tape recorder called Star Studio where you can sing over cassettes. I would find instrumental songs and make up my own melodies over them. I never even thought about going into the children’s music genre until I had kids. I would start following them around the house with a guitar and make up funny songs to things they did. That’s how it all got started for me. The ideas kept flowing and before I knew it, I was in the studio recording those ideas.

MM: How did you break into the industry and how would you describe your style?

GL: I broke into the children’s music genre first by releasing my children’s book with song ‘Try.’ I started doing story times at bookstores and libraries and then would perform the song for the book. The reaction was so great that parents and the venues were asking me if I had more songs. I then knew that I needed to expand my set and start performing these other song ideas that I had floating around. I would best describe my style as relatable to kids and nostalgic for parents.

MM: How much did your childhood influence your creativity?

GL: I often draw from influences I had as a child. I always liked many different styles of music and now that I do children’s music, I am able to really use all of that on my albums. Growing up in the 80’s really shines through in my music and with the themes that I express.

Greg Lato  MM: Out of all songs on the newest album, do you have any personal favorites? If so, which ones and why?

GL: There are so many on this album, but the ones that stand out are ‘Relive This Song Again’ and ‘Thankful’. ‘Relive’ was written as a montage of my childhood flashing through my head. It takes me back to those days and has me longing to return. With ‘Thankful’, I wanted to make a heartfelt and universal ballad that could be applied to all kinds of caring relationships.

MM: What’s the best fan feedback you’ve gotten about your music?

GL: I receive all types of positive feedback on my music from parents and kids. The best kind can range from a parent telling me how my music got their family through a tough time, or a kid who told me at my last show “Your music is so cool!”

MM: How would you describe your live performances?

GL: I start off each show with a brief description of the origin for the book and song, then read the book in a traditional Storytime format. I then get the party started with a performance of the song that goes with the book. At this point, dancing and singing are strongly encouraged! I then perform several other songs from my albums that deal with everyday topics that kids go through and add funny and interesting spoken word vignettes in between some songs that kids can relate to. A question-and-answer segment usually takes place at the end of the show, which always results in a fun and educational experience about the process I go through with writing songs and how I discover various topics to write and sing about.

MM: What made you decide to try your hand at children’s books and how did you find an illustrator and publisher?

GL: I got the idea and inspiration for writing a children’s book from reading to my kids every night before bed. I had a song that I wrote just for my kids called ‘Try’ but was not planning on doing anything with it at first. It then hit me that this would make a great idea for an uplifting and encouraging sing a long book for children. I then began the process of searching for an illustrator. I narrowed it down to 3 and picked the best one who I felt could properly portray the vision for the book. I met with a couple of publishers but ultimately decided to self-publish the book and go through a print on demand service.

MM: Your first book is based on song lyrics, so might you create a series of books based on songs?

GL: Yes! My second book that was just released called ‘Everybody Needs Someone’ is also from a song that is on my new children’s album ‘Adults These Days’. There are other songs that I could turn into books, which I plan on doing in the future. Although I do have an 8-minute spoken word track on the album called ‘The Bike In The Tree’ about bullying that I could also turn into a book, and may do that at some point too!

MM: How do you hope your career evolves over the next five years?

Greg Lato  GL: I hope to continue this path of providing family entertainment in any way I can, whether it is through my albums, books, or any other means of getting my songs out there. The goal is to inspire, motivate, entertain, and promote togetherness, belonging, friendship and family values to kids and whoever cares for, loves, and nurtures them.

MM: What are your ultimate goals for the future and is there anything else that you would like to mention?

GL: My ultimate goal is to be a more prominent figure in the world of children and family entertainment. The songs for my new album ‘Adults These Days’ felt so natural and comfortable to write and record that every day I knew I was evolving into a full-fledged children’s music artist, prepared to take my place within the community. I would love to do more collaborations with other artists in the genre and continue to grow and challenge myself through my music and live performances in the future.

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To learn more, visit Greg’s official websiteFacebookInstagram, and YouTube. The book can be purchased here.