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CC SunChild

CC Sunchild enters a room like a song, her movements all flow and harmony. When she speaks, you lean in and listen, and when she performs her music, it seems like her song is singing her, rather than the other way around.

Sunchild began honing her remarkable musical gifts at an early age — eventually studying music at Spelman College, Berklee College of Music and Georgia State University. She has traveled the world while working with such artists as Patti LaBelle, Dionne Farris, Raphael Saadiq, India.Arie and Bobby McFerrin.

She describes her work as “happy … infused with love and sunshine.” And indeed, you can hear the joy and light effortlessly pervading her ethereal song she composed for NEXT and MARTA Artbound’s The NEXT Movement, entitled “La Dee Dah”.

In this interview with NEXT Executive Director P. Faith Carmichael, Sunchild describes how the pandemic and racial reckoning of the past two and a half years forced her to find a new way of making music and connecting with people, and shares why she has joined the NEXT Movement. See her work | Buy her work

Photos by: Terence Rushin and Steve West


NEXT: How were you artistically impacted by the pandemic and the social justice protests that rose up at the same time?
CC Sunchild: During the pandemic, my work screeched to a halt. Like, I couldn’t write anything. I couldn’t find the words to express what I was feeling. We’ve been asking questions for so long, we’ve been asking for things for so long, and it felt like I didn’t have any more questions to ask. I didn’t have any more tears to cry. I almost felt numb. And while my music didn’t feel numb, I couldn’t find the words to feel it, if that makes sense. So I threw out words altogether, and I started to move more into tones and frequencies, using those to heal myself and heal others through the music.
NEXT: Can you describe how your artistic process changed as you worked with those frequencies?
CC Sunchild: I had gotten to a place where words no longer seemed to serve me, so I had to reach down or reach up to another place and find sounds that spoke to me and sounds that spoke to others — frequencies and vibration and resonance became my focus. How do tones make people feel when there are no words? I began to recognize and use my voice itself as an instrument because I wasn’t using words anymore. I found other places in my voice to explore and stopped trying to be normal — you know, the “normal” approaches to singing and creating rhythms.
NEXT: What did those explorations of your voice reveal to you?
CC Sunchild: I would see what other kinds of sounds I could find and how they made my body and emotions feel. When I was around other people, like my family, I would also practice on them and ask, “Where are you feeling this in your body?” So that’s where my healing practice in music really began to blossom.
NEXT: What would you offer to those who say there is no hope, no way out of this hard place we find ourselves in?
CC Sunchild: I would say we are the way. I believe we are doors, we are bridges, we are connectors, and we are also imaginaries. We are the visionaries, the lovers, the touch, the voice, the actual physical movement. Nothing can be done without us recognizing who we are as the way, as the door, as the movement, as the change. So I believe there cannot not be a way. We are always the way.
NEXT: How does your music effect change? How does it help make a way for others?
CC Sunchild: I want to create new inner worlds. I believe music can transport people, and I want my work to take them somewhere else, somewhere different, somewhere more peaceful, even if it’s just for two or three minutes. That’s also why I want to be part of the NEXT Movement: It’s a call for artists to come together and collaborate in meaningful and powerful ways to bring about real change, especially at a time like this. And for myself, I believe my presence is a portal, and my voice is a channel. I can help us all go up, go there, go wherever we want to be — a literal movement into our becoming.

5 Artists. Many Stories. 1 Movement.

NEXT joined forces with MARTA to amplify the voices of Atlanta’s premier artists reflecting on a post-pandemic world dealing with a cultural reckoning.

At NEXT, we are about more than art for art’s sake. At NEXT, we believe that together we can use our individual creative expression to find solutions to our community’s intractable social challenges. Through our talents and our passion, NEXT unleashes the potential of creative communities in order to inspire countless others who share our vision to get involved.