John Lennon Songwriting Contest Grand Prize Winner Kelli Welli releases her fourth album Friday, June 16. Baby Ninja is suitable for all ages, but especially geared toward the eight and under group. Take a little bit of pop, a pinch of Americana and a dash of African rhythm. Add in a taste of Cajun flavor, a touch of country and western with a Japanese flair and you have what fans have come to expect from Welli–originality, personality, a dose of the ridiculous and lots of love.
The album includes contributions from fellow kids’ artists and talented friends Uncle Jumbo, Claudia Robin Gunn, Nanny Nikki, Stacey Peasley and the album’s co-producer and multi-instrumentalist, Bryan Daste.
Welli is an active songwriter in both the children’s and singer-songwriter/Americana (“grown-up”) music arenas. All three of her first full albums won the prestigious National Parenting Products Award. She’s a three-time winner of the West Coast Songwriters International Song Contest. Although relatively new to the Portland kindie performance scene, she has been named a Top 5 Parent Pick by PDX Parent magazine in both 2020 and 2023.
In collaboration with illustrator Belen Toscano, Welli created an accompanying 40-page comic book to be released with the album. It’s based on Baby Ninja’s title track and the takeaway, “never underestimate the very real power of a baby!”
Baby Ninja will be available for purchase on Amazon, Bandcamp and at kelliwelli.com and streaming on all major platforms.