It seems that Byron and surrounds continue to attracts the world’s creatives. Singer/songwriter Toni Childs, best known for her heavily R&B-influenced Don’t Walk Away has done just that – she’s walked away from her long-term home in Hawaii straight into Myocum.
‘Myocum is just like Hawaii to tell you the truth,’ she jokes, ‘it’s just a bit colder and for some reason people don’t grow coconuts!’
Childs wed Australian visual artist Mick Levage and it seemed that while on the brink of launching her ambitious world project Citizens of the Planet that it made sense to put her team together here, the place in Australia that she’s always loved.
Childs’s latest project goes way beyond the singer/songwriter album launch and tour. It paves the way for shows around the globe, involving communities who have raised $170,000 thus far to help fund the recording.
For Toni it’s about evolving.
‘I always want to grow and evolve as a human being, and as an artist the current I chase is one of having my spirit fulfilled, and it desires to grow and evolve to become a better person.’
This is no short-term project. Citizens of the Planet has a 15-year plan, so this album, Because You’re Beautiful, is really a seed album. The greater vision is about seeding art projects and bringing countries together to play in a special way and to foster growth and exploration.
‘Citizens of the Planet is a technological visual physical experience that gives me the opportunity to celebrate who we are as human beings and celebrate who we are and the patterns we’ve created and what we’ve created in vying for our position – and what I feel is that the difference between domination and dominion, collaboration versus tyranny and dictatorship. I want to talk about a century looking at what are some possible things that can happen for us to move forward and evolve as a human species on the planet.’
Toni is a believer in living with awareness.
‘There are some things,’ she says ‘that will be revealed in the live experience. I had a dream at 20 where I met my future self, and I re-enacted that dream; in sharing that I ask the audience if they are willing to connect to that future self. I believe if we all do that we all be on the same trajectory; it’s not about your following my god or my point of view but your own.’
We need to shoot our arrows for the long term, Childs believes, embracing an ability to accept and move with multiplicity of beliefs and spiritualities.
‘Life is a creative process (spirituality and philosophically); we stopped using our creativity and, to me, the point of that place in which uniting of every facet of who we are has a depth and breadth to it, all these different points of view merge on a perspective; mine isn’t yours, it’s a resonant thing we can agree on. I can see I don’t agree with that, there is a commonness of sitting at a view. People need to be able to be able to take in a different point of view.
‘That’s what I see as Citizens of the Planet, and then different art projects that come together to participate in these little packets of energy around the world; on a global level, I am so excited because it’s bringing so much together, it’s so funny when I had the first component – Wrap the World in Beauty, this concept of bringing five projects over 15 years, it’s massive!’
Toni Childs launches her new album, the beginning of Citizens of the Planet, at the Byron Theatre at the Community Centre on Saturday.
Tix: $45 Pre / $50 Door, Start: 8pm
www.byroncentre.com.au. Ph 02 6685 6807