Edmonton music teacher earns Juno nod for Children's Album of the Year

An Edmonton music teacher who started recording music for the pre-schoolers at a music school is headed to the Junos this weekend with a nomination for Children's Album of the Year.

Stephanie Nhan's Let's Go Bananas! up against recordings from Raffi, other nominees

Stephanie Nhan, who sings under the name Beppie, is nominated for Children's Album of the Year. (Supplied/Stephanie Nhan)

When Stephanie Nhan first started writing music, her biggest fans were the pre-schoolers she taught at an Edmonton music school.

Now, her lyrics and songs have earned her a following among music agents and Juno judges.

The mother of three is up for Children's Album of the Year at the awards ceremony this weekend for her album Let's Go Bananas!, recorded under her stage name, Beppie.

Nhan's songs about bananas and slippers are up against one of the most iconic children's performers of all time — Raffi — who knows a thing or two about banana-themed songs for kids.

No one was more surprised than Nhan when she learned about her nomination.

"I think I might have run around my house screaming … it was a very surreal moment," Nhan told CBC's Edmonton AM on Thursday. 

Nhan works as a teacher at Resonate Music School and Studio. When she first decided to record some of the songs she had written for her class, she soon realized she had enough material for an album.

"When I made my first album, I started sending my music out to anybody to listen to it. So anybody, anywhere that would take my music and listen to it, I sent it to them," she said.

Exposure was the goal

Hoping for more exposure and professional feedback, she sent a copy of Let's Go Bananas! — her second album — to a Juno committee.

"It was about that process of having people in the industry listen to my music," she said. "I, honest to God, never thought it would go further than that. I'm excited it has but it wasn't my end goal. My end goal was to get as much exposure as I could."

Since earning the Juno nomination, Nhan has had agents and and public relations professionals get in touch. She now finds herself at a "crossroads."

 "Maybe my music is good enough and maybe I should try to reach more people with it and share it on a bigger level."

Here is the complete list of nominees for 2019 Children's Album of the Year:

  • Let's Go Bananas!, Beppie
  • It Takes a Village, Ginalina
  • Dog on the Floor, Raffi
  • It's Cool to be Kind, Sonshine and Broccoli
  • You, Me and the Sea, Splash'N Boots

The Junos are being held Sunday night, starting at 6 p.m. local time. It will be broadcast live on CBC.