Ahhh, yes! We’re happy to announce a new release in our beloved MILESTONES series. If you’re asking yourself “what is this MILESTONES they speak of?” Back in November, while many of us were still in the thick of quarantine and lockdowns, we thought up the idea of creating MILESTONES - a playlist series for at home - curated by amazing humans within our communities. Each with their own story to tell through our conversations and the music itself.
Our newest release is brought to us by the amazing beacon of energy, Tasha aka Ninang Silly! Ninang is doing incredible things with her platform by empowering children from all corners of the globe through her storytime series and songwriting. She’s incredibly thoughtful in her work, and someone we dearly admire. We hope you enjoy our chat below, and extremely fun playlist that is getting full rotations here in the même. offices!
"Down the 5" is inspired by the many times Ninang Silly would travel as a child with family, up and down the i-5 corridor. Music was a vital part of these trips, giving way to the imagination to run free and explore.
You can follow Ninang Silly here on Instagram and stay up to date on future storytime gatherings!
N: Ninang Silly
R: We discovered you on Instagram through our friend Geraldine! For those that have yet to meet Ninang Silly, could you please tell us a little bit about yourself? Who is Ninang Silly?
N: Hi yes of course! My name is Tash, or Tasha, also known as Ninang Silly. I thought of the name once one of my goddaughters was born, I think I signed the card “Ninang Silly.” I just thought I would always be remembered as the silly one. Though friends know, I can get notoriously deep and philosophical in conversation, but also how to pull up for air and crack a joke or two.
R: From what we've learned so far, Ninang is here to help give resources, create spaces, and share stories for children to learn (and unlearn) how to make a better, safer, just, anti-racist society. We love this so much. What are Ninang's favorite things to do with/for kids?
N: I truly enjoy exploring kids’ perceptions, inquisitions, curiosities, and imaginations. They have yet navigated to the world we “know,” so they’re looking at it with a fresh new lens. I enjoy making them think, explore new thought processes, be inquisitive. I try to choose stories that help kids to think about things, and I try and ask questions during our storytime sessions to ask them about their thoughts or experiences.
I enjoy making kids laugh (it helps me laugh too), and it’s the best when you can get them to dance with you. This is what I love about Ninang Silly Storytime is that sometimes the stories are really funny, I get to do silly voices and impersonations, and the songs are songs we can sing and dance along together. Singing and dancing together in community is as ancient as mankind.
R: What are some things that gets Ninang moving? What (or who) inspires you
N: As you might have already guessed, I am very big on getting community together. We, as humans, are so different, unique, and individual-- yet also are very much the same. I wanted to create a program that brought kids together of all ages, even their parents! I didn’t want to create music that was super cheesy and unapproachable. So a lot of the songs are just inspired by the kind of music I like to sing and dance to, lol.
I am very much inspired by my friends and the people around me. I bear witness to them taking care of their families, loving and respecting their partners, raising their children with values. I see them pursuing their dreams, starting businesses, finding financial freedom, advocating for the needy, and perfecting their crafts. I enjoy and hold great reverence for Nature, which is something I would also love to pass on to future generations.
R: You’re doing it! You’re planting the seeds if you will! Let’s talk music and the creative process. How do you find yourself approaching new songs, or ideas? Is this something that happens solo, or do you bring loved ones along for the ride in your writing?
N: Typically music comes to me whenever I have had fun day spending time with family or friends. I get very influenced by my day, and what I observe. I am lucky to have friends with children, and get a glimpse of how they perceive the world. Typically I am alone messing around with my keyboard, songs just kind of come to mind, and as soon as I get a first draft I share a voice recording with the other Ninangs and ask their thoughts.
R: When it comes to raising children, as the saying goes, it takes a village. What does the honorable role of Ninang or Ninong mean to you?
N: It means to be the assist in maintaining core values and good behaviors. I don't want to compare us to dogs, but the only way you really can get good behavior is with positive reinforcement. Kids see adults as examples of how to act in the world. They see us as pillars of society, when you're Ninang you're not only helping build the structure of values, but you're reinforcing the foundation. We help parents raise their children into people of good character.
R: This may be loaded, but let’s talk big picture. Where does Ninang Silly see herself in the next 5 years? Are you just scratching the surface, or do you want this thing to reach a new galaxy of possibilities?
N: Ninang Silly sees herself in a new galaxy of possibilities. I know that this show has just been the beginning of building the neighborhood. I am extremely passionate about bringing family into community, and am constantly seeing signs of a world searching for new creative ways of gathering people together in meaningful, and impactful ways. I am excited to see who Ninang Silly gets to work with in the next 5 years, and other the projects that have yet to be conceived.
R: Any advice for how our big and little readers can channel Ninang Silly vibes?
N: Always stay curious. There's a saying that you should treat every day as your last, but nobody ever tells you to treat each day as your first. Let things come to you, and don't hold on to feelings for too long. We are all students, each moment is new, therefore an opportunity to learn. We are here to learn, and be in community with each other. Be present, and practice gratitude daily.