The Roots are adding a producer title to their music-heavy résumé as they make a foray into the world of children’s television.
MC Tarik “Black Thought” Trotter and multi-instrumentalist Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson will executive produce two series for Amazon through their Passyunk Productions with their manager Shawn Gee’s Philly Films and TV producer Brian Sher of Category 5 Entertainment. One series is a live-action project and the other is the tentatively titled “South Street Sounds,” an animated series currently in development, Amazon announced in a press release Thursday, April 13.
“South Street Sounds” will feature music from The Roots and follows three friends — Zora, Nick and Tyson — living in musical surroundings where singing and dancing abounds. The trio prepares for its performances while overcoming mishaps, obstacles and chaos by relying on their bond and leaning on their musical neighbors.
Details on the live-action series have not been announced.
“As we venture into the world that is film and television production, we couldn’t think of a better partner than Amazon to help us develop these first two children’s projects,” Thompson said in a statement.
“Our love for music started as young kids and we hope to inspire a generation of future artists, musicians and music fans through the stories we tell and the music they hear on these shows,” Trotter said.
Tara Sorensen, head of kids programming at Amazon Studios, noted both series are “perfectly aligned with our mission to inspire kids to think creatively and musically about the world around them.”
The Roots members’ link to children’s television is not new, as the Grammy-winning hip-hop act performed on “Yo! Gabba Gabba” in 2009. Trotter and Thompson are working on their 17th studio album “End Game” with bandmates Kamal Gray, F. Knuckles, Captain Kirk Douglas, Damon Bryson and James Poyser. They also serve as the official house band on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”