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We are honoured that our AMPLIFI series of events, which was created in partnership with We Are Here Scotland and the City of Edinburgh Council Diversity Office, and funded by Creative Scotland, has been nominated for this award.

AMPLIFI was the idea of The Queen’s Hall's Chief Executive, Evan Henderson, as we emerged post-pandemic with a newly expanded foyer and bar area, to showcase upcoming artists in a relaxed, welcoming setting with the evenings designed to cover our nation’s breadth of contemporary music. 

It started as a series of three shows curated and compered by writer, editor, and speaker Arusa Qureshi (‘Flip the Script’) and podcast producer, writer, PR, and marketer, Halina Rifai, to highlight the sounds of modern Scotland. The nights feature artists hand-picked for their exciting work across the hip hop, R&B, electro, alternative, spoken word and acoustic music disciplines. You can read more about the performers at each event on the individual show pages:

Wed 16 March 2022: Brownbear, Paix, Bee Asha Singh
Wed 6 April 2022: Bemz, Washington, AiiTee, Clarissa Woods
Wed 25 May 2022: AMUNDA, jayda, Djana Gabrielle

These were such a success with both audiences and artists, that we're continuing well into 2023, ultimately holding a showcase of returning and new performers on our main stage in the spring. On Wed 9 November we had an incredible, joyous and dance-filled evening of rap, afrobeat, soul, and more with Danny Cliff, Rosé Chrissy and Eyve. On 7 December we have a modern classical theme with Queen of Harps, soprano Stephanie Lamprea, and viola and violin player Sagnick Mukherjee. And line-ups are still to be announced, but put 1 February 2023, 22 March 2023, 26 April 2023 in your diary.

We are particularly grateful to Beata Skobodzinska, Diversity Officer at the City of Edinburgh Council for encouraging this project and making connections possible, and to Creative Scotland who have funded this through the PAVRF.

About the Curators

Arusa Qureshi is an award-winning writer, editor and speaker with a passion for music, diversity and accessibility within arts and culture. Her book about women in UK hip hop, ‘Flip the Script’, is out now via 404 Ink. She has bylines in The Guardian, NME, Clash, Time Out, The Forty-Five and The Scotsman.

Halina Rifai is a podcast producer, music writer, PR & digital marketer. She founded music site Podcart in 2009 and went on to become a podcast producer, working with the likes of BBC Scotland, The Big Light, Mental Health Foundation, Fringe of Colour and more. She works in PR & Marketing with Scottish Women Inventing Music and Dardishi: a creative platform for Arab & North African women and gender

About the Awards

These are the tenth Creative Edinburgh Awards with the shortlist representing people, projects and organisations which went above and beyond to make an impact on Edinburgh's creative landscape. We will find out if we've been successful on 18 November, but are just delighted to be included alongside an impressive and inspiring list of nominees. Good luck everyone and thank you Creative Edinburgh!

“Scotland is home to so many incredibly talented artists of all backgrounds and disciplines, who demonstrate perfectly the vibrancy of our music scene. AMPLIFI is a way to spotlight some of our very favourites, while also welcoming audiences back to live music in a more intimate setting. We're thrilled to be working with The Queen's Hall on this series to celebrate these brilliant emerging voices with fellow music fans!" 

(Arusa Qureshi & Halina Rifai)
A collage of 12 photos showing some of the artists and the curators of AMPLIFI