There are few artists who bring a tap to our feet and smile to our heart more than Mista Cookie Jar. His music is filled with a joyous spirit that reflects itself in a musical kaleidoscope of genres beyond description, but not your soul. Often accompanied by his daughter, Ava Flava, and the rest of the “Chocolate Chips,” Mista Cookie Jar’s music puts the fun in funky. Mista Cookie Jar has a certifiably “AWESOME” (see our Full Van Fun review in a few weeks) album coming out on March 11th, “Music is Everywhere”. We are so excited and honored that Mista Cookie Jar chose us for the WORLD PREMIERE of his new video “Jelly Beans”! After the video, enjoy our new #8isEnoughQuestions interview with Mista Cookie Jar. Once you’re done, we’re pretty sure that you will want to order the new “Music is Everywhere” album and some Jelly Belly jelly beans of your own!
For this #8isEnoughQuestions interview, each of the following questions was written by one of our Full Van Fun family members and answered directly by Mista Cookie Jar himself. Enjoy!
1) How did you come up with the name Mista Cookie Jar?
I go by the name CJ. That’s what everybody calls me when I’m not on stage. One day, long ago, I was bowling with some friends. On the monitor that keeps track of our scores, my friends were entering my name — but instead of just CJ, they entered “Cookie Jar.” And it’s stuck ever since! I added the Mista when I started making music for families. M.I.S.T.A.: Mystic Innocent Strolling Through Awesomeness.
2) I really like the video for “Call me Mista Cookie Jar” – how did you make it and how long did it take?
Thanks! It took about a year. Missis Cookie Jar and I and a couple friends made some paper from scratch, took a bunch of pics and drawings, cut them out and frame by frame created the world. We started with a story and mapped it all out. Then, it’s was arts and crafts time! It was also fun to create my very own Buster Keaton hat!
3) Was one of your dreams to become a singer/songwriter and how did you hold on to it?
It sure was! When I was a kid, I would watch MTV and was just mesmerized by the videos. Bart Simpson was a big inspiration — Do the Bartman. I memorized his rap by writing down what I thought the lyrics were and repeated the song over and over on my parents alarm clock/radio/cassette deck. I kept at it little by little and just had fun with it! Now I’m here, doing interviews about being a dream creator!
4) How do you make such good songs?
Aw thanks! That was like a compliment hidden in a question! I love music. Awesome songs and musical vibes inspire me to seek unchartered magical realms of audio and poetic bliss. I suppose it takes bit of hard work, patience and never giving up ’til its where you want it. I’m all about that connection!
5) Do you like pizza?
Yes. My favorite is Brazilian Pizza. Frango Com Catupiry — chicken, corn, and a kind of Brazilian cheese. Soo good. Also, Brazilian desert pizza — Brigadeiro Com Morango — chocolate, condensed milk and strawberries. Yyyyyuuuummmm!
6) In your song, Mama, you mention that your mother gives “light for the world to grow” – do you try to provide “light for the world to grow” through your music?
Yes! My mama gave me light. So I’m trying to shine that light that’s in my soul as best I can 🙂 And music is my light. My mama is a doctor and she wanted my light to be a practice in medicine LOL. But all kidding aside, she loves the music and has encouraged my creative pursuits since back when I was memorizing Do the Bartman lyrics.
7) What is your favorite part of being able to do your music with your family?
I love getting to travel with my family! Such such such great stories. Here’s one. Just this past summer we got to perform at Lollapalooza — the kids stage, Kidzapalooza they call it. It was awesome and wonderful and incredible and many such similar adjectives. As performers, we got to see all the bands, have access to transportation from stage to stage and even got to go BACKstage sometimes. So many amazing acts to see. Paul McCartney, 21 Pilots, Kid Cudi, Tyler the Creator. The list goes on. So here’s something crazy wild that happened. We were in the crowd in front of the stage at the Metallica performance, just me, Missis Cookie Jar & my teenage daughter, Ava Flava. We notice just five feet away from us, a couple of the dudes from Ava’s favorite band, One Direction. At a METALLICA show! So funny. And completely random how we were next to them. Ava was freaking out. We got to say hi, gave some bro hugs and even got a selfie with Louis, her favorite! Only at Lollapalooza could something like that happen!
8) In your BRAND NEW WORLD PREMIERE video for “Jelly Beans” you list a lot of jelly bean flavors, if you worked for Jelly Belly and could invent your own “flava”, what would it be?
Probably the coolest question I’ve been asked all year. I think my flavor would be Chocolate Chip. I mean, it’s gotta be that one, right?
Thank you Mista Cookie Jar for a flavaful #8isEnoughQuestions interview! Be sure to check out some of our other #8isEnoughQuestions interviews with artists like The Not Its, Mike Phirman, Danny Weinkauf of They Might Be Giants, Turkey Andersen, Lucky Diaz and Alisha Gaddis, Bryan Vander Ark of The Verve Pipe, Play Date, Recess Monkey, Andrew and Polly, Greg Page (Original Yellow Wiggle), Rissi Palmer, Jim Cosgrove, and Tim Kubart.