When I approached my friend Jihae to collaborate with Tallulah and I for a little muse I didn’t realize what a gift it would truly be! I was simply drawn to the beauty of her voice and am a huge fan of her music and of her as an artist. I wanted to bring these two girls together for a jam session as Tallulah had recently started Suzuki Classical guitar. I knew just being around Jihae (who taught herself to play guitar) would inspire Tallulah tremendously! When she revealed to me she had recorded a song to help Children Of War-how could she not be the perfect role model for our children!
We collaborated on an idea for the video and brought together Tallulah’s friends from our neighborhood and also made a few new friends along the way! It’s definitely my favorite and I’m grateful to Jihae to have been able to capture my daughter and her closest friends at their freest and most beautiful! On the day of the jam session Tallulah wore a Toica Stefan lOVE tee shirt-It was a gift from Julia Samersova creator of Planet Awesome Kid-the coolest kids website out there-hands down-think a mini Sartorialist and bookmark immediately. Not only are they super cool vintage like tees -but more importantly I was really impressed with their mission-for every t-shirt sold another would be donated to a child in need! Every parent should buy one…or two. Jihae’s new album Fire Burning Rain is available on Amazon and Itunes.
I asked Jihae about the inspiration behind Simon Says…
When I was 9 years old my family left Seoul, Korea and moved to Nigeria for 3 years. While I was in Lagos I learned a children’s game called Simon Says. We don’t have this game in Korea. I always wondered.. who is this Simon? and why do we have to do what he tells us to do?
Fast forward to adulthood, I was at an exhibit at the New Museum in NY. Sharon Hayes had a piece that resonated with me. The piece was of her voice talking. She spoke to her long lost boyfriend who wouldn’t return her calls. How they started a mass peace demonstration and after gathering thousands of people the media had completely ignored it. She said” I feel like an 8 year old child trying to gain respect”.
This made me think that there must be alternative means and efforts that can be made to gain peace. In 2005 I was given a book by a friend called Beast of No Nation by Uzodinma Iweala about a child soldier. The author interviewed many child soldiers and their personal experiences for this book which was beyond heart breaking -I think I began crying after a few pages all the way to the end. I learned that there was a martyr camp for little kids in Beirut- 3/4 of all suicide attacks in the Middle East are executed using children.
I can’t begin to tell you the mix of emotions that rose from there. I always came back to the same question.What are other means to gain peace? I’m not sure that adults are the ones that can bring peace to the world. But I think children of the world can if we teach them to care and love each other. So I wrote the song Simon Says in the context that Simon is a really good guy, like Nelson Mandela or Ghandi-a type of non violent freedom fighter. When you sing Simon Says you give a voice to the little ones that have no voice at all who are suffering from a war conflict or the effects of it of which they had nothing to do with.
Please sing for them and for your children and their future.