Skyler Pia: 'One World, One Kid,' One Good Cause When young Skyler Pia's friend was sick with cancer, he tried to cheer him up with music. Skyler's choices became a CD: One World, One Kid. Skyler and his mother, Cheryl Pia, tell Debbie Elliott about the experience.
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Skyler Pia: 'One World, One Kid,' One Good Cause

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Skyler Pia: 'One World, One Kid,' One Good Cause

Skyler Pia: 'One World, One Kid,' One Good Cause

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  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Mr. SKYLER PIA (Child Radio Host): Hello, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. You are listening to the Putumayo World Music Radio Show. I'm Skyler and we'll have some tracks of global tunes you've never heard before.


You're hearing the voice of Skyler Pia when he was six years old. A friend of his was sick with cancer, and this is how he tried to cheer him up.

Mr. PIA: Okay, well, here we go. The first song is by K.K. Alhino(ph). This song is called Barco Mi Papel. K.K. Alhino was born in Cape Verde and this song is about people on Alhino's imagination and imagining their self heading into the future on a wild river ride on a little boat with people on it.

(Soundbite of Spanish language song)

ELLIOTT: As you can hear, Skyler Pia is no ordinary kid. His music tastes are global. With a little help from his parents, Skyler pulled together a collection of his favorite songs, did a little research so he could explain to his friend why these songs were so cool, and created his own radio show. The record label, Putumayo, has just released a portion of that radio show as the CD One World, One Kid. Skyler Pia joins us from his home in San Diego with his mom, Cheryl. Hello to you both. Welcome to the program.

Ms. CHERYL PIA (Skyler's Mom): Hello, thank you.

ELLIOTT: So, Skyler, tell us a little bit about why you created this world music show.

Mr. PIA: Well, Eric was sick and I did like world music, so I wanted to open him up to it, open him up to it, yeah.

ELLIOTT: So how is it that you, at the time you were six years old, how did you become this fan of world music? I would think most kids your age were listening to, I don't know, what kind of music is out there? The ABCs and whatnot.

Mr. PIA: Yeah, like, Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, stuff like that. Well, I got into world music when I was four. We bought a CD called Arabic Groove and I listened to it in the car on our way home and I thought, man, I love this stuff, we gotta collect more of this stuff.

ELLIOTT: So what was it about that first album that made you like it so much, do you think?

Mr. PIA: Geez, that's a tough one. Well, just the way it sounded.

ELLIOTT: Let's hear just a little bit more of your music here. I want us to play your introduction to a song that's about a spider and it's in Spanish, let's listen.

(Soundbite of radio show)

Mr. PIA: (On Show): It's called Llana Igua(ph) and it's from Colombia. It's about a spider who scares lots of friends like Gustavo, Maria and others. The man who's singing saw the spider and gets really scared. Hope you enjoy.

(Soundbite of song, Llana Igua)

ELLIOTT: Ms. Pia, before this, did you have any clue that you might have a little D.J. on your hands?

Ms. PIA: You know, we did have a clue because he had started making his own mixes. He was selecting songs from other CDs and mixing them all together and he would listen to them obsessively. When he was about three, he started carrying around a world reference guide that was actually geared for adults. He started carrying this around all the time, the way kids carry around a teddy bear. And so, you know, it made sense for him to want to know what the music sounded like in all of these countries that he was so interested in.

ELLIOTT: Now, you and your husband are in the recording business, I understand.

Ms. PIA: Yes, we have a commercial production company. We do broadcast radio and TV.

ELLIOTT: So how did all of you come up with this idea of, hey, he can make a radio show. Was it Skyler's idea?

Ms. PIA: You know what, it was entirely Skyler's idea. Skyler walked into the studio one day when my husband Cliff was in there working and Cliff said, Okay, fine, let's sit down and write a script about this. And Skyler said, You know what, I already know what I want to say, and recorded the introductions for 19 songs.

(Soundbite of radio show)

Mr. PIA (On Show): Our next song is by Eric Bibb. He's a musician of folk and blues music. And is also the creator of Just Keep Going On. (Singing) Just keep going on, just keep going on, just keep going on...

ELLIOTT: Now back in my day, we used to mix tapes like that of songs and give them to each other, but I don't remember any of my friends ever getting a record deal out of it. Skyler, how did you pull that one off?

Mr. PIA: I don't know. It's probably like, well, oh, yeah. One of my Dad's friends, who usually plays bass for Bonnie Raitt, gave it to Bonnie Raitt and so she really flipped out when she heard it and then she gave it to Putumayo (unintelligible) so they decided to release it.

ELLIOTT: Skyler Pia and his mom, Cheryl. The CD is called One World, One Kid. Thank you both for talking with us.

Ms. PIA: Thank you.

Mr. PIA: Thank you.

ELLIOTT: To hear more from Skyler Pia, go to our website, That's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. From NPR News, I'm Debbie Elliott.

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