By this point the cat is out of the proverbial bag… we are collaborating with #OportoTV, Girls Can Play Guitar and three fantastic creatives to put on a very special International Women’s Day event!! Earlier this week we released the event poster designed by the supremely talented Olivia Brearley, which spotlighted the two North Yorkshire-based musicians taking part: Laura Kindelan and ZAY. So how about we give you a taste of what’s to come… let us introduce you to our line up for International Women’s Day 2021!
There’s a really pleasant energy that surrounds Laura and her music, a sense of creative freedom and feeling at ease. One of the opening lines you’re met with on her website is: “My music and I are, and probably always will be, beautiful works in progress. After all, everyone is constantly learning along the way.” It’s a lovely way to be introduced, an acceptance of inconsistency and of change all viewed through this lens of growth.
Laura’s journey has certainly seen her grow, from her foundations in York gaining experience in the local scene as well as courses at the Jam Factory to studying popular music and performance at Leeds Conservatoire – she’s carved out a unique position, building popularity across the region whilst honing her skills alongside. Her vocals are stunningly unpredictable, whilst in one moment they’re soft and delicate the next they’re powerful and gritty. In her second EP, I’ve Been Thinking released back in 2016, these combine with bluesy melodies reminiscent of early KT Tunstall. On the subject of inspirations, Laura often alludes to the likes of Amy Winehouse and Lianne La Havas. You can certainly hear them in her lyricism and live performance.
From listening to Laura’s music, watching her performances and even just spending sometime in her world, it’s no wonder she was nominated as one of Yorkshire’s “Outstanding Songwriters 2019” in the Yorkshire Grassroots Awards.
Another artist based out of York, ZAY is an extraordinarily diverse creative – not just tackling popular music, but also music for film and even acting herself. From a young age ZAY has been showcasing her talents, and since 2019 has released six singles including two collaborations with artists across the globe.
A Yemeni-Saudi-British singer/songwriter, ZAY straddles multiple scenes. One facet of this is that she can sing in Arabic, English, French, German and Spanish (feeling inadequate yet?!) – all whilst still retaining her signature candid warmth. Her music flits between pop and folk with moments of neo-soul thrown in there as well. It’s the vocals which really stand out, mostly gentle, at times playful – they’re Billie Eilish, ‘everything i wanted’-esque at times.
Her track, ‘The First Thing I’ll Do’, released in April last year was a meditation on lockdown and the general atmosphere surrounding mid-late 2020. Unafraid to be honest and vulnerable, some of ZAY’s best lyricism can be found here. It’s a very natural, easy listening – something we needed at the time, and still probably do.
We are so lucky that Laura and ZAY agreed to collaborate with us on this International Women’s Day event, and so a huge virtual round of applause for them please…!
Don’t forget that on the 8th of March we will be sharing loads of stories, narratives, resources and other fun bits and bobs for International Women’s Day on our Instagram and Facebook, as will Girls Can Play Guitar. Then, from 8pm both sessions will be going live on #OportoTV – and trust us, you won’t want to miss them.
Why not get in the mood?