Panel 1 (7pm – 8pm): The Power of a Collective: Communities & Safe Spaces
Eva Davies – Label Manager of Come Play With Me
@evaseivad @cpwmco @cpwmrecords
Eva is the Label Manager at Come Play With Me. She plays in FIKA and at the age of 16 she set up event promoter, GRRLS DO THAT TOO, which celebrates women and people of marginalised genders in the local music scene. Playing and performing music from a young age has given Eva insight into the treatment of underrepresented people throughout the industry. After working as a Freelance Advisor for Youth Music, Eva is a part of their Next Gen and has received a Young Citizens Award for her events that aim to combat gender inequality in the industry. She won Youth Music’s Young Entrepreneur Award for her work in creating safe spaces and now DJs all around Leeds.
Parisa East – Artistic Director of Acoustickle
Parisa East is a musician, event director and entrepreneur based in Nottingham. In 2022 she received an AIM Award as regional Local Hero, nominated by BBC Introducing’s Dean Jackson. Since 2009 Parisa has brought thousands of artists and audience together for enchanting, decorated, intimate live music events that have helped launch the careers of creatives from a range of disciplines. Acoustickle prioritises jazz, R&B, soul and hip hop, but also anyone with a captivating musical energy. Working on other event brands, Parisa has booked legendary artists like Roy Ayers, Grandmaster Flash, Jake Bugg, Big Daddy Kane, DJ Premier, and around 1000 emerging up and coming artists from across the globe.
Emma O’Neill – Founder of Make A Scene
Originally from Liverpool, Emma left her hometown to study at NTU and spent most of her student loan on amps and guitars. From this, she started a punk band and toured around the world, played in numerous bands, and is one of the interviewees in the documentary ‘So, Which Band is Your Boyfriend In?’ which focuses on women in the DIY scene in the UK. Based on her own experiences and a survey of 200 Nottingham Musicians she conducted in 2021, Emma has founded the organisation ‘Make a Scene’ whose aim is to signpost ways to support and advocate for women and non-binary people in the DIY/ Punk/ Alternative scene in Nottingham and the UK.
Panel 2 (8:05 – 9pm): Joyful Disruption: Challenging Industry Norms & Amplifying Voices
Carol Leeming – International Music Artist, Composer & Polymath+
@stardiva on Twitter
Carol Leeming (MBE elected Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, Winner Outstanding Woman in Arts Music & Media East Midlands Women’s Awards, currently the Patron of EMWA) is from Leicester, of Jamaican parentage, and hailed as a polymath. Carol is Director and Lead Artist of Dare to Diva, a business established over 18 years. Carol is an acclaimed international music artist, having worked with a global major as well as independent labels and publishers including Warner Bros, Sony and Peer Music.
Carol’s current Afrofuturistic band is Carol Leeming & The Random Acts of Senseless Beauty, performing her songs of Soul/ RnB/ Folk/ Funk. Carol has performed onstage alongside USA über-diva legends Jocelyn Brown, Martha Walsh, Rosie Gaines, Jeanie Tracey and UK singers Juliet Roberts and Angie Brown. A song she wrote and sang features on the soundtrack of Trainspotting and her vocals featured on Staxx hit Joy, included on the soundtrack of Hollywood film Angie.
Carol’s successful roles include über-diva performer, singer-songwriter/ musician/ composer, music director, ensemble leader, music educator and consultant, vocal coach, curator/programmer and producer.
Carol is a member of several national music organisations including Black Lives in Music; Women in Jazz Media; The F-List and Women in Ctrl.
Neeta – Musician, Artist, Composer-Producer
Wildly innovative and versatile, Neeta is an electronic musician, composer/producer and vocalist. You’ll find her straddling all kinds of boundaries – whether that’s between genres (like trip-hop and Indian fusion, dark ambient and synth pop) or the relationship between music production and live performance. From creating sample packs to composing for musicals, to unveiling interactive AI music software at the Science Museum, she has an impressively diverse body of work as a composer/producer. As an independent solo artist, Neeta blends a melting pot of influences to create her brand of soulful, groovy, experimental electronica. With a passion for sampling, her music is scattered with sounds and synths she created out of everyday objects like stones, twigs, kettles and hairdryers. Neeta’s solo live performances are a majestic experience that see her looping & multi-tasking between an elaborate set-up of synthesizers, drum pads and midi controllers, whilst interweaving her delicate, ethereal vocals.
Yay Maria – Musician, Artist, Composer-Producer, Videographer
YAY MARIA (she/her) is a transgender musician from the UK who makes queer pop music for feelz and boogying. She began the project in 2019 as a way to document her transition and released two albums, ‘LEPIDOPTERA’ (2019) and ‘OYEZ’ (2021), as well as a lockdown fundraising single for the Radical Therapist Network. 2023 will see the release of follow-up E.P.‘SUPERBIA’.
Maria entered the music world as teenager, playing in rock four-piece My Psychoanalyst for ten years and touring the UK extensively. The band secured management and played a Maida Vale session for BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stephens.
Maria began producing ambient dreampop under the moniker Grawl!x, releasing a trilogy of albums about grief (2015-2018). Gigging extensively as Grawl!x, she developed a preference for playing in churches, finding their ambience and reverberance naturally suited to her work. In 2020 with an expanded five-person line-up, Grawl!x completed a short UK headline tour including a London show for intersectional feminist promoter Get In Her Ears.
Yay Maria is also a filmmaker and producer of over 20 music videos for both her own projects and for Seas Of Mirth, Umbilica and Haiku Salut.