Megan Piphus, the first Black woman puppeteer on Sesame Street, is releasing a children’s music album called Spaceships & Dreams as “May & Them Pups.” The album was produced by Piphus and Grammy winners Sir the Baptist and funk legend Bootsy Collins.
Spaceships & Dreams is geared towards grade school kids with hopes to inspire children to find their own voices and tap into their unique gifts as a means of bringing their communities together. As a mother of two, Piphus also wanted to create music families can enjoy together.
The children’s album is about a teacher, portrayed by Piphus, who desires to connect with her community. To make that a reality, she plans an event that will bring everyone together to celebrate their individual talents. Every song on the album represents different character values around leadership, determination, perseverance and humility.
The seven-track album includes the following songs “Spaceships & Dreams,” “We All Got Problems,” “Make U Proud,” “Every Lyric Has A Home,” “Bluetiful,” “Highway To Heaven,” and “Find That Light.”
Piphus is known for being the puppeteer behind Gabrielle on Sesame Street but that’s not where her career began. Her puppetry journey started when she was 10 and taught herself the craft by watching VHS tapes.
While Sesame Street may have given her a larger platform, Piphus has been in the spotlight for some time. In the past, she’s appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and in June 2013, was a contestant on America’s Got Talent.
The artist has also performed on shows like Showtime at the Apollo with Steve Harvey. Also, in 2019, Piphus collaborated with the University of Cincinnati, where she performed and wrote songs for a TV musical series teaching young children basic financial literacy. That series netted her two Emmy awards for best composition and best children’s short from the series. Her work has opened the doors for other Black women to do puppetry.
“There aren’t many women of color in puppetry but it has grown,” she told ESSENCE earlier this year. “Sesame Street has been a force behind that, going out and seeking diversity. We’ve had workshops with women who may be voiceover actresses, actresses to see if they’re interested in learning Muppet-style puppetry. Now we have more puppeteers of color who’ve been brought on by Sesame Street to represent these characters.”
We can’t wait to see the impact Piphus will have with her music. Spaceships & Dreams is available now on Collins’ Bootzilla Records.