In the beginning, there was just a pen resting ever so gently on a sheet of white paper. Tyrone Sawyer II and his wife, Jemima Sawyer, proprietors of Jemima’s Playhouse, knew what they wanted. But there was a vast gap not only between the ink and paper, but between their unfolding thoughts and the exciting, branded music for Jemima’s Playhouse which they sought to create.
Alas, they ought not to have worried. As they put pen to paper, the thoughts flowed, and flowed, and flowed. Before they knew they had their first original song with the lyrics and the track blending perfectly together. The first song that they wrote was entitled “Cool Donkey”. Its lyrics were simple and beguiling. The music was set to an upbeat rhythm. Then they made a tentative leap: they reluctantly played the song at a few of the schools that they serviced to see what the response would be. In a moment, the children were singing “Cool Donkey” and dancing to its defiant beat. They embraced the song and claimed it as their own!
Tyrone and Jemima beamed at each other. Their hesitant foray into song writing proved to be not as daunting as they thought it would be. The next thing they knew, the children were singing the songs to their parents; and the parents were singing the songs unabashedly! And in public!
Thus encouraged, Tyrone and Jemima added new songs with gusto! They created “Musical Alphabet” and “Musical Notes” which turned out to be seminal hits, just like “Cool Donkey”. Songwriting became a labor of love. For the task was not daunting. It was not a task at all. For Tyrone and Jemima, this foray into song writing turned out to be an exciting adventure into a world that they initially knew nothing about.
Jemima worked as a director of a child care center for seven years and always dreamed of running a company that could come into the school to bring creativity through music and foreign languages. Jemima’s Playhouse, created in Atlanta in 2012 turned out to be this company. She could not have dreamed that five years later, Jemima’s Playhouse would boast three successful albums, all containing incredible hit songs.
“We created Señor Burro as a cool and smooth Spanish-speaking cool donkey”, said Jemima. “Once we heard all of the students, teachers and owners of the schools singing the songs we continued to create more songs.”
The duo of Tyrone and Jemima turned out to be a potent combination. They enjoy the process of making the music so much that they compose all of the music and sing all of the songs themselves. When the company expanded into the Kansas City Metro Area in 2015, it was a true test of the music and how it would be embraced.
“Kansas City, Lincoln, Nebraska, and Omaha, Nebraska, represent the heart of the USA”, said Tyrone. “We expanded there because the people only warm up to you, with trust over time. When I heard a family singing “Mis Colores” in the grocery store it was more exciting than hearing the song on the radio!”
Jemima’s Playhouse continues to make a catalogue of hit songs like “BahamaMan”, “Echo”, & “Boom!”.