For the fifth year running In Place Of War presents Voices Of The Revolution. We are bringing together an inspirational line up of all-female musicians from Ghana, Brazil, Zimbabwe, Colombia, Bangladesh, Rwanda, Venezuela, Egypt and the UK, to collaborate, create and perform with each other. They will be under the musical direction of Errollyn Wallen, the UK’s first black female composer for the Proms. They will perform together collectively as ‘Voices of the Revolution’.
From women reclaiming the djembe in Rwanda to an Egyptian accordionist, to a Brazilian favela-based dancehall artist to Zimbabwe’s rap queen, this will be a unique musical work, previewed at Ronnie Scott’s, and then performed at Shambala Festival, Pop in Brixton, Festival No. 6 and Hull Freedom Festival.
For many of the artists this will be their first time outside their home countries. Through the project and the music produced we aim to provide a platform for female artists in places of conflict to tell their stories, share their cultures and take part in a life-changing experience.
Video of AWA – African Women Arise
Meet the Artists
Errollyn Wallen (MBE) – musical director (Belize/UK)
Errollyn is an internationally renowned composer and singer- songwriter. Born in Belize, Errollyn has won numerous awards for her music and was the first woman recipient of the Ivor Novello Award for Classical Music. She founded her own En- semble X and its motto ‘we don’t break down barriers in music, we don’t see any’ reflects her approach as musical director for Voices of the Revolution.
Viover – Singer (Venezuela)
From the age of 9 Joleika Mosquera (Viover) started pouring her soul in her songs wanting to convey a message of social change. She has been described as a fusion of ‘youth, urban sounds, spontaneity, positive energy and irreverent lyrics.’ She uses a cuatro in her songs, composing music specifically for the Venezuelan traditional instruments.
Lei Di Dai – Dance Hall Singer (Brazil)
Lei Di Dai was crowned ‘rainha do dancehall’ aka ‘Queen of the dancehall’ in Brazil by Rolling Stone Brazil. Her music is a blend of dance beats with awareness, positivity and ganja inspiring lyrics. Her debut album ‘Alpha & Omega’ was released in 2008, it was the top selling album in her category, which led to an MTV Award nomination in 2009. She is a spearhead for dancehall culture in São Paulo.
AWA (African Women Arise) – Rapper (Zimbabwe)
We first met AWA in 2014 and fell instantly in love with her electric energy and political lyrics. A 23 year old emcee and vocalist from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, AWA raps about women’s rights, gender based violence and the political struggle in Zimbabwe. The female emcee has shared the stage with artists like Rodney P (UK), Mc Fallacy (UK), Hip Hop Pantsula (South Africa) and Digital Rebels (Zimbabwe) among many others.
Wiyaala – Afro-pop Singer (UK/Ghana)
Wiyaala or as we like to call her ‘The Young Lioness of Africa’ is an AfroPop singer from Funsi, Upper West Ghana. Her powerful voice and bold image fuses the giant pop sounds of David Foster with the modern funk and flair of Janelle Monae.
Kiki – Traditional drummer/djembe (Rwanda)
Gakire Katese (Kiki) will be representing Ingoma Nshya – a 20 piece all female drum ensemble composed entirely of Rwandan women – both Hutu and Tutsi. Their traditional drumming spreads the message of reconciliation in Rwanda, a country still affected by the 1994 genocide, as well as in the conflict-racked Kivu region of the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.
Pamela Ospina – Drummer, rhythm guitar, singer (Colombia)
Pamela’s music journey began with the drums at the age of 15. She founded STOMP HRT (a percussion group using recycled ob- jects to make music) from 2002 to 2004 and MALIKONIA (a pop rock band). She’s collaborated with international musicians like Didier Awadi (South Africa) and performed at Festival Altavoz, La Sofónica, Family Fest Medellín, Días de Playa, Medellín Summer Bike, PreForo Mundial de la Bicicleta and many more.
AFRODEUTSCHE – Ableton/synth/keys (UK/Ghanaian/ Russian/German)
Henrietta Smith-Rolla aka Afrodeutsche is a recording artist, producer, singer and DJ based in Manchester. She’s worked with prominent European musicians including Graham Massey, Jim Noir and Paddy Steer. Her work crosses a wide range of styles from classical solo piano to house to Detroit techno and dance.
Kokoroko – Afrobeat brass players, sax, trombone, trum- pet (UK/West Africa)
A new up and coming Afrobeat Collective taking inspiration from the greats such as Ebo Taylor and Fela Kuti, they spe- cialise in a soul shaking, horn fueled sound with West African roots and Inner London hues. Kokoroko means ‘be strong’ in Urhobo – they are a collective of young musicians looking to shake us all up (in a good way!)
Cary Rosa – Cello (Cuba)
Cary is a performer and composer. She started her career in Havana where she studied cello and musical composition. She has been nominated for a Latin Grammy and has toured France, Mexico, Venezuela and Spain. We are de- lighted to welcome her and her cello to the UK.
Sohini Alam – Vocals (UK/Bangladesh)
Sohini’s musical repertoire includes folk, modern and traditional Bengali songs with a specialization in Nazrul Sangeet. She is the lead vocalist for Khiyo and for Kishon Khan’s Afro-Cuban-Bengali jazz band Lokkhi Terra. Her heritage is apparent in her music, having trained in music with her mother and aunts – all renowned Nazrul singers.
Yandass Ndlovu – Physical & Spoken word artist (UK/Zimbabwe)
A freestyle dancer, actor and spoken word artist from Manchester and an upcoming theatre maker, writer and director. Currently studying Dance and Performance at the Arden. Yandass has appeared in FlexN (a Manchester International festival production) alongside Brooklyn dancers and Royal Exchange theatre young company productions ‘Nothing’ and ‘Brink’. Yandass blew away audiences at In Place Of War’s Power Of Hip Hop event at Rich Mix with her electric energy and passion for dance.
Shama Rahman – Sitar & Electronic Glove (UK/ Bangladeshi)
Shama weaves stories that start life as poems and take flight as songs. She is an award winning sitarist, composer and singer. She uses Mi.Mu Gloves, a wearable technology that enables her to control her music with gestures whilst interacting with accompanying dancers
Poetic Pilgrimage – Spoken Word/ Rap (UK/Bristol)
Following our Power Of Hip Hop events at RichMix, we continue our relationship with Poetic Pilgrimage – a British/Muslim hip hop duo exploring topics of gender, faith, citizenship and her- stage.
Youssra El-Hawary – Accordionist/Singer (Egypt)
An Egyptian accordionist, composer, songwriter, singer and actress, Youssra’s songs tell stories about Egypt’s social and political climate. She has swiftly become one of the most strong outspoken female voices in Egypt. Represented by El-Wekala Global.
Wednesday 24th August – Private preview of Voices Of The Revolution & panel discussion ‘Women & Music’ at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club
Friday 26th August – Shambala Festival
Panel Discussion: Rebel Soul 17:30 – 18:30 ‘Women, music and war’
Live Performance: Rebel Soul 19:30 – 21:00. Errollyn Wallen collaboration, Special Guest (in collaboration with VOTR musicians) and Lei Di Dai
Saturday 27th August- Shambala Festival
Panel Discussion: Rebel Soul. 12.30-13.30 ‘Women and Music in Conflict’
Live: Main Stage 15:30 – 16:30. Voices of The Revolution
Live: Rebel Soul 19:30 – 21:30 Special Guest (in collaboration with VOTR musicians), Wiyaala, Poetic Pilgrimage & AWA
Wednesday 31st August, 8 – 10pm – POP Brixton, 49 Brixton Station Rd, London SW9 8PQ. Free entry. Voices of The Revolution performance & Poetic Pilgrimage set.
Friday 2nd September – Festival No.6.
The Village Hall, 19:00 – 22:00
Voices Of The Revolution, solo show from Wiyaala, Special Guest (in collaboration with VOTR musicians), and Lei Di Dai
Saturday 3rd September – Festival No. 6
Gatehouse 13:00 – 14:00 – Screening of AWA documentary film + Q & A
The Village Hall, 19:00 – 22:00. Voices of The Revolution, solo shows from Errollyn Wallen, Special Guest (in collaboration with VOTR musicians) and AWA
Sunday 4th September – Hull Freedom Festival
Main Stage 14:00 – 15:00, Voices Of The Revolution Speak Out Tent 16:45 – 17:15 Wiyaala
Speak Out Tent 17:30 – 18:00 AWA
Media enquiries to Shereen Perera (In Place Of War) firstname.lastname@example.org, 07882389413 Artists and organisers are available for interview, pictures available on request.