“Baby Beluga” and Raffi Cavoukian -- known simply as Raffi to his millions of fans -- soundtracked childhoods in the '80s and early '90s.
The 67-year-old children’s singer isn’t touring as much as he used to, but still sings about the “little white whale on the go,” now for an entirely different generation.
He’s also making new music, but not just for kids. One of the latest additions to his repertoire is a song inspired by presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders.
Cavoukian lives on Salt Spring Island in British Columbia, Canada, and calls himself a champion of democracy. He’s been a lifelong follower of American politics, and when Sanders came on the scene last year, he took notice.
“He’s an extraordinary public servant,” Cavoukian said. “He has a consistent record for being there for the struggles of working middle-class families. I was really inspired when he started his presidential run.”
Sanders’ focus on job growth and a minimum wage increase resonated with Cavoukian.
Scroll through his Twitter feed and you’ll find an array of #FeelTheBern tweets, resembling the grass-roots efforts of many of Sanders’ millennial followers. That includes several so-called “Beluga grads” who Cavoukian has met on social media.
Pinned to the top of his Twitter feed is his “Wave of Democracy” folk tune. The rally song quotes the U.S. Constitution’s “We the People” preamble, and highlights the concept of liberty.
"It's exciting that [the United States] has a chance to reclaim democracy."
Cavoukian hasn’t met Sanders, but is performing in Burlington, Vt., next week for a show to mark the 40th anniversary of his first children’s album, and the debut of his most recent one.
Sanders and his grandkids are welcome to join him, he says.
“In so many ways he’s making sense. He’s giving people hope.”