On 8 March, we are bringing together artists, activists, change makers and music professionals in the AB Club for a talk on the importance of black female representation in the music industry. Find out who our panellists are and book your free ticket for this event on International Women’s Day and in honour of Black History Month in Belgium.
Rokia Bamba: DJ, Sound Explorer & Artivist – Moderator
Brussels-based Rokia Bamba realized only belatedly that she wasn’t only a good radio DJ - she has been since the age of twelve, for Radio Campus among others - but that she could also make people dance with her mix of groovy hip-hop, African rhythms, house, and techno. She particularly likes to mix at socially engaged parties. Her sound exploration has also deepened through art and theater. She draws her inspiration from sound archives and immerses visitors and spectators in an unexpected sensory experience.
© Agnes Kena
Aysha Hussain: Keychange Coordinator (Germany/UK) - Panel Member
Originally from East London, Aysha is a freelancer in the creative world and is based between London and Berlin. She combines jobs in the film and music industry with various freelance projects: from developing inclusive recruitment strategies to communication and writing assignments. With her lived experience and awareness of diversity and inclusion at the core of everything she does, Aysha's work for Keychange - a global network working for gender equality in the music industry - and other work has aligned organically with this.
Charisse (Beaumont) Oyediwura: Chief Executive Black Lives in Music – Panel Member
Charisse is a British businessperson and chief executive at Black Lives in Music, an organisation that is achieving equality for Black musicians and professionals in the music industry through research and advocacy and are at the vanguard of the effort to combat racism, uniting organisations and musicians to create a truly inclusive and diverse music industry. She brings more than 18 years of experience in brand creation and delivering market innovation. A former Director of Preacher Boy Entertainment, an independent award-winning artist management and record company, Charisse has worked with corporate businesses, media organisations, artists and charities, providing first-hand extensive advisory and consulting services to artists, managers, labels and students to develop and manage their career in entertainment. Charisse has a strong knowledge of the UK’s music industry and has worked closely with award-winning and Grammy-nominated music artists across the UK and US. She serves on the board of Help Musicians and sits on the advisory committee at War Child UK.
IKRAAAN (Ikraan Mohamed Haji): Artist – Panel Member
IKRAAAN makes music out of sacred necessity. A bumpy road through life and the pain of being fundamentally different are the difficult subjects she tackles with her music. She sings about social anxiety, depression and personality disorders and calls her music 'soul trap'. “It sounds like trap, but it’s much slower. And it's great for going deep emotionally." (BRUZZ) Her first EP ‘HAPPY PILL’ provided a breath of fresh air in a climate of fast-paced music in 2019. IKRAAAN joined the international collective ‘The Keepers’, which is using an online archive to bring the work of black women in hip-hop out of oblivion.
© Tina Herbots
Reinel Bakole: Multidisciplinary artist – Panel Member
Reinel Bakole is a multidisciplinary artist with an instinctive and avant-garde flair. After completing her bachelor's degree in Urban Dance at the University of Arts of Amsterdam, she developed a universe of her own with jazz and Afro-soul influences. The questioning of her identity as an Afro-descendant is central to her compositions and testifies to her strong connection with Africa and her Congolese roots. Reinel's music is a manifestation of her deep and slow reflections on the conscious mind by exploring Freudian theory and the ancestral rites of her Congolese tribe, the Bashi.
Selene Alexa Pliez: Freelance Event Curator, PR and A&R specialist – Panel Member
Selene Alexa is a freelance Event Curator, PR and A&R specialist in visual identity and content creation. After working primarily on PR campaigns, she soon began coaching creatives and supporting artists' debuts. In 2021, she started working as a freelancer with international music producers. As a visual creative, she brings her vision to her own projects to bring new perspectives to the music industry. Together with her 'Customs & Borders' team, she also develops new ways of curation. With productions such as 'Trap Queens', she wants to have a meaningful impact on the importance of representation in the cultural field.
© Gladys Bukolo