Anil Balasuriya wants to help the girls come out of hiding. He knows they’re around –the singers and musicians, the female artists, but he’s not entirely sure why we don’t see more of them. “The local music industry is male dominated,” he reasons, adding “we don’t see a lot of female vocalists coming out and showing us what they have.” He suspects it’s because they are lacking the right platform. Determined to remedy that, Rockapalooza is bringing back Divas Live, where five very talented young female artists will perform on one evening
The organisers say the event is “inspired by the tremendous following of live concerts held in Sri Lanka and the overwhelming thirst for local talent.”
Nimah Evans was discovered by Anil when she picked up a mike at a concert he had organized and belted out a few numbers. He was so impressed he kept her on the books.
Schamalee Jayaratne is a veteran choir girl and lead singer for a band called ‘The Castaways.’ Shameestha De Silva is an accomplished cello and piano player. The first time Anil heard her sing, it was during an impromptu performance of Adele’s ‘Rolling in the Deep’.
Thilinee Silva is well known, having been voted through to the Top 12 of the Yes Super Star Competition in 2009 and for her soulful rendition of the song ‘Something Right’.
The girls will take to the stage back to back, sampling an eclectic range of genres from pop-rock to contemporary jazz. While they may have performed before, Anil says this is about really giving them a space to shine. He hopes such opportunities will encourage more women to pursue gigs and stage concerts. While the performance is designed to put the girls in the spotlight, he’s also playing the long game. “We’re starting small, but we hope this will lead to big things,” he says.
A key part of his plan is a new multi-platform media outfit. Dubbed, Channel Media (Pvt) Ltd., the fully functional media entity is devoted to raising the standard of the arts in Sri Lanka while providing artists a platform on which to showcase their talents. Divas Live is his idea of advertising.
Catch Divas Live on March 10 at Silk from 8pm onwards.