Anoushka Shankar is one of the world’s great sitar players and the only artist to be trained solely by her father, the unsurpassed Ravi Shankar.

Anoushka Shankar has not only blossomed as a great sitar player but also as a composer in her own right producing great new music that is rooted in the Indian classical tradition but also boldly explores musical connections and fusions in a unique and thoroughly engaging way.

Following her acclaimed CDs ‘Rise’ (nominated for a Grammy) and ‘Breathing Under Water’, this project carries forward to a new generation the sense of exciting and open-eared musical exploration that has marked both their careers.

Anoushka Shankar Website

After nearly 20 years of raging against oppression and injustice, it is sometimes easy to forget that this multi‐cultural British crew are also one of the most musically inventive, explosively exciting live bands on the planet. Now, their strongest line up yet combines their trademark fusion of punk rock,electronic beats, reggae, bhangra and hip‐hop that has attracted many famous
fans, from Primal Scream to Radiohead, Sinead O’Connor to Chuck D, all former touring partners and studio collaborators.

Over the years, this ever‐evolving band have continued to expand their agenda, delivering live soundtracks to film and tackling operas, while taking their fiery mix of music and social activism to
far‐flung places where conventional western rock bands rarely tour: Morocco, India, Cuba and the favelas of Brazil.

Their live soundtrack to French film ‘La Haine’ acted as a catalyst to forming the line‐up, where founding guitarist Steve Savale has been re‐joined by original members Dr Das (Bass) and Rocky Singh (drums). For the Music Beyond Mainstream commissioned soundtrack of George Lucas’s dystopian sci-fi film THX1138 former vocalist Ghetto Priest returned alongside ADF’s newer members,
Aktarvata and Nathan ‘Flutebox’ Lee.

Asian Dub Foundation Website

Forget every rule you’ve ever been taught about live music. Ignore every outmoded notion of what it is to be a ‘live’ band. Forget even what you think you think ‘live music’ actually means.

What drives this band is a need to communicate with their audience in a way not possible with traditional live bands.

There are no ‘songs’ as such to perform, there’s no album to promote. The Bays only perform live, they never rehearse, they don’t have a set-list and they couldn’t ever do the same performance twice. It’s all about the moment – an experience or an event that exists between the band and the audience for one time only.

What they do that is so unique, so unprecedented, is that they enter into a creative partnership with the crowd, receiving feedback from the dance floor and reinterpreting that response, rewiring the vibe and taking it to a new level. Each of The Bays is feeling a progression in the music and is anticipating where the performance is going to next. It could change at any moment and pursue a new direction in a second.

And that’s why Music Beyond Mainstream loves The Bays.

The Bays Website

Camille O’Sullivan is a singer/actress who enjoys an international reputation for her interpretations of the songs of Nick Cave, Brel, Waits, Bowie, Radiohead and more. Her headline gigs include Royal Festival Hall, Sydney Opera House, The Apollo, The Roundhouse, Barbican, Kennedy Centre, National Concert Hall with the Symphony Orchestra and she appeared on Later with Jools Holland (BBC) where she was voted “One of the top 25 performances in the history of the programme by the Daily Telegraph.

“When she sings it’s as though her breath is soaked in paraffin – one spark, and the whole room would ignite” ***** Daily Telegraph

“Ravishing, a superb performer and great singer… the star is her singing voice, a deep sultry instrument that might have been created to express desolate love” **** The Guardian

Previously an award-winning architect and painter, Camille was born in London to a French mother and Irish/English father, she grew up in a village in Cork, Ireland (delighted to receive her Irish citizenship this year) listening to her parents eclectic music collection that shaped her into the unique interpreter she is today. Chameleon- like on stage, each song has a different character with its story to tell. As much a storyteller as a singer, or actress interpreting a monologue.

She received an Australian Helpmann award, Brighton, Melbourne and Edinburgh Fest awards for her music shows and a Herald Angel Award for her solo acting performance in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Rape of Lucrece’ which she and pianist/composer Feargal Murray adapted into a play creating the original music/songs. She recently received a Doctorate from University of East Anglia.

“A cross between Sally Bowles, Patti Smith and P J Harvey… a major star “ ***** Scotsman

“A masterclass in living a lyric – mesmerizing” ***** – Mail on Sunday

“A courageous and singular performer, Camille is one of the most gifted interpreters of narrative songs yet to appear” Irish Times

One of the original stars of Olivier Award-winning La Soiree/La Clique, Camille was chosen by Yoko Ono to perform Double Fantasy Live – Meltdown Royal Festival Hall alongside Patti Smith and Siouxie Sioux.“O’Sullivan’s lyrical performance the real showstopper” Mojo Mag. She’s performed yearly at Edinburgh Fringe Fest since 2004 ‘Queen of the Fest’ BBC. Film/theatre include Stephen Frears Mrs Henderson Presents, A Christmas Carol, Sweeney Todd (Gate Theatre) Woyzeck (Barbican) Rebellion (Countess Markievicz RTE). She’s toured with The Pogues, Barbican shows, Martha Wainwright, Todd Rundgren, Tim Robbins, Alex Kapranos, Hal Wilner’s Rogues Gallery and Shane McGowan’s celebrations alongside Nick Cave, Sinead O’Connor, Bono, Bobby Gillespie. She recently toured her Cave show “She burns just as bright as Cave, if not brighter. Where Cave longs to see the face of God, O’Sullivan danced last night with the ecstasy of one who has seen Him and lived to tell the tale.” Auckland Review releasing Camille sings Cave Live CD (Mojo ****) that was included on the special Mojo Mag edition to Nick Cave. Last year she filmed Losing it in Lockdown for Cork Midsummer Fest, a journey through her house singing from morn to night.

Camille O’Sullivan Website

English songsmith released  his third and most stripped back studio album to date, Milkteeth, in 2020 with Erased Tapes. Milkteeth sees Douglas become confident and comfortable enough with his own identity to reflect on both the joys and pains of youth. In doing so, he has established himself as a serious 21st century singer-songwriter with an enduring lyrical poise and elegant minimalist sound.

Douglas Dare grew up on a farm as the youngest member of a large extended family, where he was often found in his own private world, dancing in his mother’s pink ballet dress. “Only now do I feel free to express my inner child again, and am giving myself permission to play dress up,” says Dare of Milkteeth’s cover shot, in which he wears soft makeup and is draped with layers of white linen, acting the part of a Greek muse. “I never felt like I fit in. I was different, odd. I wanted to dance and sing and dress up and on a small farm in rural Dorset that really stuck out.”

He has often been compared to James Blake, but Milkteeth contains timeless ballads, and his sound becomes more introspective, a late night sound world that evokes both loneliness and comfort.

Dare signed to Erased Tapes after being spotted in his early 20s by founder Robert Raths. His debut Whelm (2014) was made on a battered grand piano, and on it he inhabited other people’s voices from historical sources; Aforger(2016) interrogated ideas about how we lie to ourselves, dealing with coming out to his father, and deployed a huge ensemble of instruments. “The last album was dark in every way,” he explains of Aforger. “And it had everything in – including the kitchen sink. With this record I wanted to show a lighter side, both instrumentally but also in the spirit of the album.”

His star keeps growing; in 2017 he was asked to contribute a re-interpretation of Dance Me To The End Of Love to the Leonard Cohen exhibition A Crack In Everything at the Contemporary Art Museum of Montréal, currently showing at The Jewish Museum in New York before opening at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco in September 2020. He was invited by Robert Smith to perform at his Meltdown Festival at the Southbank Centre in 2018, followed by the David Lynch-curated Manchester International Festival alongside Anna Calvi in 2019.

Dare’s music speaks of his own experiences of universal themes like love, loss, and childhood. Perhaps most importantly, his music gives a voice and a sanctuary to anyone who’s ever felt unusual or out of place. Whether he’s singing of the pain of those in the Magdalene Laundries as on Whelm, describing coming out to his parents on Aforger, or processing his own childhood isolation on Milkteeth, Dare has a graceful honesty and an abiding clarity of vision in his simple and distinctive sound.

Forever fascinated by the purest possibilities of sound, since forming in 2001 Efterklang have consistently adjusted their sonic modus operandi to suit very specific inspirations. The name Efterklang comes from the Danish word for “remembrance” or “reverberation.”

Constantly pushing the boundaries of pop experimentalism over the course of critically acclaimed albums Efterklang have combined remarkably studied songcraft and emotional resonance. The drive to experiment informs an approach to live performances, garnering the band plaudits for playing in diverse settings – whether alongside the Danish National Chamber Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia (‘Performing Parades Tour’), Northern Sinfonia (Piramida Concerts) or to the company of family members (Vincent Moon’s, An Island documentary).

Piramida, and The Piramida Concerts, which Music Beyond Mainstream made possible in the UK in collaboration with Royal Northern Sinfonia, is perhaps the band’s greatest achievement: an album and live show bringing the outside in, informed by frozen time and the relics humanity leaves in its expanding wake. Piramida’s roots were laid in 2010, when the band first saw photographs of a forgotten settlement lying, slowly dying, on Spitsbergen, an island of the Svalbard archipelago midway between the Norwegian mainland and the North Pole. This ghost town, which the trio eventually visited in August 2011 (drummer Thomas Husmer left before Piramida’s commencement), would give their fourth album its title, and comprise the conceptual catalyst for its contents.

The band performed a unique concert together with Sønderjyllands Symfoniorkester (South Denmark Philharmonic), Sønderjysk Pigekor (South Denmark Girls Choir), Hans Ek (conductor) and a string of special guests in 2014. It was named ‘The Last Concert‘, and featured songs from their entire discography as well as unreleased and so far unknown Efterklang songs. Esteemed cinematographer Vincent Moon documented and interpreted the concert in one long take.

They called it ‘The Last Concert’, but Efterklang are indeed still around and busier than ever with a string of projects.

Efterklang Website

ESKA is a vocalist, composer, actor and producer whose genre-hopping career has included collaborations with artists such as Grace Jones, Zero 7, Matthew Herbert, Bobby McFerrin, UNKLE, designer Rick Owens and of course Tony Allen. Alongside making international festival appearances, ESKA has had sold-out performances at Southbank and The Roundhouse. Her self-titled debut album was Mercury nominated and she is currently working on her follow-up album alongside composing her first opera, commissioned by the Royal Opera House.

An amzin’ singer!

ESKA Website

Heritage Orchestra is the orchestra that rocks out arenas, messes with other peoples music, and keeps orchestral tradition in the cellar. Since 2004 this renegade ensemble has written it’s own music, veered wildly between genres, and collaborated with a diverse and high profile array of artists.

It has embraced sound, visual, and adaptive music technology in ways that make other orchestras recoil in fear, and still they don’t play any classical repertoire.

Are you sure they’re an orchestra?

MBM loves The Heritage Orchestra as they defy classical tradition while bringing the power of the orchestra to amazing projects that explore music.

The Heritage Orchestra Website

Hugh Masekela is an international star and one of the most charismatic figures in South African culture.

He has been the heart and soul of South African music for forty years – even though he spent most of those years in enforced exile. His trumpet has been an instrument of resistance, a call to freedom and a celebration of the resilience of his people. His music has mourned the tragedy of apartheid and rejoiced at its demise.

Hugh Masekela is South Africa’s most enduring musical ambassador with music that brims over with a contagious, joyful warmth and optimism. “The man with the horn” is a living legend and a great performer.

Hugh Masekela Website

Jessica is an internationally acclaimed BAFTA-winning composer of contemporary classical music and is also co-founder of renowned games company The Chinese Room. She often writes for unusual spaces and her work has been performed in diverse and high-profile venues such as The Old Vic Tunnels, The Barbican, Sydney Opera House, Great Ormond Street Hospital, The Wellcome Trust, MOMI New York, The Royal Opera House, Sage Gateshead and Durham Cathedral.

The Washington Post have described her music as “stupendous” and The Guardian recently praised her “gorgeous orchestral score” for ‘Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture’ which was also voted in to the Classic FM Hall of Fame 2016 and was named soundtrack of the year by MOJO magazine and sat in the Top 10 of both the Official and Classic FM charts for several weeks.

Jessica wrote the music for the genre-defying ‘Dear Esther’, which won awards for Best Audio at the TIGA’s, a GANG award and nominations for Best Audio at the BAFTAs. The music went on a worldwide orchestral tour as part of Replay: Symphony of Heroes. The sold-out ‘Dear Esther Live’, where the game was played real-time alongside musicians and BAFTA nominated actor Oliver Dimsdale has recently premiered at The Barbican to great acclaim.

Jessica’s music has had extensive airplay on Classic FM, as well as on radio stations and in concert halls around the world.

Jessica Curry Website

Following the implosion of his band The Czars and a period of six years learning to live and survive without all his former crutches Grant nailed his 2010 solo debut Queen Of Denmark. It’s been the most spectacular of journeys, from a place in time when John Grant feared he’d never make music again or escape a life of addiction, to winning awards, accolades and Top 20 chart positions, and collaborating with Sinead O’Connor, Goldfrapp, Elton John and Hercules & Love Affair. The fact he subsequently won a Best International Male Solo Artist nomination at the 2014 BRITS alongside Eminem, Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars and Drake, seemed like some fantasy dreamt up in a moment of outrageous hubris.

Music Beyond Mainstream put Grant together with The Royal Northern Sinfonia as a 34-piece orchestra for a UK tour, commissioning new songs from Grant that would be released on his third album invitingly titled Grey Tickles. The BBC also requested a session of the orchestral show with BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. It was broadcast live on 6 Music, and subsequently released by Bella Union, confirming that it was simply the latest spectacular chapter in his personal and artistic renaissance.

Ongoing health issues (not least of which is handling his HIV Positive status), still processing, “decades of brainwashing,” he says from a traumatic childhood, Grant still manages to keep fighting the good fight, and writing his way out of trouble. “I want to continue to challenge myself,” he says. “To keep collaborating, to get the sound or the direction that will take me where I need to go. To keep taking the bull by the horns.”

John Grant Website

Ladysmith Black Mambazo first came together in the early 1960s under the gentle guidance of sweet-voiced Joseph Shabalala. His inspiration for the group came to him in a dream in which a choir of children sang and danced, and he soon transferred that dream to reality when he formed Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Ladysmith is the name of Joseph’s hometown. Black being a reference to the oxen, the strongest of all farm animals; and Mambazo being the Zulu word for chopping axe, a symbol of the group’s ability to “chop down” any singing rival who might challenge them.
The group borrows heavily from a traditional music called isicathamiya (is-cot-a-ME-Ya), which developed in the mines of South Africa, where black workers were taken by rail to work far away from their homes and their families. Poorly housed and paid worse, the mine workers would entertain themselves after a six-day week by singing songs into the wee hours on Sunday morning. When the miners returned to the homelands, this musical tradition returned with them.
In the mid-1980s, Paul Simon visited South Africa and incorporated the group’s rich tenor/alto/bass harmonies into “Graceland” – a landmark recording, seminal in introducing world music to mainstream audiences. Since then, the group has been awarded two more Grammy Awards (“Raise Your Spirit Higher (2004) and “Ilembe (2009)”) and has been nominated a total of fifteen times.
Ladysmith Black Mambazo has recorded with numerous artists from around the world. Nelson Mandela (shortly after his release from prison) publicly stated that the members of Ladysmith Black Mambazo were “South Africa’s cultural ambassadors”.  

Ladysmith Black Mambazo Website