Music Alumna Wins International Songwriting Competition
Music alumna Lucy (DeJesus) Kalantari (MusB ’98, studio composition) was recently awarded First Place in the Children’s Music category of the 2016 International Songwriting Competition for her song “Balloon.”
Based in Brooklyn, NY, she plays ukulele and sings about finding joy and delight in the simple things in life. She has published many works in various genres spanning from singer-songwriter to industrial rock. After being introduced to the ukulele by a colleague, her writing took a shift as she began to resonate strongly with sounds from the jazz era. Soon listeners began to liken her laid-back voice to that of Billie Holiday, and Kalantari herself noticed how natural it felt to sing and write in this genre.
Two months after giving birth to her son, she participated in a song-a-week project in 2013 while staying home with her newborn. She found herself with a handful of upbeat ukulele ditties pleasing to babies and adults alike. This collection became her debut into the kids independent music scene as she released Pockets Full of Joy in 2014. Pockets landed a Parents’ Choice Silver Honor Award and earned a place in the Best Kids Music of 2014, by Cooper & Kid.
In 2016, Kalantari released her second jazz age rendezvous for families, Big Things, which was awarded a Parents’ Choice Silver Honor Award. The opening track, “Fantastic,” received the Independent Music Award for Children’s Music Song, and the fun-filled call-and-response track, “Balloon,” won First Place in the Children’s Music category of the 2016 International Songwriting Competition.