World Day Against Child Labour

‘Til Everyone Can See - Thai rock stars use their talents to fight child labour

To mark World Day Against Child Labour, Thailand's biggest rock stars have worked with the International Labour Organization on the first national language cover version of the song 'Til Everyone Can See.

Feature | Thailand | 10 June 2015
BANGKOK (ILO News) - It’s hard to write something about Toon of Bodyslam and Foet of Slot Machine, Thailand’s top rock stars, that has not already been heard in Thailand.

Thais all know that Toon is a keen athlete, a passionate ping-pong player, a soft spoken and kind-hearted kind of guy who fizzes with energy during performances.

But what’s less well known is that Toon of Bodyslam and Foet of Slot Machine recently joined the global campaign against child labour by covering a song for the International Labour Organization (ILO), the UN agency that deals with workplace issues and standards.

The song is ‘Til Everyone Can See.

What song, and why them?

It was written by Incubus guitarist Mike Einziger and violinist Ann Marie Simpson, who then recorded it with their friends, the artists Travis Barker, Minh Dang, Dominic Lewis, LIZ, Pharrell Williams, and Hans Zimmer.

The artists all joined the ILO in the fight against child labour, and donated their talents for the ILO’s Red Card to Child Labour Campaign last year.

This year, for World Day Against Child Labour (June 12), the ILO wanted to continue raising awareness of the child labour issue through music. So the Organization invited the Thai stars to help by creating and releasing the first cover version, in Thai of ‘Til Everyone Can See. The recording features Toon and his band Bodyslam as well as Foet, the lead singer of Slot Machine.

“I think the original version of ‘Til Everyone Can See is charming,” said Toon. “I thought it would be great to do the Thai version to get all Thai people to know its meaning, get to communicate the song’s well meaning in the way that Thai people can understand.”

“I would like everyone to lend a helping hand. For those who have money, you can help financially. For others, you can help with your actions. I would like it to start with each one of us. We have to help. Whatever we can do, we should do it. The way I can help is by singing,” said Foet.

World Day Against Child Labour this year focuses particularly on the importance of quality education as a key step in tackling child labour, and the campaign message is: NO to child labour – YES to quality education! This makes the involvement of Toon and Foet particularly appropriate because not only are they very successful musicians, they are also good role models when it comes to showing the importance of education. Both have degrees from Thailand’s top universities.

Rock stars are often presented with a lot of temptations. But Toon says education helped him restrain himself when having to make decisions on certain things.

“It has helped me live outside the system, but with a certain immunity,” said Toon. “Also it gave me good friends. My guitar bass player is my old friend from high school. It’s been 20 years and we are still good friends.”

Both of them said they were lucky that their families did not put pressure on them over what to study. Foet loved to draw when he was young, but preferred to do it himself without taking lessons. In the same way he achieved much of his career success in singing through listening to a lot of music in the car while traveling with his family.

“When I become a dad, I’ll do the same to my kids,” said Foet. “I’ll observe what they are interested in and let them do it.”

Both said they owed a lot of their success to education.

“I often advise my fans to keep going with school,” said Toon. “Having a degree is like having a back-up. When the passion you want to pursue doesn’t work out, you still have a back-up.”

Foet said that education had given him options in life, which others did not have.

“I’ve seen children begging or selling garlands on the streets. I think there is no child who does this willingly,” said Foet. “I feel sorry about it and I try to figure out why this is happening, and how to solve this problem. And the only answer is education.”

Join Toon of Bodyslam, Foet of Slot Machine and the ILO to fight child labour.

Free download ‘Til Everyone Can See - the Thai version:

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