BVT and Clara Fable are the winners of the inaugural Express Yourself – Queer Discovery showcase for emerging LGBTQI+ musicians, a joint initiative of Sydney Gay and LesbianMardi Gras and APRA AMCOS. Announced last night by Albert Kruger, Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras CEO, at the third and final event, the co-winners will perform at a Mardi Gras event in 2022.
The Express Yourself series featured JamarzOnMarz and Aya Yves in showcase #1; Clara Fable, BVT, and No Frills Twins for showcase #2; and last night's line-up of Melbourne songwriter and vocalist NIK NAVY, Brisbane powerhouse Phoebe Sinclair and Sydney pop artist BOLEYN. All showcasing artists were selected via an open application process.
BVT is a Sydney-based hip hop/R&B artist, beatboxer, actor, producer and most recently, Drag King.
"My mission statement as an artist is to kick down the doors that have been locked for too long for people like myself who are queer but also who are people of colour because that is a whole other game that we are playing," BVT said on stage.
A dancer and entertainer, Sydney-based Clara Fable started releasing her own electro pop music in 2020.
"I started music because I thought I had nothing – everyone thought they had nothing at the beginning of COVID – and I now have something and I have all of you: a family of musicians and creators," she said in a speech to the audience.
Joining Kruger on last night's judging panel was APRA Chair Jenny Morris and artist manager Ben Pierpoint.
“Our inaugural Express Yourself series has been a resounding success. The emerging artists featured have not only performed to new audiences alongside an established headliner, they’ve also had the opportunity to connect with labels, managers and writers who we also had in the room. It’s important to us that we’re giving these opportunities to emerging artists and not only amplifying queer voices in music, but nurturing the next generation of queer artists in Australia. A big congratulations to BVT and Clara Fable, who will perform at our 2022 Mardi Gras Festival – we can’t wait to see the show they put on!” said Kruger.
"Express Yourself has showcased an incredibly talented and diverse group of queer artists – all with their own unique songwriting style and message. The opportunity to perform and reach both new fans and key music industry is invaluable and I am so proud of everyone who stepped onto the stage. Thank you to Albert and the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras team for partnering on this initiative," said Dean Ormston, APRA AMCOS CEO.
Stay tuned for details of the winners' Mardi Gras 2022 performance.