Learn About Andyroo and the Andyrooniverse

Join AndyRoo on a musical journey to the AndyRooniverse — a magical town created by the ever-expanding landscape of children’s imaginations, where you’ll encounter swinging monkeys, a friendly platypus, Silly Sal the Salamander, and a big balloon that will whisk you away to a whole universe of exciting animated characters!

AndyRoo and the AndyRooniverse is the children’s music project of producer/singer/songwriter Andrew Karnavas. A featured performer on Radio Disney AM 1590, Andrew has delighted kids of all ages at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, at the PBS Kids show at SXSW, and at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo with with Radio Disney on the Kids Country Stage.

Andyroo’s debut children’s album Welcome to the AndyRooniverse was recorded in part at the #1-ranked children’s museum in the United States, the Children’s Museum of Houston.

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AndyRoo Houston Press

"A Chat with Andyroo: Houston's Leading Children's Musician"

Houston Press

Shea Serrano: Top 10 Local Albums of 2011

“Welcome to the AndyRooniverse is the debut album from AndyRoo, the kid-friendly alter ego of Andrew Karnavas…It is a heartfelt and substantial project, remarkable considering Karnavas spends a fair amount of time advocating proper dental hygiene. This is children’s music that will not make you want to put your head under a truck tire. Totally recommended for parents.”

"My Top 10 Local Albums of 2011"

Houston Press

AndyRoo Houston Press

"A Chat with Andyroo: Houston's Leading Children's Musician"

Houston Press

Houston Chronicle Interviews Andyroo

Andrew Karnavas is many things to the Houston music scene. Frontman for bluesy rock outfit Runaway Sun. Solo voice behind moody album Film Noir. Singer for swanky cover band Bang Bang Boom.

And, most recently, master of the AndyRooniverse. Karnavas’ latest incarnation, AndyRoo, is a children’s singer who croons about animals, teaches the ABC’s and urges you to brush your teeth. It’s engaging, lighthearted and easy to remember.

“There’s a Thoreau quote that shook me up the first time I read it: ‘The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.’ I love making music, and I want to live a life that embraces what I love to do,” Karnavas says of his multitasking approach.

“I want to write and record all kinds of songs and play in front of all kinds of audiences all over the world. I want to write musicals and score films for different genres. I want to produce albums for other artists. There is always new work to be done and new chances to take.”

Some of the AndyRooniverse album’s sound effects, and the video for Hopscotch, were recorded at the Children’s Museum of Houston. Karnavas is planning a series of albums and heading up a summer music camp for kids (kidsjamhouston.com).

Where did AndyRoo come from?
I’ve been writing songs for a few years now, and during that time I’ve become an uncle. My niece Andrea and nephew Aiden both like the Runaway Sun material and the Film Noir album, but I wanted to write something specifically for them. I wanted AndyRoo to be a traveler of some kind, and I came up with the AndyRooniverse as his place of travel.
Who was the first kid to hear the music?
My niece Andrea was the first, when she was 2-3 years old. I played Silly Sal the Salamander for her, and the first time through she clapped at the very end of the song. The next time through, she sang some of the chorus.
What are the essential elements of a good children’s album?
Songs should be interactive, upbeat, silly, whimsical, educational — and short! This album was completely different from the other albums I’ve written, particularly with the shorter song structures. I feel like I’ve learned how to write pop songs, too. Pop songs are just children’s songs for adults.
How do you stay on the right side of cheesy?
I think of the parents. They have a tough life as it is. I refuse to write songs that will make parents crazy. The whole time I was writing the album, I thought of my sister Vanessa in the car with her two kids singing along and how they would demand she play even one song over and over again. This helped keep the cheese factor to a minimum.
What's your favorite song on the album?
Brush Your Teeth! The percussion on the song is the album’s sound engineer Chris Longwood of SugarHill Studios brushing his teeth. We tracked it twice and put it in stereo. It was the funniest thing I’ve seen in a recording session. I’m trying to pitch it to some toothpaste companies for a commercial. Monkeys is my favorite song to perform live because the kids go crazy. I try to make the live shows like a Girl Talk concert where everybody gets onstage.
What were your favorite albums, as a child?
Old McDonald, The Cat Came Back, Lionel Richie’s All Night Long. My mom jamming Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine. My first cassette was Billy Joel’s We Didn’t Start the Fire. I was obsessed with that song.

After that, it was the Beatles and a lot of classical music. I remember listening to the golden-oldies radio station on a handheld cassette player and waiting for Beatles songs to come on so I could record them to tape.

Why should a kid (parent, really) choose your album over the Wiggles, Yo Gabba Gabba or other heavyweights?
I might be the small fish in the pond, but my album comes with a sticker, black-and-white album art and crayons! If you want to see me perform live, it won’t cost an arm and a leg for tickets. If you want me to play your child’s birthday party or special event, you won’t need to take out a second mortgage.

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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

“AndyRoo’s music inspires children’s imagination. They were hopping on imaginary hopscotches, brushing their teeth, and swinging through the trees like chimpanzees. Their smiling faces showed the joy that AndyRoo’s music can bring.”

Cara Clark

Discovery Room Coordinator

Children’s Museum of Houston

“AndyRoo’s music is delightful, insightful and just plain fun to listen and dance to! It was such a treat for our visitors to have him at the Museum.  We look forward to his next performances.”

Bunmi Gaidi

Arts Educator

AndyRooniverse is Houston Music for Kids

“Andrew Karnavas’ latest incarnation, AndyRoo, is a children’s singer who croons about animals, teaches the ABC’s and urges you to brush your teeth. It’s engaging, lighthearted and easy to remember.”

Houston Chronicle

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