"Lullaby Renditions of Beyoncé," a 13-track collection of sweet lullabies that reimagine her top songs, including "Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)," "Crazy in Love" and the Destiny's Child hit "Say My Name, with instruments such as xylophone and bells will be released on Feb. 24. Want a sneak preview? You can hear 90-second sound samples of each song right now on Rockabye's website.
The popular "Rockabye" series has tackled a wide range of artists over the years, from Prince, the Beatles and Bob Marley to Metallica, Eminem and even Beyoncé's hubby, Jay Z.
Lisa Roth, executive producer of the Beyoncé edition, recently spoke to The Times about Bey, baby music and the business of reworking songs by one of the biggest pop stars on the planet. (This isn't the first time the series has transformed Beyoncé into a twinkling confection for wee ones. Check out its 2014 version of "Halo" below.)
How perfect is the timing for this album, given her recent pregnancy news?
Can you believe it? It is purely coincidental. I would like to tell you that Beyoncé and I were working tirelessly behind the scenes to make this happen, but that is not the case. This is truly coincidental and very fun.
Was she involved in the project at all?
No [laughs]. Well, she made the music that we attributed.
What makes Beyoncé's music especially baby-friendly?
You know, that's a good question because we do a lot of artists that aren't, but she has great melodies, which makes it a lot easier to deconstruct and put back together using our palette of instruments.
How long did this album take to make?
Because her music is really quite beautiful, it probably took about three months.
How much does this series' approach vary depending on the artist?
We started as a rock series initially. Alternative rock, heavy metal, classic rock … all different rock genres, but we all believe that every genre has its rock stars. And I wanted very much to branch out and include some of my favorites along with everyone else's, and we started doing that a bit ago. But I would say that Beyoncé is about the most relevant rock star there is right now, so she was a no-brainer.
Would you recommend playing Rockabye's Beyoncé and Jay Z editions back to back?
Would I recommend playing them back to back to my baby? Absolutely! (laughs) And then again and again and again. Those are my two favorites. I insisted we do Jay Z, and I insisted we do Beyoncé.
How do you get the rights to remix Beyoncé?
Mostly we just approach the publishers or owners of each song and obtain a license that way.
Which song is your favorite? Which do you think is more enjoyable as a lullaby?
This really isn't fair, but my two favorites are "Hold Up" and "Sorry" because I love those songs. Those are very new, though. You know what? They all translated beautifully. I love her music, and I loved all our lullabies. I thought they all worked, but that's an homage to her and the music she makes.
That was a very good, diplomatic answer.
(Laughs) That's what it's all about in this day and age. But it's true! That's how I feel and I really love her music, and I love how our lullabies came out. I thought they were precious. You know, not every artist translates, but this worked out really well.
Do you have anything else you want to add?
Given what's going on in the world, I think the conversations that Beyoncé provokes through her art are really important. Some of them are very difficult conversations, and I really have respect for that and regard for that, especially now. And how great that her pregnancy announcement seems to be bringing a little joy and a little light in the world. It's desperately needed.