South East Asian Female Representation Is Taking Over BACARDÍ NH7 WEEKENDER

todayNovember 29, 2023 7

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Music festivals are back in action and it’s great to witness our favourite artists perform live. One of the much-anticipated music events BACARDÍ NH7 Weekender is returning with its new edition in Pune from December 1-3. The multi-faceted lineup has a mix of international artists and homegrown talent coming together on one platform. Get ready to witness M.I.A., YG, Lisa Misra, Memba, Jai Wolf, Euphoria 25 and Alo Wala, among others give electrifying performances on stage. 

While ‘the happy music festival’ has always served as a platform that brings globally known artists on board, it also becomes a discovery ground for new and upcoming artists who get a platform to showcase their talent, while simultaneously going beyond just that.

BACARDÍ NH7 Weekender takes many initiatives to make the event more inclusive. From introducing separate queues for disabled individuals, making it a pet-friendly event to having gender-neutral washrooms and safety tents, this year, the festival has decided to take one more step in the right direction. The second day of the fest will see a female-dominated lineup featuring artists from the South East Asian diaspora. Headlined by British pop icon M.I.A., the programming for this initiative includes female artists from across various regions such as Alo Wala, Priya Ragu, Cartel Madras, BeBhumika, Lavi, Aarifah and Mary Ann Alexander who will play on the Main Stage. 

Here’s all you need to know about the female-led lineup set to perform on Day 2 of Bacardi NH7 Weekender:


Pioneering rapper, singer, producer, and activist M.I.A aka Maya Arulpragasam is set to close the event as the headliner on the second day of the fest. Her innovative fusion of hip-hop, electronic, punk, and sounds that crisscross the globe reflect her upbringing as a Sri Lankan refugee who grew up in London and provides a vibrant soundtrack to her commentary on identity, war, immigration, and politics. M.I.A. gained popularity in 2004 when her singles Galang and Sunshowers went viral. Thereafter, she delivered many hits from Paper Planes to Bad Girls to her latest track Time Traveller. We know we’re going to be head-banging to the beats of her music and energetic vocals this weekend.

Alo Wala

NH7 Weekender

With her genre of dance-floor-happy protest music, Alo Wala has created an identity of her own. Born Shivani Ahlowalia, the Punjabi-American artist was quick to establish herself in the global club music scene, having played over 150 shows around the world and earning acclaim from artists like Buraka Som Sistema, Branko, Clap Clap and Nucleya, among others. 

“NH7 is challenging the longstanding oppression of women in South Asian culture, I love that! Music has been a hard-fought passion in my life, just like for many artists with similar backgrounds. This lineup celebrates our progress, and I hope it inspires women and all people who’ve been historically sidelined, to chase their dreams. MIA’s early influence was a big deal for me; she sparked a whole generation of South Asian artists, especially women. It’s truly mind-blowing to be part of this lineup with her and all these incredible artists,” she shares with us. 

Priya Ragu

As the daughter of Sri Lankan refugees who fled from the country’s civil war and then settled in St. Gallen in Switzerland, Priya Ragu’s music seeks inspiration from her emotional journey and personal growth. Seamlessly blending R&B, pop melodies, soulful vocals and dance-infused rhythms, the Tamil-Swiss singer-songwriter creates a vibrant fusion of tabla rhythms, evocative strings, and enchanting melodies. Her debut album SANTHOSAM takes Tamil music to new heights with soulful vocals and hip-shaking dance beats which is set to unfold on stage at the Weekender.


I feel very grateful to be a part of an all-female lineup, we’ve always had tremendous music amongst us artists and I’m so glad we get to showcase our art via such a sought-after platform. I think the whole concept is iconic, and what better way to be the best than to be a girl!”

Cartel Madras

Meet the Chennai-born, Canada-raised, brown queer artists and sister duo Eboshi (Bhagya Ramesh) and Contra (Priya Ramesh) of Cartel Madras. With their music amalgamating Tamil and English languages as well as Chennai and Canadian cultures, they have created a genre of their own known as Goonda Rap, which combines elements of hip hop, house, punk, electronic and South Indian influences.


“Having an all-female line-up is a huge step in the right direction to get the message across to young fans around the country. I hope young Indian girls wanting to be musicians continue to find strong women to look up to and aspire to be a voice of change. Absolutely honoured to be a part of this historical line-up!” shares the Bengaluru-based artist Lavi who began her musical journey in her teens. She is all set to perform with music producer Foenix (Rohit Mukherjee) where the duo will mix nostalgia with pop magic.  


Mumbai-based singer, songwriter and drummer Aarifah has toured with a number of bands across the country; supporting artists like Sandunes, Prateek Kuhad and Parekh & Singh. Through these experiences, she has honed her craft both as an artist and a performer and we’re all set to see her independent act this weekend.

Mary Ann Alexander

Having grown up in a family of music, Mary Ann discovered her own voice when she found a way of seamlessly blending hip-hop, R&B and jazz tunes. The result? A powerful fusion of soulful melodies and dynamic rap performances which we look forward to experiencing live.Femininity is powerful. There’s so much strength in softness and vulnerability and it’s wonderful to see this lineup filled with such admirable artists,” she shared. 

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Written by: Soft FM Radio Staff

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