‘Women in Concert 2017’ endeavors to empower Nepali women through music
‘Women in Concert’ (WIC) is a validation that there is enough musical talent among women in Nepal. The concert has been providing a platform for aspiring female musicians and singers for the past 13 years. Most of the music industry in Nepal is dominated by males because of a patriarchal society which does not provide an environment for women performers to flourish. With these concerts and the messages, they carry within each concert WIC hopes to ultimately build a society that understands the need for equal representation of all genders not only in music but in every possible field, through the power of music.
Since 2014 WIC team has been organizing concerts to the masses in Kathmandu but this year they are planning to take this concert all over Nepal. This year it will be even more special as the team has managed to discover three all girl bands. All-girl bands are very rare especially in Nepal where women are just limited to the periphery of their households, no matter how educated they may be or how much they contribute to the fortunes of their homes. It was only a matter of time for women musicians to step up their game and now WIC sees the opportunity to support these rising all girls’ band with the public's participation. The three bands are House of Hope, Shree Tara, and JOTs.
Nirbhaya Manch has realized the potential of this year’s content of performers. By introducing these all-girl bands along with other popular female-led acts that will actively mentor these young musicians as they tour through the lesser known regions of Nepal, there is a huge potential for them to inspire women and men all around the country. Witnessing these talented girls and women on stage may draw out a lot of possible hidden talents, dreams and even discussions about how women in Nepal are taking their lives into their own hands.
In 2017 WIC will have three all girls band playing along with their mentor bands. The lineup for this year is Shree Tara, House of Hope and JOTs. Mental Radio, Abhaya and the Steam Injuns—and are performing along with these bands as also the three winners of the Talent Hunt WIC 2016.
This year WIC is hoping to do a series of concerts in some selected parts of Nepal so that the event can grow with the vision to impact a wider audience throughout Nepal. These concerts advance the concept of women empowerment as well as spreading positive messages of gender equity and all issues related to women.
WIC aims to validate this year's message for International Women's day - Be bold for change #BeBoldforChange.
If there are enough funds and support, WIC expects to tour the cities of Hetauda, Pokhara, Urlabari, Dharan and Butwal with three all girls bands Shree Tara, House of Hope, and Jots along with their mentor band Abhaya and the Steam Injuns and spread the message of “Be bold for change” a phrase that signifies the need for many Nepali women to overcome their ingrained fears. There are stories of many women and girls whose ambitions can be cut short through various societal pressures such as early marriage, patriarchy and sometimes just being dismissed for being a girl/woman.
WIC will also have the prospect of the winners of Women in Concert 2016 Talent Hunt joining the tour, with these all girls band.
As of now, WIC is all set to rock Kathmandu at Lainchaur ground, starting from 3 pm onwards on the 8th of March with the support of their main sponsor, The Embassy of Switzerland in Nepal.
‘Women in Concert 2017’ is supported by Water Aid and the event hosts will be Malvika Subba and Sanjay.
SHREE TARA: This is an all female traditional Nepali band. They had first been discovered by Ani Choying. They participated in the Talent Hunt of Women in Concert 2016 and though they did not win, their talent and passion shone right through and they are participating this year as the stars that they are eventually destined to be.
JOTs: Women in Concert discovered this all-female alternative rock band through Facebook. This band had only been in existence for a few months. With a bad asset bass guitarist, drummer, and guitarist and an enthusiastic vocalist, this band is waiting to explode into the Nepali rock scenario.
HOUSE OF HOPE: This band put together by a passionate House Master Gopal Yonjan who runs a home for orphan girls and underprivileged girl children had already raised a curiosity among the social media enthusiasts when they had released a live performance video on Facebook. This band has a member who is as young as thirteen. Comprising of orphans and underprivileged girls this band has already wowed the audience of Women in Concert last year. They come back this year, tighter and with more hope to conquer the music scene of Nepal.
MENTAL RADIO This band has the very talented singer/songwriter Garima Gurung who heads the band along with her renowned guitarist husband Iman Shah. Mental Radio says that genre is the last thing on their minds while creating a song. Brought together by music, Mental Radio hopes to raise awareness regarding mental health issues in Nepal.