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The 8 female musicians selected for prestigious music program

by News Desk

A ground-breaking partnership will give a new cohort of culturally diverse female musicians the opportunity to access key industry initiatives.

Eight female artists (all listed below) have been selected for the program, running for the third year between Settlement Services International and Australian Women in Music Awards (AWMA).

The aim is to promote diversity and equality across the music industry, giving key talent from NSW and Queensland the opportunity to get their music and talent heard.

The musicians will participate in a two day AWMA program in Brisbane featuring forums, networking opportunities, a First Nations Hip Hop Showcase, awards ceremony, film screening and a conversation with Tina Arena and Yumi Stynes.

SSI CEO Violet Roumeliotis said their partnership with AWMA supports diverse communities to build artistic bridges.

Supporting the Diversity in Music Award category at the AWMA she said aligns with their vision of “advancing culturally diversity and supporting CALD artists to participate and contribute to Australia’s arts”.

The eight women selected include:

Putri Karina

Putri is a Jakarta-born-and-raised, Eora-based music producer, singer and songwriter. She defines her music as alt-soul electronica with multi-layered vocals and synths, percussive drums and ambient soundscapes.

She released her first single, “Monologue”, in December 2021 and her second single, “Rain on Tuesday”, in January 2022. She received rotation on FBi Radio Sydney and was played on Triple R Melbourne, 2SER Sydney, 4ZZZ Brisbane and other local radios.

Nadhamuni Gayatri Bharat

Nadhamuni is an Australian-Indian and internationally acclaimed Indian classical musician. She was raised by a Hindu seer and started her musical journey at age 6. Born in India to a family with strong musical traditions, she received advanced music training from great stalwarts of Indian classical music.

Marina Da Silva

Marina is a multi-disciplinary artist, educator, and professional mover and groover, specialising in Brazilian cultural arts, drumming and dancing. Born to Brazilian parents in a musical household in Sydney, she was raised surrounded by classical, contemporary and traditional musicians and artists.

In 2020 she founded “Ile Ilu – House of Rhythm”, a drum and dance community group focusing on feminine empowerment, Afro-Brazilian music and culture, healing and soulful expression.

Carmen Nieves

Carmen is the founder of Alianza Music Management, providing creative direction and management for local venues to present artists and ensembles and bands for key events. Carmen is also an instrumental tutor at St Catherine’s School, Loreto Kirribilli, Sydney Grammar School and Saxophone Academy Sydney.

As a professional musician, Carmen accumulated over 20 years of experience as an instrumental tutor, chamber and orchestral musician, and program and festival coordinator during her involvement with the world-renowned orchestral program El Sistema in Caracas, Venezuela.

Menaka Thomas

Menaka is a Brisbane-based singer, songwriter and teacher. She sings a fusion of traditional Indian vocals with contemporary and other world influences, an intersection of East and West.

Menaka has featured expansively at music festivals, including Woodford Folk Festival, Queensland Multicultural Festival, Festival of Tibet, BrisAsia Festival and the Anywhere Festival. She is also one of the featured cast members for Brisbane Powerhouse’s “Women in Voice” for 2022. Her music has been highly commended in the world music category of the Queensland Music Awards on several occasions, alongside musical collaborators.

Samira El Koussa

Samira is a highly acclaimed Lebanese singer, composer, songwriter, musician and music teacher specialising in classical Middle Eastern Tarab. She attended the Lebanese National Higher Conservatory of Music and graduated from the internationally recognised Beit Al Mousika.

Her career spans 28 years of performances at major events in countries including Lebanon, Dubai, Syria, Jordan and Australia. She was a finalist in the Lebanese LBC TV Program Studio Al Fan, featured on multiple television shows, and performed at international and local cultural festivals.

Marina Poša

Marina is a classically trained mezzo-soprano who lives to sing. In 2017, Marina premiered her first show, El Vito! a one woman show. Since its debut, El Vito! a one woman show has been performed throughout Queensland, selected for the Short + Sweet Festival, the Queensland Cabaret Festival, and The Butterfly Club in Melbourne.

Lana Tukaroa

Lana is a musician and MC-lyricist and the lead vocalist for band Beauty and the Beats (band pictured above). She delivers soulful sounds underpinned by her love for island culture and hip hop. She has been performing since early 2009 and has MC’d at some of Brisbane’s finest venues and national festivals, and, to name a few, has opened for Naughty By Nature, Eve and Jessica Mauboy.

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