Please share with us a little bit about you in five words. Could you describe yourself?
My name is Cherub. I’m a sound artist living in London, West London by the canal with my two beautiful sisters, aka best friends and my little jungle rescued cat, Salba. I am so happy in life, really blessed and honoured to know that I wake up and get to do what I love every single day and what I’ve chosen to do.
Not only do I love it, but it helps other people and it contributes to the evolution of our humanity. I’m really happy with choosing to have focused on sound healing as my primary purpose for life. I’ve spent a lot of time in different cultures and communities and am happy to now be based in London and I am in my mid-30s.
Five words, Effervescent, imaginative, creative, loving, and joyful.
Tell us a little bit about your journey, what brought you to where you are now?
I grew up in childhood with a family that was literally handcrafted by God Himself, just the most incredible upbringing. I went to university in Newcastle, graduated first-class business degree. I then travelled for about six years and spent time in different cultures in America, the Caribbean, India, Thailand, all over South America, a couple of crazy seasons in Ibiza too. Lots of fun, lots of adventure…fun and festivals, fancy dress and really just absolutely zero direction in life other than being in the present moment. It was at that point, in that chapter of my life where I discovered sound in a way because I spent time immersing myself in all these different tribes and cultures, where sound is ultimately the creative force of that community and that tribe. The sound whether it was you know, self-generating sound through singing, drumming, chanting, mantras, flutes, all manner of different experiences of sound. I lived through when I was travelling. I can see quite clearly that sound just transcends all boundaries and borders, in all cultures. And yet, it’s found in all cultures, sound is everywhere. It’s the universal language of connection. And that then became…lit my soul up more than anything I’ve ever experienced before. So I knew that when I came back to the UK, I wanted to somehow integrate sound into my life, not really understanding what it was, didn’t even know about sound healing as a concept. Because you remember back then 10 years ago, it wasn’t really a thing like it is now. So, moved back to the UK in 2010 and wanted to work with sound and I originally started a company called ‘Play Around Sound’ which was exploring music, poetry and play for primary school children and doing birthday parties and that was my passion. And we were just hitting tambourines and singing and making silly sounds. And that was my…I loved it. It was really a huge part of my identity back then. Then one thing led to another as fate would have it, I met Tim Wheater, who is the absolute godfather of sound. He and as you very well know, because we co-trained you together. And that is what then just absolutely shifted me onto a whole new timeline. And I became absolutely fascinated with how sound can be used as a tool for healing and transformation. And there is a sacred art and a science and wisdom and a majesty to sound as a healing modality. And I became fascinated with how the power of it can help to heal and transform the physical, the mental, the spiritual, the emotional. So, from that day forward, I then dedicated my life to that. And I’m now a decade strong in that journey, and it lights me up in every single angle of my being. And I’m so happy to be sharing the wisdom of sound with the world.
What has been your biggest inspiration with the work that you do and share?
I can only honestly truly hand on heart, say who because ultimately, it’s the maestro, it’s the master. It’s Tim Wheater. He is, you know, the major…one of the major founding voices in the whole sound healing movement, how could he not be my greatest inspiration, it would be doing him a disservice to say anything other than him because he was one of the people that championed this back in the early 80s. And helped to bring it here alongside many other…a handful of other key players and pioneers. And I was so lucky to be trained by him in 2011 and absolutely clung on for dear life to his coattails, he could not shake me off. So, I evolved from his assistant carrying his chimes and his bags to becoming a full-scale equal partner…partnership in terms of contribution, not in terms of skill because he’ll always be my teacher and my sensei in a way. But there isn’t a day goes by where I don’t take some level of inspiration from him. And how lucky for me to be in an alliance with somebody who is always almost twice my age, who was born at a time when the world was a different place. So imagine his outlook on the world, he was born at a time when the wireless would announce that the Beatles were going to go live on the radio, so that families would gather around the wireless at the set time. And they would be there, and they would listen to the Beatles then you’d go down to the park and to the pubs and they will talk about that performance. So the way he talks about sound now is so animated because that was all there was to talk about back then, we didn’t have the distractions that we have now. So, he really helps me to remember the importance of music in our lives. That is all we have it. So it’s this…it transcends the noise of life and just his outlook on life in terms of like global ideas, right down to the, you know, the whisperings of the soul. He inspires me every day and I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am now without him. So yeah, shoutout Tim Wheater just for being yeah, the greatest friend, big brother or teacher anyone could ever ask for.
What sparks joy in your life? What really, truly lights you up? It can be big or small?
I mean, a superhero film at the IMAX, I mean, why not with a half pink, half blue ice blast. But ultimately, I would probably say that the truest and most powerful thing that sparks joy in me is learning a new instrument. And I probably would have said that post lock…pre-lockdown, I probably would have said rooftop cocktails with my sisters and best friends or maybe travelling. But honestly, with all of that taken away what has brought joy this past year, learn a new instrument, my beautiful boyfriend bought me a piano early lock-down. And I’ve never been much of a musician. You know, being a sound artist doesn’t necessarily equate to being a world-class musician like Tim. You know, I’m a bit more percussive and a bit less structured in my approach to music. So, I don’t really understand keys and chords but I went for it. And there was a moment in peak lockdown where times were tough and the narrative for fear was being pushed strong. And I was learning ‘Let it be’ on the piano with the Beatles. And I had it on YouTube. They would…it was playing live. And I was playing it and I finally got it. And I was playing in time with the speed and volume of the song on YouTube and honestly, it was a moment I was like “I’m doing this…I’m doing it! I’m playing!” And it truly is when you learn a new instrument you can never feel alone, because if you’ve got that instrument, it’s like, it’s the gift that you give to yourself to… at that moment to learn initially. But then that instrument and that skill set will give back to you for the rest of your life. So I’ve got that song now that I can go to when I feel sad. And it’s honestly, the greatest gift is to be able to have an instrument at home, no matter how grand or small, because you’ll never feel alone.
What are your favourite soul or self-care practices right now that you can share with us?
It’s so important to hear what everyone else is doing, isn’t it because it inspires you? I actually did a medicine ceremony a few weeks ago. And I was just saying, I need…I need solace from my mind from everything. It’s so heavy and there’s so much going on in my head for all of us, you know, the concerns about the future and stuff like that. And I just asked the question out into the darkness, just put it out there, how can I find solace, and a voice came back in really strong and said, sit with yourself in solitude, sing and pray, those were the three tips that I got given. And pre-lockdown, I would have been too busy to pay attention to that I’ve got a livelihood, I’ve got goals and ambitions to achieve. But it’s at this point where we all need to start to do that inner work. So I started to do it. And I’ve been doing now for taking like I say three weeks. But honestly, when I sit in solitude, as simple as this advice is, sit with yourself on your own, it literally feels like breathing in life source. And I’m getting my strength from it. So rather than telling you to go and pay for healing, or to journal or to do things, because I’ve very much all been about like active, very conscious, self-care practices, which I’ve got loads of those as well. But at the moment, it’s about the stillness, the calm because I think that’s what I’m needing to balance out the frenetic energy of the collective and of the inner workings of the labyrinth of my own mind. So the solitude is helping. And I don’t mean isolation, I don’t mean, be alone and cut yourself off in the world. Because that ultimately, it’s like cutting off the life source. Being in solitude means, you know, you’re actually…you’re actively in it. And you’re, you’re intending to do that to sit and pray. And praying I’ve been doing too for the first time since I was a kid, I’ve been going out to the trees and just actually hands together and just actually genuinely praying. Because why not at this point, I feel like we’ve got to hedge our bets. Call on all the gods (Laughs) to find peace.
During these times that we are experiencing as a collective, in what ways are you seeing the importance of community?
Oh, it’s a lifeline. Because in many ways, lockdown was a gift. Yes, it was a struggle for us all in so many ways. But this planetary pause that we’ve all been forced into, it actually became this amazing opening and opportunity to reflect into that space that we’ve all been cultivating for years. We’ve the workshops, we bought the tickets, we bought the books, we’ve done the work, we lit the candles, we did the womb ceremonies in the bath, we’ve done it all, pre lockdown, lockdown comes and it’s like, here’s a space to actually integrate all the spiritual work we’ve done over the past, however many years. So what I’m loving about where we’re at right now is that there’s been a real sense of a revival of community spirit. I’ve never been so in touch with our network, you know, pre lockdown, we were doing gigs every month, people would come do the gig. Thank you, good night. Whereas now, because we’ve got these consecrated technological haven, Zoom’s becomes zion, and everyone is watching our gigs than ever before and it’s helping us to just re-engage with our sacred nature more. We’re yes, we are isolated in a way, but it’s pushing us out into nature, and helping us feel that sense of community for more of a global tribal perspective, I’m spending way more time in nature than ever before, meeting people for walks rather than on rooftops. And it just feels so much more natural. So really, what’s happening is we’re starting to all ascend to a higher frequency together. Because we’re caring more about each other. We’re reaching out because we need to, because it’s what we need to do to survive. A phone call is a lifeline. It wasn’t before, I’d blank phone calls. But now I’m understanding how important it is that we all are there for each other. So, I think what’s happened during lockdown is that we are now redesigning what it means to be human. And we’re actually realizing, how can we get more aligned with the rhythms of nature. How can we become more connected to our community and how can we commune with the natural world in a way that’s more aligned to the higher callings of our soul. So thanks very much, you know, it actually has been a gift if we’re prepared to see it.
“We are all star sparks of the Divine in perfect human form. We are here to hold and be a higher frequency, trusting that the frequency that we hold in every moment is helping to shape the future and the evolution of our soul. “
Inspire our Breathe Love community, can you share with us a favourite quote, affirmation or maybe a poem or song to inspire us?
I have a poem for you.
The only solution to the tyrannical persecution is the people rising up in a peaceful revolution. Let’s no longer presume we can endlessly consume, slow down, breathe with nature, and the flowers will bloom. While chaos and confusion spiral around, we remain centred with feet on the ground. Go barefoot in nature to fire up your chi. Missing hugs from a human, get that love from a tree. Breathe in that fresh air upon Hampstead Heath, do coconut oil pulling to look after your teeth. Use this time to go inside and take care of yourself. Read that book you’ve been storing away on your shelf. Trust and let go. What will be, will be…no matter what happens, in your heart you are free. Be kind, love each other. Treat the earth like your mother. Keep the faith, don’t buy into the political pantomime. Walk this world with pride. It’s human nature to thrive. Take a deep breath and remember love wins every time.
Share with us something that you are really proud of?
This has to be the peak of my sound journey over the past 10 years. Me and Tim got an opportunity to perform, what would you call it…a soundtrack I guess that we created with a music producer Martyn Ware, he was in a band called Heaven 17 back in the day and we went to Germany and performed in the Elbphilharmonie orchestra hall with Martin and Weil Gregory from Goldfrapp, and Adrian Utley from Portishead, and the Moog orchestra. So there was a synth orchestra of 15 musicians behind us and me and Tim represented humanity and they represented machine and it was the fusion between humans and technology. And we’d then gone into the studio beforehand and curated this 45-minute piece, with [inaudible 00:23:30], flutes, voice. They then fused it via the Moog orchestra, we performed that live in front of 3000 people in one of the greatest orchestra halls on the planet. And so, me and Tim would create a piece live like a vocal piece or a flute, and then they would emulate it on the synth behind us. So it was call and response like [Inaudible 00:23:50] but with human and machine, and it was incredible. So to be on stage with those huge pioneers who have done incredible things in their lives, quite frankly, I was way out of my depth and I was playing with the big boys in a room I shouldn’t have frankly been in…it was only for Tim that I was there. And I remember we were standing about to go on stage, I’ve never stood in front of 3000 people before, never mind sung in front of them. I had an amazing yellow sequined dress on and pink hair. So that made up for half of it. We’re stood about to go on and Tim isn’t fazed by that. He’s performed all over the world. He grabbed my hand and just said he didn’t even look at me. He was looking head-on I’ll never forget this. Looking head-on at the stage. He went “Just fucking enjoy it” and then walked on and I just hovered behind him. And it was such an amazing moment of like, he just grabbed my hand and he was basically saying, sister we’ve got this. Don’t take it too seriously just relax and enjoy yourself. And it was yeah, it was one of my greatest achievements and filled with pure pride to be able to be there on that stage and what a feeling. You can see how people get addicted to it. The big rock stars, it’s an incredible feeling.
What is your favourite practice that connects you to heart-ki, hearty energy? Could you share with us a tip or tool?
Mantra 100% mantra, I use it as a tool as a really…as a practical, precise tool. And the way that mantra works its way around the body, you wouldn’t believe. It’s so precise that it taps certain points along the roof of the mouth that sends signals to the hypothalamus that send this neuro firework display just cascading throughout the brain and the body, it is the ultimate tool for transformation, for solace, for peace, for redemption, it really is the greatest way to feel grace and peace in the heart. I’m currently in the middle of a 40-day Ganesha mantra, which is the removal of obstacles in life. And I can already see it working, I do it every day, 108 times, it takes about 15 minutes to do that so. And some days if I don’t have a lot of time, I’ll do it 15 times, or 18 times when I’m walking. So there’s no excuse not to do it. You don’t have to light the candles, get your little Buddha statue out and get your mala beads, you doesn’t have to be that rigid. Any spiritual practice, anything that is going to benefit your life can just literally be…in the shower, quick chant a mantra 18 times it can be that free and expressive. So for me, it’s really been a very powerful tool, it’s helping to harness the mind, deliver me from the absolute manic-ness levels of madness that my brain can get to, it helps you feel connected, it opens my heart. And afterwards, you just sit in a stillness that is left behind from the noise and the pure tone of the mantra. And it’s addictive. It really is. It comforts you and it’s like a cradle…a lullaby. And so it’s almost worth chanting the mantra just to get to the silence at the other side. Brings you back to that place of stillness and solitude.
Rest the palms of your hands on your heart centre, take a soft breath and share with us a message from your heart to ours?
We are all star sparks of the Divine in perfect human form. We are here to hold and be a higher frequency, trusting that the frequency that we hold in every moment is helping to shape the future and the evolution of our soul.
Cherub is a sound artist, teacher and inspirational speaker; the founder of Cherabella; her own brand of healing instruments, and Sister Sound Circle; a global sonic support network for women. She is dedicated to sharing the transformational powers of sound. She says, “Now more than ever, we are being called to tune up our own personal frequency, and hold the vision strong to birth a beautiful new world. The keys to living a high vibrational life lie in the ancient wisdom of energy, frequency and vibration.”
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This interview has been transcribed and taken from our Breathe Love audio series. To listen to Davids full interview (recorded May 2021) in full, please click here
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