Serving Up Hot Peas ‘N Butter with Danny Lapidus

Hot Peas ‘N Butter is serving up contagious rhythms and family fun on March 1 at 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. Band leader Danny Lapidus sat down with the Center for the Arts to talk about the show guaranteed to have you and your little ones up on your feet dancing and singing and to dish about his love for peas!

How does your band name relate to your music and message?

Danny: The name Hot Peas 'N Butter comes from a street game that we played as kids in Brooklyn. It's sort of like capture the flag, but whoever is closest to the flag yells, “Hot peas 'n butter, come and get your supper!” It was a neighborhood game, and the neighborhood was a vibrant mix of people from all over the world. The Hot Peas 'N Butter band sings World/ Roots music, and I can't think of a better meeting place for global neighbors than a game of Hot Peas 'N Butter!

What’s your favorite song to sing and why?

Danny: If I had to choose, I would say I love to sing a song called “Little Fox” because it's such a classic chase story—you never know if the fox will get away AND there's a lot of foot stomps and handclaps.

You sing in many languages (Spanish, French, Hebrew, Ladino, Korean, and English). How have you learned to speak so many languages? 

Danny: I was born in Belgium, and my first language was French, but I was only 3½ when we moved back to Brooklyn, so it wasn't long before I only spoke English. I think I have an ear for languages because of the early change and because my parents kept speaking French to each other (mostly to keep secrets from us!). I studied French through high school and college, and when I went back to Belgium, I started dreaming in French after a week! I never formally studied Spanish, but I've had private teachers. I love to sing in Spanish, so I decided to study Spanish song lyrics.

What’s your tip for learning new languages? 

Danny: Don't be embarrassed at whatever level you are. Most native speakers appreciate the effort and will gladly help you practice. Try translating song lyrics! It's an awesome way to learn a more colorful and interesting vocabulary, and it makes it so fun.

Finally, Do you have a favorite Hot Peas ‘N Butter recipe? 

Danny: All I can say is...I put peas in everything, from pasta to salad to soup (and of course, butter too)!

With eight award-winning albums and numerous music videos (some of which have been featured on Nick Jr. and Nickelodeon TV), Hot Peas ‘N Butter is even better live!

Hot Peas ‘N Butter:
Sunday, March 1 at 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. at the Center for the Arts, Concert Hall.