Amazon Studios announces it is developing an animated children’s series, working-titled South Street Sounds, as well as a live-action kids’ show in collaboration with Grammy Award-winning hip-hop band The Roots and their Passyunk Productions. Both projects will be executive produced by The Roots’ founders Tariq Trotter (Black Thought) and Ahmir-Khalib Thompson (?uestlove), their manager Shawn Gee (Soundclash) for Philly Films, and Brian Sher (Boss) for Category 5 Entertainment.
“As we venture into the world that is film and television production, we couldn’t think of a better partner than Amazon to help us develop these first two children’s projects,” said Thompson.
“Our love for music started as young kids, and we hope to inspire a generation of future artists, musicians and music fans through the stories we tell and the music they hear on these shows,” added Trotter.
Written by Becky Friedman (Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood) and featuring music by The Roots, South Street Sounds follows three friends growing up in the most musical of neighborhoods, where the birds tweet to a beat, every shop-keeper, pizza-maker and crossing guard dance perfectly in time, and having a bad day means literally singing the blues. With such musical surroundings, it’s only natural for our three protagonists to form a band, called “South Street.” Together, creative-scatterbrain Zora, future-entrepreneur Nick, and disaster-averse Tyson, pride themselves on playing gigs for any occasion: no event is too big or too small! As they prepare for their performances, mishaps, obstacles and just a touch of chaos is never too far behind. With the help of their musical neighbors and through the strength of their own friendships, every episode ends in harmony.
“Driven by The Roots’ passion for music and the arts, these projects are perfectly aligned with our mission to inspire kids to think creatively and musically about the world around them,” said Tara Sorensen, Head of Kids Programming, Amazon Studios.
Formed in Philadelphia, The Roots crew consists of Black Thought (MC), Questlove (drums), Kamal Gray (electronic keyboards), F. Knuckles (percussion), Captain Kirk Douglas (electronic guitar), Damon Bryson (sousaphone) and James Poyser (electronic keyboard). The group has won four Grammys and 12 nominations, was named one of the greatest live bands by Rolling Stone, and serves as the official house band on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.