The Black Eyed Peas arrived discreetly into Sydney airport last night (Sep 28), where they attended a private ‘Welcome to Country’ ceremony performed by noted Indigenous elder Aunty Sylvia Scott.
The traditional Aboriginal ceremony, which took place after hours in the Virgin Blue Lounge and also welcomed the ‘NOMAD Two Worlds’ collaborative art project, which has been an Indigenous protocol for thousands of years.
will.i.am, Fergie, Taboo and apl.de.ap, collectively
known as The Black Eyed Peas,
are welcomed by Virgin Blue staff
It marked the official launch of The Black Eyed Peas Australian tour and was in stark contrast to the frenzied fanfare that usually greets the band where ever they go in the world.
The three-time Grammy Award-winning, multi-platinum recording group are touring Australia on the back of their fifth studio album, The E.N.D and Virgin Blue is official airline for Australian leg of The Black Eyed Peas The E.N.D. World Tour.
The significance of the ‘Welcome to Country’ ceremony for The Black Eyed Peas was two-fold. First and foremost it was a mark of respect for Indigenous Australians but it was also to show their support for the reconciliation movement; a topic which is the inspiration behind the ‘NOMAD Two Worlds’ project, which is supported by The Black Eyed Peas, Virgin Blue and V Australia.
Coinciding with The Black Eyed Peas tour, the ‘NOMAD Two Worlds’ preview exhibition, presented by V Australia, opens in Melbourne on October 8.
‘NOMAD Two Worlds’ features sweeping, multimedia art conceived by acclaimed fashion photographer, Russell James, and inspired and co-created by Indigenous Australian artists, highlighting the work of Clifton Bieundurry.
Will.i.am, the front man of The Black Eyed Peas, has also collaborated on `NOMAD Two Worlds’ by helping NOMAD produce a music film for the project entitled “Apology (It’s Time)” featuring Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s apology speech and celebrities such as Hugh Jackman.
“We have massive respect for Indigenous music and art and through our involvement with the Nomad project we have learned a lot about Australian Indigenous art and culture and that’s why we wanted to pay our respect,” said will.i.am.
Virgin Blue Group general manager public affairs, Heather Jeffery, said: “We’re really proud to be associated with both the Black Eyed Peas Tours and NOMADS Two Worlds and we were honoured to have Aunty Sylvia Scott extend a traditional ‘Welcome to Country’ within our terminal.
“Over the next few weeks while the group is touring and NOMAD welcomes many visitors, many Australians will have the opportunity to experience not only great music and amazing contemporary art but also the important underlying message of respect for indigenous Australians,” she said.