We have always been a huge fan of gal-dem, their powerful collective voice is as clear as day. They are an unstoppable group of gifted radical individuals who shed light on the perspectives of non-binary women of color through journalism.
They are now branching out into events too, which in incredibly exciting… We spoke to Grace Shutti (Assistant Music Editor) and Antonia Odunlami (Music Editor), about their upcoming event at The Jazz Cafe for International Women’s Day which is on the 8th of March.
How long have you been working with gal-dem?
Grace Shutti : I started working with gal-dem at the end of 2016 after Antonia finally asked me to write for them. I’d been working with her for months but didn’t want to overstep the boundaries of business and personal.
What is your message as a collective?
G S: Everything we do and create is by women and non-binary people of colour but gal-dem is for all! We exist to readdress the balance in media but we hope that everyone can find something they love in what we do.
What does international women’s day mean to you personally?
G S: It’s going to sound cheesy by every day is international women’s day for me. I’m regularly baffled that I get to be surrounded by women in my family, friends, colleagues and Internet cousins who are so consistently excellent on their good and bad days. I don’t deserve them. But 8th March is special because it’s a reminder to tell these women exactly how I feel.
Ideally, what effect would you like this event to have on your audience?
Antonia Odunlami: We’re aiming to shine a light on some of our favourite music talent at the moment and to bring an audience together to celebrate not only the women who will be taking the stage but all the other women and non-binary talent that is out there.
Apart from being awesomely talented – What attracted you to these specific performers?
A O: Kokoroko – this incredible band have been on our radar since seeing them at Brainchild festival last year. They are part of a wave of musicians who are injecting a new lease of life into the afrobeats scene whilst making serious power moves as jazz instrumentalists. I’m going to take a moment to give props to the three lead brass players: Sheila Maurice-Grey (the band leader and trumpet), Richie Seivwright (trombone), Cassie Kinoshi (saxaphone) also part of all-women septet Nériija and her own ensemble: SEED. Each and every band member are powerhouses in their own right so when they come together they truly make magic
Denai Moore – this artist has had an incredible year with the success of her latest album We Used to Bloom. We love it when an artist demonstrates they can do more than what’s expected of them. Denai is a perfect example of this. She recently launched her own supper club where she cooks Jamaican vegan food. After launching a stall she hosts her very own supper clubs which we hope to attend soon.
Miryam Solomon – another leading musician in the world of jazz but drawing influences from her Eritrean roots. Like the other artists on the bill, Miryam has a very strong sense of identity which no doubt has and will continue to empower other women who she reaches with her music as she continues to build her profile
What was the last thing that made you stop and stare?
A O: Stefflon Don shutting it down at the MOBOs.
You can buy tickets: HERE
The Jazz Cafe
5 Parkway, London