Children’s Singer Bari Koral Talks About Making Music And Why Not Knowing Your Next Step Can Be A Good Thing

Bari Koral

Combining healthy living, yoga and happy music, Bari Koral is bringing good energy to the kids’ music scene. We spoke exclusively to Bari about her music, her path to motherhood, and why not knowing the next step can be the best thing for you.

Bari, let’s talk a bit about your background in music.

I had always been a singer, but when I was in college, I gave up singing thinking that I was done with it. On a whim, I bought a guitar, and someone showed me a few chords and the whole world just exploded. I had a way to accompany myself and I started writing almost immediately. I made up for lost time and I played guitar 6 hours a day; I would sleep with it. A year or two later, I had a band and was writing songs. I did that from when I was 21 up until I was 39. I started touring, in that whole singer/songwriter scene.

And then..

What I realized about being an adult singer/songwriter is that I didn’t know what my point of view was. It wasn’t like I wasn’t trying to find it, but I couldn’t figure out what made me different from Sheryl Crow. It’s not always that you’re born with a point of view. It wasn’t easy, it wasn’t fun, and it wasn’t going anywhere. To make it go further, I just didn’t know how. I was exhausted, and my niece was born, and I didn’t know what was next. I went to a monastery, looking for a sign. It was very scary, because when you don’t know when the next step is, it can be scary. You have to be comfortable in not knowing, but that’s where all the potential is. So I stayed in there long enough for this to be illuminated. Someone had told me that a song I had been doing would be a good song, and in that space, I tried to find a peace. I went to Woodstock, and I wrote, and when I tell you, they flew out of me. In 48 hours, Bari Koral had a point of view.

It’s like a rebirth.

Absolutely. I wrote a bunch of songs for my niece, but the reason why I could write songs like that was because I had been writing songs since I was 19. I had so much craft and skill, but it needed purpose and inspiration. Ex-boyfriends just weren’t an inspiration anymore. Then, things happened fast. At our very first kids’ gig, someone wrote a check for me to record the songs.

Bari Koral

So where are you today?

It’s funny because I have such a big team now. It’s amazing to me. The songs really have created wonderful opportunities. We’re playing the White House, which we did last year, too. I filmed a television show based on yoga and kids music, which will come out later this year or early next year. We filmed 52 episodes for the Veria network; it’s all wellness programming.

Yoga is very important to you.

I sometimes get panic attacks and anxiety attacks, so I dove deep into yoga and meditation to help and it made a humongous difference. It literally saved my life. it led to so many other things. I discovered better thinking skills and ways to find peace in my life. Before I had been keeping everything separately, the music and the yoga. I did it for years, and then one day put it together, everything fell into place.

Bari Koral

You’ve been very forthcoming about your own struggles about becoming a mother.

I had been ambivalent about having children. I teach children; they are in my life. In my 20s and 30s, I was always on the road and chasing my dream. I got married when I was 40, and then I got pregnant about 4 years ago. It didn’t fit into the plan, but I got excited about it. I lost the pregnancy, and it was hard for me to see my life rosy again. I finally got back on track, and got pregnant again. I lost that baby too, and went through another time which was even harder to bounce back from. I am so clear that I want children, but I’m not 25-years-old. We started taking out ads to adopt and looking for a path to our child. This is the biggest unknown to me so far; where is my child and how do I find him or her? But it took so long for me to get clarity on this. I am a mom; I know I am. I am just waiting for my child.

In the meantime, I am a mother to all the kids I teach. There’s no lack of love, so that’s important to me. The kids I have now are like my kids. It’s challenging sometimes, but I’m 90 percent positive and working on that last 10 percent. I think it’s good to talk about it.

the apple tree and the honey bee

Let’s talk about your current album, The Apple Tree & The Honey Bee.

This album is fucking great! [laughs] It’s a culmination of so many things. We went to Nashville to record the album and everything really just lined up. We were joyful as a band; there was great energy. This is an album that parents and kids can enjoy; you have to consider both of them when you’re writing. The music celebrates them. It’s great family time. Now more than ever since I’ve been trying to get pregnant, I realize what a miracle it is to have these families in the audience. I am thrilled to sing for them, and I don’t take it for granted for one single second.

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