Four fabulous acts took to the stage back in March - this is what went down.
2020's International Women's Day was celebrated Sassy style at MARSM's All-Female Showcase; a fired up night of music featuring artists from Congo, Cuba, Palestine, Switzerland and beyond. Capturing the evening was French filmmaker Zoe Fayaud, whose work as a self-shooting director has led to multiple creative collaborations with musicians from around the world. This particular evening saw four acts take to the stage, each delivering authentic and intoxicating sounds. We asked Zoe to share with us some of her footage of the evening and what she saw in each act.
A Note from Director Zoe Fayaud
"Female musicians make up roughly 16% of the music industry, so it's always a personal pleasure as a fellow female creative (there are currently only 7% of women working in the film industry!) to witness confident and talented peers on stage doing their thing and unequivocally owning it.
Emotional attraction is key to how I produce my films… When you’re filming people, musicians, anyone at all, you have to be drawn to their character.
I always say it's a bit like falling in love - I have to be drawn to these people if I'm going to portray them in a way that will engage an audience. I have a tendency to put musicians on a pedestal and extrapolate their personality to make them feel larger than life, which is ultimately the point of film. You are magnifying whatever is in front of you, finding the right angle, the good light, to beautify your subject, to interest the gaze of your future audience. If what I do helps promote the people I work with, then that's a great feeling."
Opening the evening was Swizz Palestinian musician and producer, Jasmin Albash, performing tracks from her upcoming album, Gold. A beautiful balance of vocals and synth, which as Zoe expresses, was "a combination of power and tranquility. Jasmin stepped on stage and effortlessly commanded the attention of the crowd. There was an eerie sense of strength and softness in her performance, starting off slow, before accelerating into electronic riffs." Jasmin's performance sent a shiver of emotion through the room as she harmonised her poignant lyrics with a sense of controlled confidence and storytelling magic. "I feel like the crowd was quite taken by her stage presence which was beautiful to capture. She gave me the impression of being a woman very centered and secure in her craft; that is always a very inspiring energy to be around."
You can keep your eyes and ears out for Jasmin Albash's latest releases by following her @jasmin_albash
Next up is Palestinian musician Rasha Nahas. Rasha wowed audience members by bringing to the stage her "punk-flavoured cry of rebellion, polarising the energy of Jasmin's calmness" through an electrifying set of looping beats and vocals. "During her performance, Rasha was going back and forth from the mic to her decks, moving around energetically, entranced by her own sound and inviting everybody in with her." This sound and setup was a new experience for Rasha whose be forced to put down her guitar due to an injury and present her material in a reworked manner. "Rasha had told me backstage that she was feeling vulnerable and slightly nervous. I don't think anyone in the room could tell. She was imposing and magnetic."
You can keep an eye and ear out for Rasha Nahas's latest work by following her @rasha_nahas
Bringing these three solo acts to a finish was Swiss-Dominican lyricist, La Nefera, who whipped the crowd into a hyped-up frenzy through her compelling blend of hip-hop. La Nefera's energetic and powerful performance was entertainment delivered with a conscience, speaking of female inequality and sexualisation. As Zoe puts it, "I liked her message, her eloquence. The lyrics on Quiero Màs are deep, demanding more liberty for women worldwide. I think every Spanish speaker in the room felt that on Women's Day". By the end of La Nefera's set, the whole venue could be seen come alive through chanting and clapping.
Witness La Nefera's wonder and tune into her sound by following @la_nefera
Headlining act for the evening was the incredible 6 piece band WARA, which Zoe praises for "delivering a turbulent flow of rumba-flavoured, hip-hop heavy, mambo-infused magic." Fusing the sounds of London and Havana, members originate from Congo, Venezuela, Argentina, Cuba, Germany, Greece, England and Chile, and are led by Eliane Correa on keys, accompanied by lead vocalist Juanita Euka and MC Fedzilla all delivering punchlines in both English and Spanish. Alley Lloyd on bass, drummer Ernesto Marichales and Alexis Kranious on guitar complete the WARA engine. Zoe explains how she's been filming with WARA for the past two years. "We have all become friends and shared a lot of great moments on and off stage, which makes filming for them a really unique experience". With a set that moves between playful and provocative, WARA makes it their mission to speak up on topics including sexism, racism, and homophobia. "I’m obviously a big fan of their sound, and I relate to their socio-political message. I can only hope that all these ingredients are reflected positively in the footage I capture with them."
Check out WARA's latest tracks and music videos by following @waramusic
Camera 1 - Zoe Fayaud
Camera 2 - Joana Lírio
Editor - Zoe Fayaud Zoe is a French filmmaker based in London, born in Thailand, and raised in Cambodia, Mali and Tanzania. You can visit her portfolio on Vimeo here and catch updates of her work via IG @zoefayaud