NI Music Prize 2021

Wednesday 17th November
Live at the Ulster Hall and Streaming on YouTube
Celebrating a year of music from NI

The Oh Yeah Music Centre has announced details of this year’s NI Music Prize event and line up.

After a year away from the stage due to Covid-19, the event will return to the Ulster Hall on November 17th. The Prize which honours and celebrates the very best of new, established and emerging Northern Irish music is an annual awards night organised by the Oh Yeah Music Centre.

The evening will include performances from shortlisted artists including Amy MontgomeryDani LarkinNew Pagans and TRÚ.

New Pagans

The show will also feature guest performances from Ryan McMullan and Ash, plus Sasha Samara will perform as last year’s winner of the BBC ATL Introducing Contender Award.

Amy Montgomery

Rigsy (DJ & Broadcaster) and Gemma Bradley (Presenter, BBC Radio 1 Introducing and ATL) will present the show. There will be guest contributors, with live announcements and presentations.

The awards include Best Album supported by PPL, Best Single sponsored by YouTube Music and ATL Introducing Contender Award in association with Oh Yeah.The winners of Best Single and  ATL Introducing Contender Award will be awarded a cash prize of £1,000 and £3,000 will go to the winner of Best Album

This year the event will also celebrate the work of Help Musicians to thank the charity for the support it has given to musicians throughout the pandemic. Help Musicians is a charity that loves music and for 100 years has been working hard to make a meaningful difference to the lives of musicians across the UK. Sadly, the pandemic has meant it’s been needed more than ever. Since March 2020, the charity has provided financial hardship funding to help musicians survive while live music was paused; this monthly support helped nearly 800 musicians in NI. Moving forwards, Help Musicians is increasing its practical help to support musicians back into work.

Commenting on this year’s event, Charlotte Dryden from Oh Yeah said: “It has been a long and challenging twelve months for musicians. That is why this year is such an important coming together, not just to celebrate the great wealth of talent that has produced world-class records throughout the pandemic, but also to thank and let the music community take a moment to reflect, start to rebuild and look to the future. It’s going to be a very special evening indeed.” 

Dan Chalmers, Director of YouTube Music EMEA said: “Supporting new musicians has never been so important after the very difficult times we have been through and with access to live music challenged.  We are proud to sponsor such an important moment celebrating the best music coming out of Northern Ireland and we look forward to an especially poignant and celebratory event”.  

The NI Music Prize takes part during the annual Sound of Belfast, a festival that celebrates the music of the city, from grassroots to established names. It runs 4th – 18th Nov and there are over 50 events in 11 venues featuring 56 artists. All events can be found at

NI Music Prize and Sound of Belfast is supported by Arts Council Northern Ireland, Belfast City Council, YouTube Music, PRS Foundation, PPL and PRS.

A very limited number of tickets will go on sale at 10am on Friday 22nd October from The Ulster Hall.

NI Music Prize Shortlist

Best Album 2021 – Supported by PPL

Andrew McGibbon – Northern Gothic
Arvo Party Inheritance – Arvo Party
Bicep – Isles
CATALAN! – Veritas
Dani Larkin – Notes for a Maiden Warrior
Hannah Peel – Fir Wave 
Jealous of the Birds – Peninsula
Joshua Burnside – Into The Depths Of Hell 
New Pagans – The Seed, The Vessel, The Roots & All  
Peter J McCauley – Amnesty  
Saint Sister – Where I Should End
This Ship Argo – Always the Bees: Never the Honey
TRÚ – No Fixed Abode 
VerseChorusVerse – What If We Won       

Best Single 2021 – Sponsored by YouTube Music

Amy Montgomery – Intangible
Bicep – Apricots
Cherym – Listening To My Head      
Dea Matrona – Stamp On It
Enola Gay – Sofa Surfing
Invaderband – I Won’t Remember You       
Jordan Adetunji – Wokeup!
Waldorf & Cannon – We Are Your Government

Scratch My Progress 2021 – Artists Announced!

The Oh Yeah Music Centre is delighted to reveal that the five fresh new acts that have been selected for Scratch My Progress 2021 are; Myles McCormack, Susi Pagel, Problem Patterns, Jack Devlin and Charlie Hanlon. 

Scratch My Progress is a mentoring, showcase and practical support programme for new music. The dedicated talent development programme, now in its 10th year is powered by the on-going support of PRS Foundation. Oh Yeah is also delighted to be working with YouTube Music, a partnership that will provide participating artists with a new level of support through a series of dedicated master classes and more. 

Over the next nine months the five acts will work with our dedicated Talent Development Manager, Charlene Hegarty, to uncover opportunities for their music and take part in workshops, studio time, professional photo shoots, showcases, industry mentoring and more

With the ongoing situation surrounding the partial closure of live music and events in mind, there will also be increased support in developing digital skills in artist promotion, performance and development of online audiences.

Over the years our talent development artists have had one to one sessions with PRS, PPL, PRSF, Musicians Union, First Music Contact, Atlantic Records (Ed Sheeran, Charli XCX), Parlophone Records (Gorillaz), Domino Records (Anna Calvi, Arctic Monkeys), Jeff Robinson PR (The 1975, Belsonic),  Deezer, Ditto, Body & Soul Festival and many more. The Scratch My Progress scheme has mentored a diverse range of talent over the years including NI Music Prize Winners Kitt Philippa, Sasha Samara and Sister Ghost, music and media personalities Gemma Bradley & Emer Maguire and artists representing the rock, alternative, acoustic, rap, pop, punk and electronic genres. 

Charlene quote;

“I am proud to welcome Problem Patterns, Susi Pagel, Charlie Hanlon, Jack Devlin and Myles McCormack on to Scratch My Progress 2021. The last 18-months have been deeply distressing for musicians but I am assured through the talent and energies of the artists on this year’s programme that there is good reason to be hopeful. I am excited to work with each of them and help them build strong foundations for long lasting and fulfilling careers in the music industry.”

Further Information on each act:

Myles McCormack

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Belfast based musician Myles McCormack occupies a very special place within the Irish music community. He writes beautiful, intricate and delicate songs. He is an active collaborator, a unique and versatile songwriter.

Myles McCormack Quote

“I’m really excited for everyone on the Scratch program this year and just keen to learn as much as I can from Charlene and everyone at the Oh Yeah centre. Having this support will maybe encourage me to push my music further too!”

Myles McCormack Biog

Belfast based musician Myles McCormack occupies a very special place within the Irish music community. Beyond his work as a founding member of innovative folk outfit Lonesome George, the songwriter and multi-instrumentalist crafts careful, considered tales under his own name. His 2019 debut ‘Real Talk’ was released to a sold out audience in Belfast’s Duncairn Arts Centre and was described as “A sublime and carefully crafted debut” (The Thin Air). Through his work across this project and Lonesome George (“Caustic lyrics that burn with righteous dignity” Songlines 4*) he continues to hone his style as a unique and versatile songwriter. Further demonstrating this Myles began 2020 singing and playing mandolin with Irish traditional group Réalta on the spring leg of their US tour.

Over the past year Myles has worked on new music including various single releases, (One Day, The River Rises, By Demons), new Lonesome George songs (The Lying Devil, No One But Ourselves) and is currently collaborating on new recordings with Réalta.

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Susi Pagel

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Susi Pagel is a Belfast based singer-songwriter experimenting in hyper pop spaces. Her honest indie pop is reminiscent of Chvrches and Melanie Martinez, garnering listeners locally with support slots for bands such as Saint Sapphire. 

Susi Pagel Quote:

“I still can’t believe I was chosen for the program, I feel so lucky and grateful to be gaining such valuable experience whilst meeting such incredible people and professionals.”

Susi Pagel Biog:

Susi Pagel, based in Belfast, is a singer-songwriter who has been writing for over four years. Her honest indie pop is reminiscent of Chvrches and Melanie Martinez, garnering listeners locally with support slots for bands such as Saint Sapphire. Her debut single ‘Yesterday’ was named as ‘Best Song In The World This Week’ on BBC Across The Line following its release in March 2020. September saw the release of ‘Pretty Girl’, and Susi continues to reach a wider audience through live stream gigs as she works towards her debut EP.

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Jack Devlin

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Jack Devlin is a singer-songwriter from a small village called Hilltown. His songs explore life and live experiences – he delivers his songs with a raw emotion that immediately draws you in. He has a range of influences including Paolo Nutini, Jeff Buckley and Ben Howard.

Jack Devlin Quote:

“I am super buzzed to be a part of the Scratch My Progress program, 

I’ve already heard great things about this with lots of great NI acts coming out of the program.  

Getting to learn about the big bad music industry and how to make a pathway in my music career is very exciting, along with all the other cool bits that come with it. 

We just had our first meet up, It seems like I’m going to be working alongside some deadly people, safe to say I’m delighted.”

Jack Devlin Biog:

Jack Devlin holds the attention of any crowd, with a magnetic stage presence and undeniable energetic talent.  He is a young singer songwriter with dynamic original music, exploring raw emotions that life brings, performing with passion and expression both acoustically and with a full band. 

Regularly playing venues across Ireland, Jack headlines original gigs recently selling out the Sunflower Bar Belfast and plays impressive festival slots.  Gathering loyal fans, Jack has supported high class Irish and international acts, such as David Keenan and Hermitage Green. His music is reminiscent of Paolo Nutini, Jeff Buckley, Kings of Leon, the Killers and Ben Howard, among others.

Jack has created an individually distinctive sound, with a raw full vocal that dips and soars. Exploring the genres of Folk, rock, indie and pop, resulting in a varied and unique music catalogue.  Co-writing with other brilliant local artists, Jack encouraged and founded several original music nights such as ‘Evening Noise’. 

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Charlie Hanlon

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Charlie Hanlon is a 16-year-old multi-instrumentalist from the small Irish town, Downpatrick. He is a young indie pop icon in the making who has been steadily collecting fans since releasing his first demo on Soundcloud in early 2020. 

Charlie Hanlon Quote:

“I am buzzing to be a part of ‘scratch my progress ‘this year, A lot of really cool artists have done it in the past and it’s a pleasure to be a part of this year’s group with some really great artists. Can’t wait to begin working with Scratch!”

Charlie Hanlon Biog:

Charlie Hanlon is a 16-year-old Indie pop artist and multi-instrumentalist from the small Irish town Downpatrick.

His music initially gained traction after releasing the demo for his track ‘I lost Myself’ on SoundCloud in January 2020. The demo was picked up by BBC music introducing and was handpicked by Taylor Johnson of Brand New Friend to be a world exclusive on the BBC show ‘Across the Line’. This introduced a whole new audience to Hanlon’s brand of indie pop. Later on, in 2020 the demo for his upcoming single was also picked as a world exclusive on the same show by Taylor Johnson once again, which brought more eyes to Charlie’s music.

In October 2020 at the age of 15 he released his debut single ‘Will You Stay Tonight?’ In which he played every instrument on himself. The single achieved some success landing onto playlists such as Alfie Templeman’s New music Friday playlist, oh yeah centres Current Northern Ireland playlist and Belfast music Recommends playlist, Chord blossoms Fresh music from Northern Ireland playlist and Indie buddies Indie quick picks playlist. Around the same time Charlie also did a live stream performance from the oh yeah music centre in Belfast for sound of Belfast 2020 and the clash of the new breeds final.

Now in 2021 Charlie has been featured on BBC across the line once again after the demo for his track ‘Lo and Hi’ was played by Radio 1 presenter Gemma Bradley and has released  his second single ‘Kids Today’ in which Hanlon takes on all musical instrument duties again and also teamed up with Indie legend Michael Mormecha on production duties. The song came out on August 20th 2021 and is available to stream now on all major platforms.’

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Problem Patterns

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Problem Patterns is a four-piece DIY feminist queerpunk band from Belfast, Northern Ireland, comprised of Beverley Boal, Bethany Crooks, Ciara King and Alanah Smith. The band does not have a singular frontperson, opting instead to switch roles and instruments, to ensure each member in the group has a voice. 

Problem Patterns Quote:

“We are so appreciative to be taking part in Scratch My Progress this year. We are keen to learn, grow and smash everything that’s thrown at us. We are definitely already the big kids of this year and we can’t wait to see what happens. This opportunity is amazing for us as a DIY band and we are buzzing to work alongside Charlene!”

Problem Patterns Biog: 

Problem Patterns is a four-piece DIY feminist queerpunk band from Belfast, Northern Ireland, comprised of Beverley Boal, Bethany Crooks, Ciara King and Alanah Smith. The band does not have a singular frontperson, opting instead to switch roles and instruments, to ensure each member in the group has a voice. Formed in November 2018, their debut single, “Allegedly”, was recorded and released within their first month together. They released their debut EP, ‘Good For You, Aren’t You Great?’ in July 2019. They have received airplay on BBC Radio Ulster, RTÉ 2FM and KEXP. Known for their ferocious live performances, the band were nominated for Best Live Act at the Northern Ireland Music Prize in 2020, with two consecutive nominations for the Oh Yeah Contender Award in 2019 and 2020.

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My Music: Caoimhe O’Connell, Oh Yeah Youth Engagement Officer

We love music so much at Oh Yeah that we thought we’d create ‘My Music’, an occasional feature where team members tell you about the music that makes them who they are today.

First up is the fabulous Caoimhe O’Connell, Oh Yeah Youth Engagement Officer.

  1. Who were the bands/artists on your bedroom walls when you were growing up?

System of A Down, Rancid, No Doubt, The Ramones, The Specials, Amy Winehouse, The Misfits, Blondie and lots of blurry photos of local punk bands.

2. What was your first gig and where?

Concert – Boyzone at the Point Theatre Dublin in 1997

Gig – Warzone Festival in Giros 2002, an eye opener to say the least.

3. What artist/band inspired your most memorable fashion choices (hair, clothes, make-up, etc.) when you were younger?

Brody Dalle, Debbie Harry, Florence Welsh, Gwen Stefani.

4. How do you most like to listen to music – on vinyl, CD, cassette, streaming or a combination?

Spotify when I am working or I am out and about but at home it has to be Vinyl, especially while eating with others.

5. What’s the most unusual piece of band/artist merchandise you own?

I have a T-shirt that I got when I saw Milky Chance in Amsterdam in Jan 2020. The band had let fans know that they wouldn’t be travelling with Merch on their European tour in order to have an environmentally responsible approach to sustainable touring… BUT that fans could bring their own items of clothing to be printed at the show for a small fee! It was such a brilliant idea and I was able to pick the print I wanted and have it made there and then at the gig on a t-shirt I brought with me. I think it should be the way forward for all touring acts and I treasure the T-shirt because it feels very personal.

6. What’s your go-to song for karaoke or singing in the car?

Karaoke – Johnny Cash – Folsom Prison Blues

Singing in the Car – (because no one can hear me) Florence and The Machine – Dog Days Are Over.

7. What album would you save if your house blew down and why?

Milky Chance – Sadnecessary on vinyl. It’s the album my partner and I listen to the most and the first one I ever bought him. Every song holds a different memory.

8. What artists (alive or dead) would be in your dream band line-up?

You cannot improve upon Amy Winehouse singing with The Specials in my book…. maybe if you stick Rory Gallagher in there.

9. If you could meet your favourite all-time artist, who would it be and what would you say to them?

I would meet Lauryn Hill and I would ask her to tell me her life story from start to end.

10. What song would you like to have played at your funeral?

An old Irish song – Líontar Dúinn an Cruiscín by Seán Bán Mac Grianna and sung by a friend. It’s about all sorts of aspects of life and it goes on a bit, (just like me – ha ha!). But the last verse is about your death and your loved ones grief. It has a calm feeling to the verse rather than being morbid; you tell them to drink and sing so loud that you hear their voices. I love that thought.

To find out more about Youth projects at Oh Yeah, email

NI Music Exhibition Reopening!

Please note: We will be closed on Monday 30th August 2021.

Oh Yeah Music Centre is delighted to announce that we will be proceeding with the next phase of our reopening plans on Monday 23rd August.

The award winning NI Music Exhibition at Oh Yeah will once again be open for visitors after being shut for almost 18 months due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. 

We’ve made some changes to your visiting experience in to make your visit is as safe and enjoyable as possible. All the relevant info follows below. 

The NI Music exhibition at Oh Yeah is the only permanent exhibit for popular music in Northern Ireland. There is much to see, including a series of storyboards documenting and plotting the history and the stories of Folk, Punk, Rock, Jazz and more. There is a ‘Legends’ series of wall displays that hail the great achievers including Ruby Murray, Van Morrison, Terri Hooley, Bap Kennedy, David McWilliams and Henry McCullough to name a few. Exhibition cases display some unique rock and roll memorabilia including the Fender Guitar that Gary Lightbody from Snow Patrol used to write ‘Run’ and ‘Chasing Cars’, a vintage street sign of Cyprus Avenue, made famous in a Van Morrison song, and a specially arranged exhibit of Gary Moore memorabilia. 

Earlier this year with support from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and in preparation for the reopening we put together a short film about the exhibition, the music story and our music bus tour. You can watch it below, then come visit the real thing!

Please see below for full details of the processes we’ve put in place. We have undertaken full risk assessments and our staff and volunteers have been briefed and trained on procedures. 

Exhibition Opening Times

Mon-Fri: 10am-4pm
Sat: 12pm-5pm

For info and group bookings please contact or call 02890310845

Requirements for visiting

Maximum group size of 6 people*
Exhibition limited to 2 groups at any one time
Track and trace details taken upon entry
Please wash or sanitize hands upon entry
Visitors must wear a mask in public areas
Please maintain social distancing throughout
Areas are frequently cleaned
Toilets opened and regularly cleaned
Contactless payments preferred 

*For groups larger than 6 please contact us in advance at

NI Music Prize – ELIGIBLE list Announced



Despite the most challenging year for music, the level of talent and the number of submissions is as strong as ever.


The list below relates to albums and singles that we are aware of, that have now been checked and included as eligible.

These eligible albums and singles were released between

15th July 2020 – 14th July 2021.

The Eligible List has now gone to the list of industry ‘nominators’ for the next stage of the process – to see full details of the process go to

Talent Development at Oh Yeah – Now recruiting for 2021

Scratch My Progress is the Oh Yeah Music Centre’s annual talent development scheme. Since 2010, 44+ acts have benefited from the Scratch My Progress scheme, with Oh Yeah mentors dedicated to developing, supporting, signposting, nurturing and promoting local musical talent to international change makers.

Applications are now open for the class of 2021/22 and we are expecting more applications than ever before given the sustained success of our alumnus including;

– Kitt Philippa who won ‘Album of the Year’ at the Northern Ireland Music Prize 2020 and has since signed a record deal with Paragon Records and Faber Alt.

– Sasha Samara who won the ‘Contender’ award at the Northern Ireland Music Prize 2020

– Gemma Bradley who is now the UK National Radio broadcaster for BBC

– Lemonade Shoelace who scored a ‘sync’ on Made In Chelsea and spins on

– Riley Holland who achieved 10K+ spins on her single in 3-weeks !!!!

We are looking for the most dedicated emerging talents to harness the full
opportunity of the scheme. 

Full details, guidelines and application form available on the following link;

Artists/acts must be aged 16 and over to apply. See link for full application process.

Deadline for submissions is Monday 2nd August @ 6pm !!

Scratch My Progress is made possible by the kind support of YouTube MusicPRS Foundation and Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

Oh Yeah Rocks – Youth Music Camp is BACK!


Aged 13-18. Do you want to meet new young people, write a song and learn how to perform?
This camp is supported by the T:BUC fund – Together Building United Communities which is funded by the Executive Office of Northern Ireland and the Education Authority of Northern Ireland.

The dates for the camp are: 
Pre-Camp Sessions
Friday 23rd July
Friday 30th July
Wednesday 11th – Friday 13th August 10-4pm
Post-Camp Sessions:
Friday 20th August
Saturday 11th September

Oh Yeah Music Centre, 15-21 Gordon Street, Belfast, BT1 2LG (dependent on any change in restrictions).

COST: £10 (the cost of your place has been generously subsidised by T:BUC funding but we require a contribution to £10 to secure your place).

*Attendance at pre-camp and post-camp sessions are mandatory to confirm your place.*If you want to take part you will need to fill out this form. There are limited spaces, so we will work a first come, first serve and then have a waiting list. 

Click here for Application Form

NI Music Prize 2021 – Now Open for submissions.

The submission process for the NI Music Prize Album and Single is now open!

 It has been the toughest year for music, but there has been no shortage of incredible releases and creativity. Outstanding music has been released, music that kept us going, inspired us, entertained us, brought us escapism and most of all hope.

 That is why despite all of the challenges that our music community has faced in the last year, we are delighted to announce that we will be proceeding with plans for 2021.

The NI Music Prize 2021 will take place on Wednesday 17th Nov. We are working on how we might present the event and more details will be announced soon.

For now we are very pleased to announce that the submission process is open from Mon 5th July – Monday 26th July.

 Please read the full details on the NI Music Prize website and if you feel you are eligible, then you can submit using the links provided.

Go to for more info and to submit.

GIRLI ‘Damsel in Distress’ Tour (14+)

Shine Presents: 
‘Damsel in Distress’ Tour
Plus Guests  
Oh Yeah Centre, Belfast
Fri 26th Nov 2021
Doors 6pm 
Tickets £12 + BF from &
14+ Show

London based singer-songwriter GIRLI is pleased to announce her ‘Damsel in Distress’ Tourheadline Belfast show at Oh Yeah Centre on Friday 26th November 2021. GIRLI released her new five-track EP ‘Ex Talk’ in February 2021. Tickets on sale Wednesday 23rd June at 9am from &

Before she was GIRLI, Milly grew up in north London with her performance-loving family, both parents being actors. As a young kid, her rebellion was not being artistic: she was a science nerd, and later deeply into politics and her school debate society, even briefly serving as a Youth MP for Camden. She was bullied at school, and retreated into a fantasy world of reading and writing fiction.

Then, during her GCSEs, she discovered music. Inspired by her favourite indie bands, like the Arctic Monkeys and Peace, she’d spend lunch breaks hanging out in the music department, playing guitar and singing, and eventually found herself two bandmates on
It didn’t faze 15-year-old Milly that her bandmates were 18; she confidently took charge. “Music was my obsession,” she remembers. “So we had to rehearse five times a week, just so we could play these shit gigs at pubs. I was so determined.”
Even after her bandmates decided they couldn’t hack Milly’s pace, she wasn’t deterred. She enrolled at ELAM (East London Art and Music), where she kept on honing her own voice: a kind of Gen Z emo rap take on Lily Allen, with the anger of Hole or Siouxsie and the Banshees remixed by the sheen of PC Music. 
She was just 17 when she signed with Virgin EMI, and 18 when she released “So You Think You Can F**k With Me Do Ya”, a J-pop-inspired, shout-a-long anthem. Between racking up further plays on Beats 1 and BBC Radio One with her rowdy second single “ASBOys” and photobombing Ant and Dec at the BRITs, her acid pink hair quickly became emblazoned in the public eye.
Behind the scenes, as an 18-year-old who had just received her first big cheque and moved into her own place, her life was becoming more and more intense. “Increasingly, after a year or two, it got very toxic,” she says now. “I was suffering from a really bad eating disorder. I was taking a lot of drugs, and just like, destroying myself.”
Her label called her in for a disciplinary meeting, which went on to inspire one of her greatest singles, the pop-punk riposte “Hot Mess”

Milly released her debut album Odd One Out in April 2019. Hailed as “gutsy” by the Guardian, and “unapologetic and audacious” by Clash, it’s a collection of songs that Milly is fiercely proud of. “The album is like this weird mix of happy and sad,” she reflects, pointing in particular to the frank single “Up and Down” which addresses depression head-on. “Because I was experiencing these really intense mental health issues, and also partying way too much, and then I fell in love for the first time.” Despite the love and honesty she poured into the project, she was released from her record deal a month later. 

Hitting up musician friends like Slovenian singer-songwriter July Jones to join her in the studio, Milly began sculpting a new voice for GIRLI: one that was even more raw and unfiltered than she had ever been in the past. She channelled her feelings about being dropped, along with the searing pain of her first break-up, into super vulnerable lyrics, leaning harder into a grunge-influenced, riot grrrl sound. “I was angry, more than anything,” she says. “It made me realise that anger can be a good emotion, because it can spur you on to do things. If I hadn’t been angry, I would’ve just been sad and mopey.” But instead of falling into a depressive inertia, she created her furious, joyous five-track EP, Ex Talk

Arts & Business Awards NI – Two Nominations for Oh Yeah

We are delighted and honoured to have been shortlisted in two categories for the up coming Arts & Business awards. You can view the full list HERE

For the ‘New Sponsorship’ category with Translink for Sound of Belfast 2019 – for the Metro Sessions project and new music competition.

For inspirational Trustee for our former Chair, Shona McCarthy for her brilliant leadership spanning 5 years, helping the organisation and team through a period of transition and change up until 2020. We are incredibly grateful for Shona’s time and support during that period and delighted to see her recognised through this category.

Shona McCarthy:

Shona McCarthy joined the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society as Chief Executive in December 2015. Shona has championed the Edinburgh Fringe as the world’s leading open access, performing arts festival and founded on the principle of freedom of expression. From 2015 – 2020 Shona was Chair of the Oh Yeah Music Centre. From 2011-2014 she was Chief Executive of the Culture Company, leading on Derry – Londonderry’s transformational year as UK City of Culture. Prior to that she was Director of the British Council Northern Ireland.  She headed up Imagine Belfast to deliver Belfast’s bid to be European Capital of Culture in 2001. She also spent many years as Chief Executive of Cinemagic Film Festival for young people, Belfast; and the Foyle Film Festival, Derry; and was Head of Exhibition at the Northern Ireland Film Council. Shona has 32 years experience working in senior leadership positions and was awarded a prestigious Eisenhower Fellowship for Innovation in 2014, making her part of a global network of leaders and influencers, and a NESTA cultural leadership award which took her to work with the Seagull Foundation for the Arts in Calcutta India in 2007.

FREE USE IMAGE Chief Executive, Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, Shona McCarthy. 9 May 2016. Picture by JANE BARLOW © Jane Barlow 2016 {all rights reserved} m: 07870 152324