“I am a child of the sky
And I learned to fly” TimoTi Sannikov
TimoTi Sannikov is one of those incredible young artists who somehow manages to capture the unique flavour of their own culture and express it in a way that is both engaging and original. This 13-year-old Israeli has gained recognition as a highly talented performer, not only in Israel, but also in Russia, Italy, France, chzech-republic, Latvia and, recently, Ukraine. TimoTi is no stranger to major stage and TV productions such as ‘Billy Eliot’ the musical (2016) and ‘The Voice’ (2015/2016).
Rather than listing his many achievements, however, I want to explore what inspires and motivates TimoTi. My regular readers will be noticing a theme emerging in Torchlight Talent by now when I reveal that a large part of TimoTi’s success is down to his supportive and extremely musical family! I am personally eternally grateful to my own family who bestowed on me a love of music and creativity and gave me the space (physically and emotionally) to experiment with my art. TimoTi told me that he has always loved performing on stage and from the age of three he was playing on a synthesiser or piano to accompany himself while trying to write his own music. Like me, I would guess that growing up in a home filled with music was hugely influential for TimoTi. He says:
“I have an older brother Denis and sister Alika. Alika plays the saxophone, and Denis plays the synthesizer. I am the vocalist and all three of us dance! We give performances and organize flash mobs as a show group called “SannikovsLand”.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who would love to be in the crowd when SannikovsLand starts to play! But more about TimoTi…
Without a doubt, TimoTi’s greatest work to date is his visually and vocally stunning music video ‘To Fly’ (Летать). The Sannikovs sent me this great description of what is easily one of the most unique and powerful music videos I have ever seen:
“Shot in one of the most beautiful and mysterious places in Israel – Timna Park, located in the south, the valley of the oldest copper mine in the world. TimoTi Sannikov spreads his wings and flies, knowing that the world is a fairy tale, full of love. He urges us to fly with him and feel his joy!”
Being a dour Scotsman raised in the famously emotionally repressed British culture, it is always hugely uplifting to watch videos like this that seem to radiate life and energy! There is something particularly special about hearing young artists singing in their native language and I love the warm and familiarly, mildly guttural sound of TimoTi’s Hebrew lyrics. One of the lines in ‘To Fly’ translates roughly as:
I am a child of the sky
And I learned to fly
I have come to understand that so many young performers can only feel ‘at home’ when they are freely using their God-given talents and energies. I love this image of being ‘child of the sky’; belonging to a place above and beyond the expectations of a ‘normal’ life; only being at peace when they – proverbially – learn to fly. This is so poignantly true of TimoTi and young artists like him.
TimoTi has a dream to sing on the Junior Eurovision song contest and the Carnegie Hall in the USA. We would like to sincerely wish him well with his ambition and assure him that the sky is the limit for him!
In addition to his singing, TimoTi is a talented dancer in modern, classic and breakdance styles. He has won more than 20 medals in dance competitions around the world! Thanks to his experience in ‘Billy Eliot’ The Musical, he is now also competent in tap dancing. TimoTi says:
“I love to work and collaborate on new projects; and I love to meet new people around the world!”
There seems to be no limit to his enthusiasm for life! During a three month sabbatical travelling with his family, TimoTi discovered a passion for climbing. Unsurprisingly has has already received awards for this new hobby!
TimoTi highlighted his mother as the person who gives hims strength to persevere in his dream. On many occasions he described the support and encouragement he receives from his family but also mentioned many others that have helped him on his journey. In TimoTi’s own words:
“I want to tell my family: “THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!” for all the time they give to support me and help me!!! Thank you, also to my teachers and my friend, and thanks to all the professionals and good people who I have found on my way.”
TimoTi was also keen to mention how helpful the support he receives on his social media can be in provoking concerts and other opportunities. Do follow him as he starts to fly and learns to soar!
Perhaps slightly unconventionally I want to end this article by sharing another of TimoTi’s videos that he shot about two or three years ago. This is a Psalm of David shot on location in Jerusalem. Suffice to say, I found this video very moving, as much for the location as for young TimoTi’s endearing performance. It is truly an honour for Torchlight Talent to feature an increasingly diverse array of young talent from around the world who – for all their uniqueness – always possess the same inspirational qualities and remind us that no matter where we call home, we are not so different after all.
You are truly a child of the sky TimoTi. We look forward to watching you fly!