10 years ago if you had told Mr. Johnson that he would be writing, producing and performing children’s music, he would have probably given you a rye smile and disbelieving chuckle. Not that there’s anything wrong with children’s music mind you, it’s just that his focus could not have been further away. Life however has a funny way of taking you through a myriad of twists, turns, and life altering experiences, never quite revealing where you’ll end up until you’re actually there. With that said, Darrell Johnson could not be happier to have ended up doing what he's doing now.
Mr. Johnson’s musical experience is diverse. He’s had the privilege of working with such notable artists as Jaco Pastorius, the late great bass player with fusion band Weather Report, Patato Valdez, renowned Latin percussionist, JVC recording artist Carmen Lundy, the late Chuck Brown, Go-Go groups Rare Essence and EU, and the Parliament Funkadelic horn section. In 1988 he co-wrote and co-produced a Washington, D.C. regional Go-Go hit called “D.C. Don’t Stand for Dodge City” sung by Chuck Brown, Sugar Bear of EU, and other notable Go-Go artists. He’s also worked directly with groups including Peaches and Herb, LDE, and Namesake. Darrell has composed and produced industrial music for radio and TV, and worked extensively with BET on some of their earlier programming music. Darrell’s writing style runs the gamut from R&B, Pop, Hip Hop, House and Techno, to Classical, New Age, Jazz, Latin, and World Music influences.
While a professional musician for many years, Mr. Johnson has more recently been working for the Washington, D.C. Public School system as a substitute teacher, music teacher and tutor. During that time, he has been able to pull his vast repository of experience, observation, and interaction into specialized music targeted to the direct educational, emotional developmental, ethical and moral needs of children grades K-thru-5.
With years of experience as a performer, studio musician, writer, arranger, and producer, Mr. Johnson has now embarked on this very special and unique approach to children’s music; one that has already been tested and resonates well with children, teachers, and parents alike. His debut album FIO (Figure It Out!) explores a number of important topics that range from reading, writing, and arithmetic (please check out the Multiplication Challenge page) to nutrition, the importance of kindness, friendship, bilingual education, issues of bullying, the importance of respect, and what makes a person smart. The music is fun, quirky, and stylistically diverse, ranging from Hip Hop, Blues, R&B and Latin, to Classical, Jazz, Folk, Caribbean, and World Music.
About Mr. Johnson
About The Music