Esther Crow Announces New Single Titled “The Leader in You”

Meagan J. Meehan
6 min readJan 28


“The Leader In You” is a new single by singer, musician, and songwriter Esther Crow. The song features Father Goose Music and the kids from Kare Afrika Orphanage in Uganda. Produced by Grammy-winning engineer Dean Jones, the song has an anthemic, 80’s vibe and a message of empowerment for young children to be leaders in their own communities.

Esther recently discussed this song and more via an exclusive interview.

Meagan Meehan (MM): How did you come up with the concept for this song and did the melody or lyrics come to you first?

Esther Crow (EC): I came up with a chord progression for the verses of the song, and a rough vocal melody, in June 2021. I still have voice memo saved! I kept coming back to it, and strumming it, but had no real idea what the song would be about except that the initial lyrics “take look all around…what do you see?” kept persisting. At first, I thought it’d be a song about seeing your surroundings and naming things…so, a song for the very young about seeing blue skies, birds in trees…that kind of thing. But it just wasn’t gelling until almost exactly a year ago, in January of 2022, when I was feeling pretty down about the state of the world and wanting to help, but not sure how…it was also around that time that I started getting more involved with climate activism and meeting people who shared the same desire to take more initiative. I put those feelings into the lyrics of the song and simultaneously realized: I can’t keep looking to others to lead the way. I need to start being a leader, myself. Of course, that’s about joining with others in a community but we are each leaders at different times. And I knew the song should be about empowering kids with this same idea: taking initiative and having the confidence to lead community actions.

MM: How did you start working with Father Goose Music?

EC: I got to know Wayne Rhoden- aka Father Goose Music- back in 2021 when I asked him to be part of a virtual show, I was putting together for Fort Greene Park. I’ve admired his work- both with Dan Zanes, and his solo stuff- for a while now, because of his incomparable voice and his social consciousness. I knew he’d be the perfect choice to write and deliver a rap component to The Leader in You.

MM: How did you get associated with the Kare Afrika Orphanage?

EC: I became aware of Kare Afrika and their co-founder, Grace Magala, through another artist who writes songs and musicals for kids and youth-based organizations, Andrea Green. She had produced a video project, which included them, called Under the Moon. Since then, many of my colleagues are in touch with Grace and the Kare Kids through Facebook, and Grace often posts wonderful videos of the kids and their artistic achievements. It’s even more remarkable that they’ve achieved so much with so many ongoing challenges, like food insecurity, mostly due to the climate crisis, disease and other vulnerabilities. I wanted them to be a part of this song because of their talent and because they live in an often-ignored area of the world ravaged by the climate.

MM: What was it like working with the children on this single?

EC: I worked closely with Grace, who is their musical leader and coached them. I had sent him the rough track with the lyrics and the kids did a beautiful job right out of the gate. If you can believe it, he recorded them on a phone! It took some engineering magic from Grammy-winning producer, Dean Jones, to bring their recordings to the right levels. But it’s a testimony to their extreme musicality that the raw phone footage itself sounded pretty good.

MM: How do you envision the music video for this song going?

EC: Ahhh…I’m about to start on it! My vision is to intercut shots of Father Goose Music, the Kare Afrika kids (wait until you see them- they’ve got choreography, too!), and me, with shots of people (mostly families) working together on community projects, with volunteer orgs, and at protests. It’s a big undertaking and I’ll need to get organized very soon, but I’m excited. I have somehow grown to love editing, a skill I didn’t even plan to LEARN! The video will premiere February 10th on the wonderful radio podcast for kids, The Saturday Morning Cereal Bowl.

MM: How long did it take you to complete this song?

EC: Over a year! As I mentioned earlier, I had the idea for the song back in June, 2021. I finally fleshed out the rest of it in Spring, 2022, and then we recorded our parts in July, 2022. Shortly thereafter, Father Goose Music and Kare Afrika sent their parts to Dean Jones and he spun it into sonic gold! I really need to give Dean, and my husband Dan (who played stellar electric guitar on the track), huge credit for understanding the vibe I wanted for the song.

MM: Why did you decide to stick to an 80s vibe?

EC: Ah! Speaking of vibe! :) I’m not sure if it was a conscious decision, but somewhere along the way, I knew it should have an 80’s new-wave-reggae vibe and beat. I’m a product of early MTV and so many of those English bands- the Police, XTC, The English Beat- had a reggae influence. Since I was collaborating with Father Goose Music, I also thought it would work well. Then Dean added the Kare Afrika kids into the mix and it took on a big, “anthemic feeling” that so many of those 80’s songs have as well.

MM: What’s the best fan feedback you’ve gotten about this single?

EC: Well, these aren’t words for small ears LOL but one Kindie colleague wrote me in an email: “Oh my god this song is amazing Esther. Holy sh*t. I love it.” So, that made me feel pretty good, coming from a fellow-musician whom I admire!

MM: How do you hope your career evolves over the next five years?

EC: I hope to bridge more of my climate/social justice work with my music, and develop a program for libraries, schools and beyond, which I’m already starting to do. My main initiative is to empower kids with self-love, love of community and of the planet so they can continue to do the hard work of shifting our value systems. But I think we can do it!

MM: What are your ultimate goals for the future and is there anything else that you would like to mention?

EC: Ted Talk? LOL- well…why not? :) I’d like to continue to perform live, both solo and with my family…and always with my puppets! Keep developing my climate/social justice programs for schools and libraries, as stated above, and then maybe finally do a video series for kids on YouTube with the same themes of climate and community-building. The issue is always: not enough time! But let’s see what transpires! I’d also like to continue to work with the children of Kare Afrika and Grace Magala and help them become more sustainable. Right now, they’re trying to build a farm so that they can grow their own food which would greatly help with their food insecurity and make them more independent. Here’s a link for anyone who can help, even $5 or $10 can go a long way.

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To learn more about Esther, visit her official website:



Meagan J. Meehan

Meagan J. Meehan is a published author of novels, short stories, and poems. She is also a produced playwright and an award-winning modern artist.