WOW Sounds is back for WOW UK Festival 2021! Every In Conversation in our programme of events this March will feature a specially filmed music performance by some of the world's most exciting female and non-binary artists.
The WOW Sounds line-up, which includes artists from Mali to Indonesia, will shine a light on women, girls and non-binary musicians who use their music as a form of activism. The exclusive sets have been filmed everywhere from the Akshara Theatre, a concert hall in New Delhi, and artists’ living rooms all across the globe. Plus, a number of the performances have been filmed by WOW in the iconic Royal Albert Hall; the venue we were due to be live from for WOW Live at the Royal Hall, which has sadly been postponed due to COVID-19.
The line-up includes UK based artists such as sitarist shredder, composer, producer and seven-time Grammy nominee Anoushka Shankar; singer-songwriter and cellist Ayanna Witter-Johnson whose recent release Rise Up, featuring Akala, has become a revolutionary anthem for young Black people; genre defying artist anaiis whose breakthrough song Nina is a liberation chant and reclamation of freedom; soul singer and all round force of nature Miss Baby Sol who will be performing a heartbreaking track called She Cries; and rising star Nubya Garcia who is changing the landscape of the UK Jazz scene, a genre historically dominated by men. International acts from across the globe will include the non-binary filipinx multi-disciplinary Kimmortal from the unceded unsurrendered traditional territories of the Coastal Salish;Voice of Baceprot a teenage Indonesian metal band rebelling against stereotypes of Islamic girls whilst fighting for equal rights to education; Indian independent artist and urban ecologist Ditty whose music uses field recordings of water women warriors who are fighting for water sanitation in their local communities; American Tik Tok star and singer Aliah Sheffield who wrote Earth is Ghetto, the worldwide anthem for lockdown; international superstar Fatoumata Diawara, a Malian singer, guitarist and social activist campaigning against the trafficking and sale of black migrants in Libyan slave markets; and foremost female ambassador of Gnawa music Asmaa Hamzoui and her band Bnat Timbouktou who will perform their contagious brand of evangelistic desert blues.
Miss Baby Sol, Anaiis, Anoushka Sankar, Nubya Garcia and Ayanna Witter-Johnson’s performances will be recorded at London’s Royal Albert Hall and will feature short interviews about their work with radio presenter and journalist Gemma Cairney.
WOW Sounds will also give audiences a chance to revisit some of their favourite performances from artists that performed at last year’s WOW Global 24 Festival. These include Tunisian singer-songwriter Emel Mathlouthi, whose protest song “Kelmti Horra'' became the anthem during the 2011 Tunisian Revolution and Arab Spring; the Zimbabwean ‘Princess of Mbira’ Hope Masike; Kenyan musical and cultural firebrand Muthoni Drummer Queen and platinum-selling front woman and bassist from Noisettes Shingai.
Each WOW Sounds performance will be paired with one of the In Conversation events in WOW UK Festival 2021. Check out the line-up here. All events will be BSL interpreted and captioned, with tickets starting from £1 or audiences can buy a pass to watch the whole season from £25.