"People have woven my music into the fabric of their lives,” singer-songwriter Toni Childs says.

PODCAST: Toni Childs on the world's real rock stars

You better Stop Your Fussin' and make sure you Don't Walk Away because today's guest has one of the most unique voices of our time.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Toni Childs' debut album, Union and she is currently playing to packed crowds around the country for her Retrospective National Tour.

In her Coffee Chat with Matt, Toni shares her greatest Bob Dylan story, talks about why beekeepers are the real rock stars and reveals the best song she never wrote.

LISTEN: Get the full interview with Toni Childs here:

Matt Collins:

Forty-seven shows so far, do you feel like you have done 47 shows in a short amount of time?

 

Toni Childs:

I do.

 

MC:

You do sound a little bit croaky. Now you've just finished five nights in a row. What do you do to keep your unique and remarkable voice at its best?

 

TC:

Well, one of the things I do is called the straw technique. Basically it soothes and calms the voice box down. I have had a lot of weeks where I have had five nights in a row. So now I have these days off and I will just bring it down to a rest. I'll be drinking lots of licorice tea which is a natural steroid and not talking. So after I talk to you, that'll be it.

 

MC:

Well, I'll make the most of our time together then. You believe the real rock stars are our beekeepers. Can you explain why?

 

TC:

Well, right now on the planet, a lot of people will have seen on the news that we are experiencing a pollinator collapse. It hasn't really happened here in Australia, but in the US, Canada and Europe there has been a huge collapse, not only with the bees, but with the insects as a whole. In Germany, 75 per cent of the insects have disappeared, also in France. But what's happened is the immune system of the bees has now been affected and it has weakened them. So, I am wanting to make the bee a protected species.

 

MC:

I want to take you right back to when your first album, Union first came out. I'm old enough too remember that, 30 years ago. When you hear that, does it make you feel old? Or are you quite proud that your songs have stood the test of time?

 

TC:

Well that's it, I think in the back of every artist's heart you hope that your work will stand the test of time and live on. Doing this tour has certainly proven that. It's such a lovely thing to know that your music has touched people in the way that it has. People have woven my music into the fabric of their lives. I'm honoured and humbled.

 

MC:

You said people come to you and tell you your music has helped them through tough times. Is there a story that has stuck with you from one of your fans?

 

TC:

Almost daily people are writing me and sending me emails. I have heard from children, that their mum was in a really bad scenario with their dad. Their dad was really suffering and they needed to leave and they said my song really helped that to happen. I have had men come up to me and said, "I want you to know I am 26 years sober because of your song".

 

MC:

Your first national tour way back when was opening for Bob Dylan. Tell me about your time with Dylan.

 

TC:

Well, the first couple of shows were in Philadelphia and they were warm-up shows. The very first night I was playing and I was about four songs in and the audience wasn't giving me a lot of love. So I said to them, "OK, guys, I just have to tell you, I'm totally freaking out because I am opening for this legend Bob Dylan and I need you guys to give me a break". They ended being really generous and super lovely. When I was walking up to the dressing room after the show somebody pulled on my robe and I turned around. Behind me was Bob Dylan. He looked up at me and said, "Toni, you can call me anything, but don't call me a legend".

 

MC:

Is there a song out there that you wish you wrote?

 

TC:

There is a song called Fix you by Coldplay. That is genius music and I love what he says in there. I covered it once in a live show. He is such a beautiful writer and living in his heart. We need more artists living in their heart and expressing their journey to us.

LISTEN: Get the full interview with Toni Childs here: