D Days
H Hours
M Min
until the 2018 Commonwealth Games commence.
Longines Time
April 4 to 15 2018
  • Sun 15 Apr 2018
  • Main Stage, Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast
  • Festival 2018
  • Free
Music Australian exclusive

GRRRL with HOTA Choir

GRRRL is a bespoke electronic music collaboration between independent, revolutionary women artists from around the world, coming together to tell their collective stories of life, conflict, inequality and change through music.

Fusing together sounds of dark techno, ghetto bass, hip hop, dancehall, reggae, soul and electronica.

Directed by Brazil's Laima Leyton (Mixhell/Soulwax), GRRRL features an eclectic mix of influential artists including Mercury Prize winning rapper Speech Debelle, Queen of Brazilian Dancehall Lei Di Dai, Zimbabwe's Rap Queen AWA African Women Arise, The Young Lioness of Africa Wiyaala, Original Nu-Jazz and folk singer from Cape Town Nono Nkoane, British Bangladeshi singer Sohini Alam and electronic artist/synth player from UK/Ghana Afrodeutsche.

This special evening is supported by the HOTA Choir with a soulful, contemporary repertoire under the direction of Astrid Jorgensen.

"The result? A show like nothing else. A mind-blowing, powerful and unpredictable experience. The women, each a force in their own right, combined to form a super force - a fierce, wild and untamed energy that was both raw and primal." Now Then Magazine 

"Over the course of the hour-long set, with virtually no pause for breath, the women succeeded in bringing immeasurably “positive vibrations” to Hoxton, with a wholly unexpected and boundlessly rousing performance that reminded the audience why women’s voices matter. This sense of empowerment is rarely seen on the stag



Wiyaala is a lead vocalist in GRRRL. Wiyaala is known as ‘The Young Lioness of Africa’. She is an AfroPop singer-songwriter from Funsi, Upper West Ghana. Her powerful voice and bold image fuses the giant pop sounds of David Foster with the modern funk and flair of Janelle Monae. Wiyaala sings in her native Sissala and Waale dialects and English, often combining all three languages within her songs. Wiyaala is also associated with UNICEF Ghana and the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection of Ghana in campaigns against child marriage, child poverty, health and sanitation. She headlined the 15th London African Music Festival in London Soundcloud.

AWA - African Women Arise

AWA - African Women Arise is a lead vocalist and rapper in GRRRL. Awa is from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.GRRRL first met AWA in 2014 and fell instantly in love with her electric energy and political lyrics. She raps in her native tongue of Ndebele and in English,  about women’s rights, gender based violence and the political struggle in Zimbabwe. She has shared the stage with artists like Rodney P (UK), Mc Fallacy (UK), Hip Hop Pantsula (South Africa) and Digital Rebels (Zimbabwe) among many others. In Place Of War Documentary ‘Zimbabwe’s Rap Queen’ .

Laima Leyton

Laima is a Brazilian music producer based in London. After many years working at the Museum of Modern Art in Sao Paulo, Laima dived full on into music with heart and mind, although always reconnected with arts and education, organising exhibitions and workshops. In the past 12 years she has been DJing around the globe with Iggor Cavalera in
Mixhell, as well as producing their own music and remixing and collaborating with artists such as Moby, Buraka Som Sistema and Diplo. The last year most of her time was spent touring playing keys and backing vocals with Soulwax. Laima is the Musical Director of GRRRL.

Nono Nkoane

Nono Nkoane is a lead vocalist in GRRRL. She is an Original Nu Jazz and folk singer-songwriter from Kwa Langa, Cape Town. Born to a family with a very rich history in music, she was bound to find herself immersed in this world. Nono studied jazz and contemporary music at the Tshwane University of Technology in South Africa following a seven year mentorship in African music with the University of Cape Town’s African Music lecturer and performer, Dizu Plaatjies. Nono's single 'Baleka', taken from the True Call offering, is the official soundtrack for the 'Long-Story Short' project. An initiative supported by the South African Department of Arts and Culture promoting the reading and preservation of African literature. She has worked as an author and singer on various South African and International projects. 

Speech Debelle

Speech Debelle is a rapper / spoken word artist in GRRRL. She kicked in the UK music industry’s backdoor in 2009 waving her sensitive, introspective debut album, 'Speech Therapy', which won the Mercury Music Prize for British album of the year. Her Kwes-produced sophomore album, 'Freedom Of Speech' (2012), commanded further critical acclaim while expanding Speech's captivating flair for poetic testimonies, playful narratives, and dynamic rumination on power, politics and pleasure.

She later stepped away from music for a few years to grow and develop her other passions; her zeal for cooking tantalised the nation with her inventive recipes as a semifinalist on Celebrity Masterchef, while her socially conscious drive saw her curating a moving exhibition of art by prisoners for the Koestler Trust’s The Strength and Vulnerability
Bunker at London’s iconic Southbank Centre in 2013. More recently she performed in aid of housing and homelessness charity Shelter, and became the voice of H&M’s 2017 Bring It On recycling campaign.

Returning to share the stories and lessons of her journey, Speech Debelle independently releases her third full-length LP, 'Tantil before i breathe', accompanied by a digital collection of recipes and intimate stories documenting the highs and lows of the outspoken South London lyricist's journey through life and the music business.

Sohini Alam

Sohini Alam is a lead vocalist in GRRRL. She is British Bangladeshi vocalist whose musical repertoire includes folk, modern and traditional Bengali songs with a specialisation in Nazrul Sangeet. She also composes and has branched out into multi-lingual music in bands, for dance and for theatre. She is lead vocalist for the band Khiyo and for Kishon Khan's Afro-Cuban-Bengali jazz band Lokkhi Terra. Sohini is a co-founder of the arts company Komola Collective, which tells stories from the female perspective. A third generation vocalist, Sohini trained in music with her mother, Hiron Alam and her aunts, renowned Nazrul singers Jannat Ara and Ferdous Ara. Appearances with Lokkhi Terra have included Ronnie
the closing ceremony of the 2010 South Asian Games in Bangladesh.

Lei Di Dai

Lei Di Dai is a lead vocalist in GRRRL. She was crowned ‘rainha do dancehall’ aka ‘Queen of the dancehall’ in Brazil by Rolling Stone Brazil. Her music is a blend of dance beats with awareness, positivity and ganja inspiring lyrics. Her debut album ‘Alpha & Omega’ was released in 2008, it was the top selling album in her category, which led to an MTV Award nomination in 2009. She is a spearhead for dancehall culture in São Paulo.


Afrodeutsche  DJ’s and plays synth in GRRRL. She was born Henrietta Smith-Rolla and is a British born Ghanaian/Russian/German composer, producer, singer and DJ based in Manchester. Her production crosses a wide range of styles, classical solo piano, techno, house and electro. Henrietta has performed in Sisters of Transistors a five-piece synth and electronic organ band, 'The Part time Heliocentric Cosmo Drama After School Club' an eclectica big band curated by Paddy Steer (Homelife) and Graham Massey (808 State/Massonix), originally formed as a tribute to the late great Sun Ra. Played out as duo Claptrap, at queer parties Kiss Me Again and Love Muscle.

HOTA Choir

Surrounded by parkland and a lake with Surfers Paradise as the backdrop, Home of the Arts is your place for live performances, lake-side strolls, star-gazing, cinema-watching, art and new-ideas. There’s a unique outdoor stage for live events and a refreshed cafe for relaxing and connecting. Plus, all your favourites, like our cinemas, theatres and gallery. 
Discover art—indoors and out. HOTA is that kind of place—where art meets life.

HOTA is proudly supported by City of Gold Coast.

Astrid Jorgensen

Astrid Jorgensen is a Brisbane-based choral specialist, who is dedicated to making singing accessible to the public. As a trained educator, vocal teacher and choral composer, Astrid's enthusiastic work with choirs has seen her emerge as one of the most in-demand choral specialists in Queensland. Astrid works tirelessly to help vocalists of any experience to lose their singing inhibitions. She is the musical director of six vocal groups in 2017 and is the founder of Pub Choir, a community initiative in Brisbane where 500 strangers sing together at the Pub each month.

Session times:

Hota: 7pm - 7.20pm

GRRRL: 7.30pm - 8.30pm



Sun 15 Apr 2018
Sun 15 Apr, 07:00pm - 08:30pm
Main Stage, Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast

-27.9979378, 153.4306901

Surfers Paradise Esplanade
Surfers Paradise QLD 4217

Accessibility information

The Main Stage is located on the sand, but can be viewed from The Esplanade. 


GRRRL is an 'In Place of War Production'.

Arts Council UK and PRS for music.

GRRRL Photography (in order of image gallery):
Graham Turner
Ali Johnston
Graham Turner
Louise Roberts-Shambala
Kate Dervin
HOTA photography: The Edit Suite