A Moment With Songwriter Beau Black: Creating Music For Iconic Disney Junior Shows and the Upcoming Series “Firebuds”

If your kids (or maybe even just you) are a fan of Disney Junior, you have surely heard the music of Beau Black. He has contributed to many of the series in the cable network’s catalog, and the upcoming series, Firebuds, is no different.

Black is the Emmy Award-nominated songwriter for Disney Branded Television's animated series Firebuds, about a team of young kids, who are the children of first responders, and their talking vehicle sidekicks as they embark on adventures together and learn what it truly means to be a hero.


Concurrently, he is also the songwriter and composer for Disney Junior's hit series Mickey Mouse Funhouse, a whimsical animated series for preschoolers featuring Disney's #1 star, Mickey Mouse, and his pals—Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, Pluto and Funny, an enchanted talking playhouse. His additional credits include serving as songwriter for Disney Junior's The Lion Guard, which continues the epic storytelling of The Lion King, and as the composer and songwriter for Disney's Mickey and the Roadster Racers. He also performs the theme song for both series.

We were fortunate enough to spend a few moments with Beau and discuss his portfolio of work for Disney Junior, as well as the upcoming series, Firebuds.

LP: Can you talk a little bit about your journey to become the equivalent of the Sherman Brothers for Disney Junior? You're everywhere!

BB: It was as simple as…a meeting with Jay Stutler, who was the head of the Disney Animation Music department, and we just kind of hit it off, and it spiraled into just … I'm almost at the 10-year mark soon, and over 400 songs, I think, at this point. Yeah, I mean, before that, I was doing just commercials, music for commercials, and random film and television licensing. I just got encased in this Disney bubble, and yeah, it's been crazy ever since.

LP: Everywhere you go, you hear people singing your songs, whether it's from The Lion Guard or Mickey and the Roadster Racers or something like that…Your music is probably heard more than most people, because it's Disney Junior and it's on repeat and they love it, and they'll love it for the rest of their lives. I mean, does that impact hit you or you're just kind of chugging along?

BB: I have my moments where it does. I am kind of in my own little bubble world in my studio, and just kind of on to the next thing and just doing the work. And then, every once in a while, I get reminded of what's … especially the international reach, because that's something I'm so far away from, but the fact that it's the kids in Poland or something are singing the songs…It is amazing. And I would say every month or so, I'll get an email from a mother explaining what the music means to their kids. I often get a lot of emails about children that are on the spectrum that really take to the music and it helps them with their development and whatever treatment they're getting. Those are amazing. I love hearing stuff like that.

LP: Your latest project for Disney Junior is Firebuds, which is debuting very soon, next (wednesday). What was your approach to this project? I mean, you're obviously working with Disney Junior royalty, from Sofia the First and Elena of Avalor and all that.

BB: Yeah. I mean, this was a really cool kind of different approach, and especially working with Craig, who's the show runner you're talking about. He's so musically inclined and that's rare. He really has an ear for it, to the point where I could send him production and he can pick out the mix of the guitar and all these little things, and that's been really amazing to be able to speak the language with the show runner. We are doing music that is not typical in a kid's show. We've kind of elevated it a little bit to very modern production, modern songs, sometimes a classic writing approach, all sorts of genres within the thing. But we've been exploring, kind of pushing the limits of the music for a kids' show.

LP: And you've obviously written for a wide variety. I mean, obviously the music of The Lion Guard's very different than Roadster Racers, which is very different than just-

BB: Funhouse or any of those, yeah.

LP: Right. So, do you still feel challenged?

BB: Yes. I feel challenged all the time. I mean, when you get in these numbers of … I mean, overall, I'm in 400 and something songs. But especially when a show starts, there's the challenge of creating the sound and the vibe and getting to know the characters, and then it becomes the challenge of keeping it going. And you're on song 20, and then you're like, you've written two albums worth of music and you're like, "Well, this has to keep going for another 50 episodes, maybe." So, it's always challenging. But usually, the result usually works out. It's nice to have the parameters of the show, like a box to be in, otherwise I would go insane.

LP: Now, not to ask you to pick a favorite child, but do you have some of your favorite picks that you'd put on your ‘best of’ album if you could?

BB Oof. Man. Yeah. I don't know, man. That's a tough question. I mean, I really am proud of a lot of the songs on Lion Guard. I mean, I wrote 93 songs for that series, and I think that series, usually I get the most feedback from that. It's had the biggest impact, because there were a lot of big songs on that. It's really hard to pick. It's funny, somebody actually wrote to me recently that they discovered Miles from Tomorrowland, which was a show that came out seven years ago.  I wrote the theme song, and it was one of the first things I did for Disney Junior. And I listened to it because I hadn't heard it forever, and I was like, "Oh, this is really good. This is actually really good."

LP: Every time I go to Tomorrowland and that song pops in my head.

BB: I guess I have to go back and rediscover a lot of the stuff. I will say… the songs I've been doing for Firebuds have really kind of … I feel like I'm not just elevating what we're doing, but has elevated me a bit, and brought me to a new level of production and thinking about writing and what could be possible in a kids' television show. I am actually really proud of the work that we're doing right now. And of course the Mickey stuff, just getting to write for those characters. I'm on three shows I've done now for the Mickey gang, and it never feels like it's getting old because it's just, I know those voices now, and it's just awesome to write for them.

LP: In Firebuds, you have a very diverse base of emergency responders. How did you approach finding each one of their own voices?…Their sort of musical styling?

BB: Well, what's interesting is, I wouldn't say that they each have their own styling. It kind of goes by the episode more than the character. It's a very diverse range. I mean, the recurring song and the main title have a very specific style. We almost went with this Prodigy kind of mix, electronic rock type stuff, which I thought was really fun. But I mean, they're all doing everything from funk to country to hard rock or just straight up electronic music. I mean, they're all so diverse, and the actors are amazing too. The singing's great. It really is. Everything is at a really high level.

LP: I've encountered the shows, but this is the latest Beau Black classic. Do you foresee yourself continuing on with Disney Junior? Do you still find it to be a fun adventure for you?

BB: Of course. I mean, look, as long as they'll have me, I'll keep writing these tunes. I love the diversity of the writing process. I'm not stuck to one thing, ever. Like I said, I'm constantly being challenged, and I think as an artist, you need that. So yeah, I would definitely continue.

LP: Is there something that you hope kids take away from your work, whether it's aspirational, inspirational, introduction to music? What do you hope the legacy of your wide body of work will be?

BB: The way I've always thought about it is that I don't particularly write music for children. I never think about it as I'm writing music for kids. I just think I'm writing music for families, for people. And I love the idea of the parent and the child connecting on that music, so that we're not alienating parents by making the music so childlike and so irritating, I guess. I'm sure it gets irritating after hearing it 300 times played in the car, but really, I love bringing the music together between the parent and the child. That's always been my favorite thing when I hear that.

LP: Which is what Disney's all about, right?

BB: Exactly.

LP: Yeah, I'm on a Disney cruise right now and in the three days, I counted hearing six Beau Black songs on the cruise here… You’re well represented at sea.

BB:          Oh, wow. That's so cool. While everyone is just pigging out, they can listen to the music. That's all you do on a cruise, right? You eat!

Black's music and compositions have appeared in over 50 national commercials, and numerous television series and movies. He currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife, singer/songwriter and actress, Alex Cartañá and their young daughter.

Disney Junior’s Firebuds, an animated comedy-adventure series from Disney Branded Television featuring a team of young first responders and their talking vehicle sidekicks, premieres WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 21, with a simulcast on Disney Channel and Disney Junior (10:30 a.m. EDT). An initial batch of episodes will premiere the same day on on-demand platforms and Disney+. From Emmy Award-winning creator and executive producer Craig Gerber (Disney’s Elena of Avalor and Sofia the First), the music-filled series follows a group of friends, all children of first responders, who embark on adventures to help their community and learn what it truly means to be a hero.

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