By Karen Simmons
Not too many CQ muso’s can say they played support for the Missy Higgins Tour in concert last month – but this local Agnes lad can.
Adrian Thomas is an Agnes Water based music artist bursting out of Central Queensland with his blend of Island/Urban/Country Music. He is known for dynamic live performances and a deep powerful voice with a message.
Coming off a high from his support show with Missy Higgins in June, Adrian caught up with Gladstone Today this week.
Adrian’s a South Sea Islander/Polynesian with strong ties to Aboriginal Australians and has toured Hawaii and supported the likes of Dan Sultan.
In fact, he’s spent the last ten years working with Indigenous Youth and Community in Far North Queensland and the Territory and has worked with some of Australia’s finest Indigenous Musicians.
He was recently awarded a RADF Grant by Gladstone Regional Council and has been working with the award-winning RAVEL on producing his first animation music video, “Sevenfold Peace” which is based on White First Nations Teachings. Adrian says a few of the topics the song addresses are about connecting to nature, the elements, taking time to watch our thoughts and remembering the sacredness of family and culture.
“It’s not just Black and Brown cultures that are First Nations, White folks and Asians have some very powerful, simple teachings that can help us and our next gen,” Adrian said.
“Many ancient teachings from our white First Nations have been lost in our haste to survive, gain power and colonise the world. Most of us don’t know there is a common thread in all of them whether it be African, Aboriginal Australian, Celtic, Germanic, Chinese, Middle Eastern, South American, North American, etc. Many Ancient Cultures believe when White, Black, Yellow and Red can come together, the world will be in peace – no suffering, no wars, no inequality. I might be a dreamer but that’s a world I believe we’re creating and that’s a belief my music personifies. I have been known to highlight some of the deeper issues from time to time however, I do so to shine a light on the darkness and give a voice to young people who don’t have the voice.”
When not jamming, the international muso mentors young people in music, teaches young and old Qigong and gets his hands dirty in the garden.
Adrian shares a special memory of a youth workshop and performance he did where even the rain couldn’t dampen the participation.
“I attended a grant writing workshop in Miriam Vale and found the session really helpful. Part of the grant was for my 1770 Festival Performance and a youth workshop. The workshop ended up being rained out but the third-day performance was special; two young girls I’ve been mentoring got up and sang with me and around twenty Discovery Coast Dancers Danced to two songs of mine. It was a great day for the Community.
Adrian runs programs in schools and hopes to use the video as a visual aid for youth mental health workshops in Central Queensland and abroad. He also praises Di Paddick who he says was an ‘unbelievable’ help through the grant writing process and Brigitte James from Gladstone Events.
Adrian will be playing at the Luminous Festival at Toondoon Gardens on July 16, and Auckland House on the 17th. Sevenfold Peace is now available on Spotify/Apple Music from July, 4 as well as his animation music video released on Youtube.