The showcase will take place on Saturday, November 28 at Sydney’s The Beresford Upstairs.
A joint initiative between Mardi Gras and APRA AMCOS, Express Yourself consists of three music showcases featuring emerging LGBTQI+ artists performing alongside an established headliner. The performing artists will play to a room of music industry personnel and the general public.
At the end of the series, a panel of judges including Marcia Hines, Gordi, producer Alex Hope, Mardi Gras CEO Albert Kruger and APRA AMCOS CEO Dean Ormston will select two emerging artists to perform at a Mardi Gras event next year.
Sydney-based rapper JamarzOnMarz, who recently released a music video calling out racist school policies, expressed his gratitude for the opportunity in a statement.
“It’s super important to amplify, support and uplift queer voices in music, so I’m really excited and thankful to be given this opportunity,” he said.
“Queer stories in music are important and they are not just for the queer community. Our stories can transcend and be appreciated by the masses and it’s opportunities like this that are helping to make that happen.”
Aya Yves, who released a personal new single ‘Dear E.’ last month, shared similar sentiments.
“Honestly for me, this opportunity is a big thing,” Yves said.
“Having only come out recently, I was hesitant to apply but I’m so glad I did. This solidifies my acceptance of myself, as well as an opportunity for me to show my pride in being a part of the LGBTQI+ community.”
The first Express Yourself artist showcase will take place as part of Great Southern Nights, a series of 1,000 COVID-safe gigs in Sydney and regional NSW intended to reboot the live music industry following the coronavirus fallout.