California native, Alitzah Dallas created Twinkle Time in 2008. Twinkle Time is “a live, high energy bilingual pop musical for kids of all ages”. Alitzah is no stranger to the music industry, she has been performing in front of an audience since she was eight years old. Her musical credits include: Jesus Christ Super Star, AIDA and Footloose. She was also lead singer in the popular 90s girl band Nobody’s Angel! Read our interview with Alitzah/”Twinkle” below, and be sure to “like” her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter!
You’ve grown up in the music and theater world. What made you want to create Twinkle Time?
“A lot of different reasons. I love to perform, but I also was raised by parents who are teachers. My grandparents were also teachers. I love working with children, so I felt like there was something I could add to the kidspace world. I wrote pop music with positive educational messages. I wanted to create music that would obviously be fun, for the kids to sing along and dance to, but also fun for their parents. The parents are the ones who have to listen to it over and over again, so I didn’t want them getting sick of it.”
Where can kids and parents see Twinkle Time?
“We are based in Los Angeles. Right now we are doing shows up and down California. We perform at schools, libraries, festivals and fairs. We perform at The Grove in LA. That’s where Extra TV films! A lot of celebrities and their kids show up for our Grove performances! We performed at The Americana at Brand in Glendale. That was super fun! You can find our music videos on our YouTube channel. We are trying to put together a mini summer tour right now. The tour would be on the West Coast, so hopefully we’d get to visit Arizona, New Mexico, Washington, Oregon, etc.”
We know that you can see Twinkle Time music videos at Crazy 8 and Gymboree stores. Are there plans to put it in other stores as well?
“I totally forgot about that! Starting this month, in March, our music videos have been added to 11,000 Gymboree and Crazy 8 stores around the world! When parents go shopping with their kids, the kids can sit and watch programming while their parents shop. Our videos are in Japan and Korea which is super cool. Hopefully one day we can go do live shows in these countries! Our music is available on iTunes, CDBaby, and Spotify. You can also purchase our first CD at Target or Best Buy. “
How did you develop the characters for Twinkle Time?
“I’m super colorful in my everyday life, and when I was younger my friends would all call me Rainbow Brite. I’ve just always had an eclectic style. So the character Twinkle is kind of an extension of myself. I would wear tutus out and now I get to wear hearts on my face and colorful wigs. I wanted something larger than life and I’m super inspired by anime. I wanted that flare brought to life, and that’s how I created all the Twinkle Time characters.”
Growing up we loved Nobody’s Angel, because you guys were so different from the norm girl group!
“Being a part of Nobody’s Angel was a wonderful time in my life. I loved every moment of it. We had so much fun doing it! All the girls were based in Southern California. Each girl had her own flare and style. We would try and color coordinate. Like one day the color was pink, and each of us would wear clothes that were pink, but made the outfits our own. We definitely all had different stylistic views. I was the loud/bold one of the group! I think at one point I had long red cornrow braids! I just recently saw an old picture of it. I used to try everything. I think my hair has been every color of the rainbow at some point and all different lengths! I like having fun and I get bored with how I look, especially with my hair, so sometimes it’s short, and other times I add extensions. You can never go too far with accessorizing!”
Did you know the other cast-members of Twinkle Time before you created the show/group?
“I did a lot of musical theater, and Broadway shows growing up, so I wanted Twinkle Time to be a musical experience. I got together a group of friends – so everyone whose a part of Twinkle Time are performs and dear friends. I really wanted friends who enjoy working with kids to be involved. Kids are so pure and genuine so they can pick up on things that adults cannot. I wrote all the songs for Twinkle Time. “Zeke” my friend Matthew Shaffer choreographed the majority of our numbers. He is a judge for a lot of dance competitions (like on the show “Dance Moms”). He’s traveled the country judging children’s dance competitions. My friend Lacy Baxter who plays “Happy” owned a birthday party company for kids with me in Southern California. Everybody involved with Twinkle Time has a passion for kids. They’ve either been pre-school teachers, or nannies or done other jobs that revolve around kids.”
What’s your favorite Twinkle Time song to perform?
“Oh my goodness that’s a tough one! I’m going to have to pick more than one. Our first album is just called Twinkle Time, and there’s a song called “It’s Okay To Be Me” on it that I love. I love the message it gives kid. It says that everyone is different and unique, but that’s what makes us special, and it’s okay to be ourselves even if that means we’re different. I think the lyrics in that song are really powerful. My husband (James Dallas) was actually the lead singer of another ’90s group called Youngstown and he actually wrote the song with me. We met when we were both signed to Hollywood Records. From our new album “Made In The USA” I have a ton of favorites! I love “Love” because of it’s message, which says you should always try and spread l-o-v-e around the world. I think society forgets to do that. I think family, friends, and loving each other is the most important thing you can do in this world and that should never be forgotten! Love is powerful. The song is also very melodic and I’m super proud of it. Another song I love off the new album is called “Made In The USA” we don’t get to perform it live as much as I’d like. It’s a kid rock anthem. It teaches kids all about the different states, and it’s done really well. James also produced that song, and I think he did a fantastic job!”
Growing up what was your musical?
“‘The Wizard of Oz’. It was ground breaking for me. It helped me form a love for show-business. I would watch that musical over and over again. I wanted to be Judy Garland! I would sing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” every opportunity I got. My grandparents would come over and I’d put on shows for them and sing that song when I was only four! Putting on those shows helped my parents realize I had a love for performing. I was actually really shy as a child, but when it came to singing or dancing, I would go into my own imaginary world that I created, and I was able to come out of my comfort zone and be crazy!”
What is that best part about dressing up as Twinkle?
“Doing it for the kids! There’s a line in one of my songs that says “see the sparkle in their eye”, and that really resonates with me. I love seeing the reaction Twinkle gets from kids. It’s one thing to be an adult and see teens sing your lyrics back to you, but when you see really little kids (who are still learning their motor skills) understand, laugh, recite, and enjoy your music it’s the best feeling ever! Their faces are adorable, and they get immersed in the Twinkle Time world. They love everything about Twinkle Time. These kids will come wearing tutus, or dressed as the characters and bring pictures they painted of Twinkle! It’s remarkable. I think it’s so cool that we can teach these kids a positive message. I’m going to keep doing it for as long as I can, because I love it so much!”
What is your long term goal for Twinkle Time?
“I want some sort of TV platform. TV would be the ultimate goal! But, I also want to tour, and take this amazing show/concert around the world, so kids everywhere and their parents can see it.”