Kathryn the Grape (Photo by Carina Fleckner)

After a long career in business, San Diego native Kathryn Cloward decided to take her musical talent to the next level by becoming a children’s songwriter and performer.

Now, roughly 10 years later, Cloward, whose stage name is “Kathryn the Grape,” has become a household name for San Diego County families with young children.

Cloward is the songwriter and performer behind catchy songs such as “Shine Shine Shine” and “We’re All in This Together,” who can be found singing at local libraries and other venues geared toward children and their families. Her music is unique because she weaves stories about her character, Kathryn the Grape, into memorable tunes.

Cloward said her love for music dates back to her childhood years.

“I’ve been hearing lyrics and melodies in my head for as long as I can remember,” Cloward said. “When I was a little girl, I used to sing my songs for my dolls while in my room during imaginative play. But it wasn’t until the past sevens year that I fully stepped into trusting my own creative flow with music by writing and producing songs for others to hear.”

Inspired by her son, Landon, Cloward said she’s not just a performer, but she’s a “messenger.”

“I share music with children and adults as a way to connect deeper with people,” Cloward said. “Children feel my authenticity of being with them, and I believe the parents do too.”

Cloward said she often encounters appreciative parents and grandparents, who enjoy bringing their children to her concerts.

“A dad told me the other day that his son always asks for my music to be played at home,” Cloward said. “That is by far the most fulfilling kind of feedback I could get. To know children want to hear Kathryn the Grape songs over and over means they are getting the messages and feeling good, and that’s the entire reason I do what I do.”

The recipient behind accolades, such as “Mom’s Choice Awards” and “Family Choice Awards,” most recently released her “Kathryn the Grape Let’s Read Together Series,” which features a young Kathryn. Cloward said she will also soon release a new, 22-song album.

Although Cloward has made a living out of her music and writing, she said connecting to children and families is still most important to her.

“It’s my childhood dream to sing songs I’ve written for people so every time I play my guitar and sing with children, I am literally living my dream,” Cloward said. “That’s why I am so joyful doing it.”

For more information about Kathryn the Grape, go to kathrynthegrape.com.