The Primadonna Festival 2023 took place in July which places women, Black and Asian artists, the LGBTQIA+ community, working class and disabled people at the forefront of their festival headliners. Primadonna festival is a weekend of various activities between workshops, performances and talks in Suffolk were unique, emerging talent can showcase their work. Through this, the festival aims to promote and empower artists to be given the chance to shine.
This year’s annual festival was a great success with some of our own F-List Music artists Yijia, Hasna and Rubber Rose band headlining and performing at the festival! They shared with us how they found this experience for them.
Yijia is singer-songwriter from China who is interested in expressing her rich cultural identity and diverse traditions with her music. Having won various awards i.e., the Chinese Music Awards and featured on radio shows to showcase her talent, she was delighted to be able to perform at the annual Primadonna Festival and said:
“It was really inspiring to be a part of a festival dedicated to empowering and celebrating female creativity in literature, music and more! I spoke with a few young girls who saw my set and who found heard East Asian music for the first time and felt very inspired and moved which was very sweet. It’s also my first time performing inside a ‘medieval barn’ and really enjoyed hanging out the sheep, horses, and other cute farm animals! (I also learned a lot about East Anglian culture and saw someone drive a steam engine tractor that is more than century old, as you do!)”
Hasna is a R&B artist, inspired by underground R&B, hip-hop with a passion for soul and jazz. She was discovered as a featured artist with her collaborations “Ready to Shine” with a French singer Shirley and “Venin” with rapper Cremede Parfum. After this her musical career skyrocketed as these works were features in online festival “BLOOD+WATER” going international just 6 months after she entered the music industry. Hasna was honoured to be part of this year’s Primadonna Festival as she said:
“A few months ago, I had the incredible opportunity to participate in the Culture of Belonging weekend, organized by The F-List and Help Musicians at Miloco Studios. This grant proved to be a pivotal moment in my artistic journey, as it not only validated my existing skills but also provided a nurturing environment for me to explore and collaborate with fellow musicians in a studio environment. Through this experience, I was able to enhance the overall quality of my work and unlock exciting new opportunities. One such opportunity arose when I was invited to showcase my work at the Primadonna Festival in Suffolk, marking my very first festival experience. The festival’s unique venue, The Food Museum, captivated me with its surprising blend of history and nature. The diverse range of panels, activities, foods, and talented artists created an atmosphere of openness and kindness that was truly awe-inspiring. It was a privilege to share my art with such a welcoming audience and to showcase my cultural heritage through a custom set that included acoustic versions of my songs including a derbuka. This journey has undoubtedly left an indelible mark on my artistic growth. Following my set at the Primadonna Festival, I am thrilled to announce that I will be immersing audiences once again in that intimate and captivating atmosphere with a new project slated for release in September. Make sure to follow my social media channels for updates!”
Rubber Rose are electric, exciting rock band from Leeds. Who have formed a unique sound through their songs that are entirely of their own making. Their debut single “Worship the Crone” is a postpunk track that allowed them to launch themselves into the music industry and ever since then they have been captivating the punk, rock scene with their follow-up track “A Bigger Storm” and an upcoming debut EP to be released later on this year. They were delighted to be part of the Primadonna Festival and shared:
“It was refreshing to be on a line-up at a literature festival – the publication of new works by a range of authors is just as important as the diversification of the music world. We’re grateful to the F-List for their work, and their ongoing support for us as a band. They have put us forward for a recording session at Guildhall this autumn, which we’re buzzing for. We’ve got some releases lined up for later on this year too.”
We are happy that these talented artists got to showcase their art at such a beautiful festival and we look forward to the next iteration of Primadonna festival in 2024 to witness a fresh pool of talent from The F-List!