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Let’s Reconnect: Queer Narratives in Music

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How can marginalised narratives be amplified as we work towards a more equitable music industry? 

Join us for a roundtable discussion exploring the importance of LGBTQIA+ narratives in popular music, with Anil Sebastian and Amber Jay. Hosted by Mike Pony (Submerge) the roundtable will explore personal awakenings, discuss evolving artistic identities, and imagine a future where all voices are heard. 

The event will also feature a premiere of Amber’s mini documentary showcasing queer artists from the North West, to increase visible and positive representation and inspire others, created in response to our ‘Let’s Reconnect’ season.

“Growing up, I looked up to a lot of queer music artists to instil confidence within myself. I hope this will show those wanting to pursue similar paths that they can also exist within these environments.”

This event will be streamed live on Brighter Sound’s Facebook and YouTube.

This event will be BSL interpreted.

Mike Pony is the artistic director of Submerge, a queer-led Manchester based producing organisation and international festival of contemporary arts and music. Mike is known nationally for his cultural work developing brands, festivals and events which collide live music, digital arts, performance, installation, queer culture and clubbing. In his curatorial and producing work Mike is committed to helping shape a more inclusive sector, recently taking a more specific focus on amplifying the voices of queer, trans, non-binary and genderfluid artists, communities and audiences. Mike often works in collaboration with producers, designers, artists, performers, festivals and venues to realise cultural events and festivals. He has previously worked as an associate producer for organisations such as In Between Time Festival, Christmas Spiegeltent and the Bristol Harbour Festival.

Amber Jay’s delicate vocals and experimental production plays with the boundaries of bedroom and alt pop. As well as writing from experience, Amber draws inspiration from the perspectives of characters within film/TV, fusing worlds together to create cinematic atmospheres within her music. With a background in film, Amber is passionate about storytelling whether it be through song or other forms of media. Supported by BBC Introducing her latest single ‘Pencilled Brims’ is an example of this fusion, providing an introduction to what we can expect from Amber Jay’s debut EP, out early 2021.

Anil Sebastian is a multi-disciplinary artist, producer and vocalist producing some of the most unique and other-worldly music to emerge from the UK in recent years. As well as their solo identity Anil Sebastian is also in the Icelandic band Hrím, with singer Ösp and producer Cherif Hashizume. Having released their debut album “Mesonoxian”, co-produced by Ingmar Kamalagharan and Cherif Hashizume (Jon Hopkins, Brian Eno, David Byrne) in late 2017, collecting support on the way from i-D, Stereogum, Clash and Line of Best Fit online as well as radio support across Radio 2, 3, 6Music, BBC London and the Asian Network, the album campaign culminated in a sold out show at London’s legendary ICA.


Part of Brighter Sound’s Let’s Reconnect Festival – a 4-day celebration of new music, creativity and collaboration taking place between Mon 26-Thu 29 Apr.