1,2,3 Andrés on making music for little ears

The children’s performer plans to release his next album in early 2018.

Photo courtesy of Dario Treviño

Latin Grammy Winner Andrés Salguero, affectionately known in the tot-rock circle as 1,2,3 Andrés (Uno, Dos, Tres Andrés) began making music as a child growing up in Bogotá, Colombia. Today, Andrés, whose catchy bilingual music is both entertaining and educational, travels around the country performing with his wife, Christina. But when they’re not on the road, the duo is proud to call Northern Virginia their home.

Andrés shares their experiences, inspirations and upcoming musical endeavors, below:

How did you get involved in children’s music?

I started my career as a sideman for Dino O’Dell, another children’s musician who is a great artist. I had written songs for children before but it was with Dino that I first had the opportunity to perform for children. I fell in love with it and designed my own show!

What is your process for writing new songs?

It’s always fun and different. Sometimes we have a particular theme that we want to develop and sometimes ideas come at the spur of the moment. In some cases, I may know I want to write a song that teaches about “blank” or discusses “blank.” Or, there may be a particular rhythm or style of music that I want to explore.

How long does it take you to write an original song?

Sometimes I spend a few days mulling it over. Then it all starts with a phrase, ringing in my head as something people might connect with and sing, which usually ends up being the first verse or the chorus. I will pull out my phone and record myself humming the tune. When I think I’m onto something, I share it with Christina. She lets me know when an idea works and when it doesn’t. Sometimes we develop a new song right away, and other times an idea is sitting for months—even years—before we run with it.

Do you have a favorite song to perform?

I love “¡Salta, Salta!” from our first album. It is such a simple yet powerful song. Kids connect to it immediately.

What is the craziest thing that has happened during one of your performances?

Recently, at a concert, I had children on stage with me. One of them “broke wind” so loudly that we all lost it.

Do you have any new upcoming projects?

First up, we are planning to release our next album in early 2018, which will be a collection of lullabies. Some are traditional, a few are covers of songs we love, and there are some original songs. We’re simultaneously working on our next album. In fact, we recently returned from Colombia where we were recording music videos for two of the songs. The theme will be totally the opposite from lullabies—it will be all about getting active as a family. Stay tuned.