While music has always been a part of Philip Babineaux’s life, he says watching his daughters share in that passion with him is unexpected and extremely special.
Philip and his wife Jennifer have two daughters – Elayna, 13, and Emma Grace, 9. Elayna recently approached her parents with an idea.
“I saw these other daddy and daughter duets on YouTube and that got me interested, so I asked my mom and dad if we could do it,” Elayna said.
Philip said Elayna, a 7th grade student at J.B. Martin Middle School who is active in talented theater and choir, has always had a love of performing.
“I got a Facebook timeline reminder this morning,” Philip said. “Elayna was tiny and she had made up a sing about how every day the sun will rise … she’s always loved singing, acting and being dramatic.”
And while finding the soundtracks online, adding graphics to the videos and setting up the recording equipment for the duets is all Philip’s job, it doesn’t come without amazing benefits for the dad.
“Music has always been a main part of my life,” he said. “And as Elayna has gotten involved with choir and theatre I’ve being able to spend time with both her and music … it’s a merge of two things I love.”
Philip said he started singing while in college and has continued to nurture that passion through various ministry avenues.
“It’s overwhelming,” he said of viewing the finished videos. “I get a little mushy when I see it.”
He’s not the only one thoroughly enjoying the process.
“I love that we get to spend time together and bond,” Elayna said of making the videos with her dad. “It’s fun to practice and laugh together if we’re doing a silly song … it’s been really good for me to spend time with my dad.”
Philip said the family decided to create a YouTube channel – Elayna and Daddy Music – as a place to forever store the videos. The first video they posted, just weeks ago, has already garnered nearly 5,000 views.
“It’s funny … now people are requesting songs,” Philip said, adding the family has received a lot of messages from other families who said they enjoy watching the videos together. “The comments have been surprising and inspiring.”
It didn’t take long for Emma, who Philip describes as the more introverted child, to join in on the duet fun.
“For her that wasn’t her natural state,” Philip said of Emma performing, “but she really wanted to do it and I think it was about spending time with daddy … she could tell we were really having fun.”
Elayna said the project came at a perfect time, as the family has been spending a lot more time together because of their coronavirus-induced quarantine.
“This is a really good opportunity to do things with your family and to spend time with them,” she said. “I want to encourage everybody out there to try something new.”
“I’d echo the same sentiment,” he said. “It’s been something that’s drawn our family together.”
Philip said the extra time the family has had together has allowed them to carve out special time for each other.
“It’s a great time to reevaluate the things that matter in your life,” he said. “Some things that matter but don’t matter as much are on pause right now, and you can look around and see what matters – and immediately see your family.”