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17 June, 2021

Strong and Deadly women in music

CAIRNS local artists Dizzy Doolan, Bellani and Kayla Gagai will support award-winning Brisbane-based hip hop artist Jesswar at the Tanks Arts Centre on Saturday, June 26 as part of the all-female music festival, ‘Grrrls to the North.’

Dizzy Doolan (real name Charmaine Armstrong,) said it was great to see more opportunities opening up for female artists living in regional areas like Cairns.

The rapper, actor, dancer and mother of two said she had to spend the first 11 years of her career living in Brisbane as she felt it was the only way to be successful in the music industry.

“Hip Hop is mostly a male dominated industry, and when light shines on the women and our craft, it reassures you that you’re meant to be doing what you’re doing,” said Dizzy.

“It’s also vital that our younger generation can see that it’s possible to be from a small town and still receive recognition.

“Creating more local gigs creates community support so that artists like myself don’t always have to fly away to the big cities.

“Events like this get my spirit energised and it’s so deadly for the community to be involved in supporting us women!”

The show, part of a four-town tour of the north, will be performed and produced entirely by female-identifying professionals in the Queensland music industry, as part of QMusic’s ‘Women in Music’ mentorship program, led by Cairns legend, Melania Jack of musical duo ‘Ironing Maidens.’

As a youth worker and graduate of the Aboriginal Centre for Performing Arts in Brisbane, Dizzy has dedicated her life to being a positive role model for Indigenous youth, traveling the country performing, doing hip hop workshops, promoting healthy living and spreading positive messages through music, song and dance.

She has appeared in film, television and theatre, opened for major international artists, including Fatman Scoop, Akon, T-Pain, Mya and Kevin Lyttle, as well as recently with award winning Australian country musician Troy Cassar Daley.

Also performing at the show will be Papua New Guinean-born Cairns local Bellani Smith, a talented local pop and R&B singer and pianist who studied music at CQ University.

“Women have incredible voices and build up communities, so opportunities that shine light on women in music, and empower women in an artform that many people love and listen to daily, are so important,” she said.

Also performing will be Cairns local Kayla Gagai, 20, an emerging MC with Yirrganydji and Badu Island heritage whose achievements include participating in the Queensland Indigenous Youth Leadership Program last year and collaborating on music with local Hip Hop legend Zander Digital.

Tickets are available

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