My name is Yasmine Davies, and I'm from a small village in the South Wales Valleys called Aberbargoed. I moved to Cardiff when I was 17, and I've been here on and off pretty much ever since.

I worked on a project as part of my master's. The head of Beacons, Spike, was a guest lecturer for one session and asked us to create a project like one that already exists within Beacons.

He loved my idea and asked if I could join in an R&D capacity. I researched for maybe six months or more and then presented my findings. Resonant started from there. It was the right idea under the right circumstances and having somebody recognise it as something necessary.

I have a band called Banshee, and I've been gigging and on the scene for years. I’d encountered too many issues being the only woman in the room or the only person who identifies like me and wanted to see that change. Just a feeling like there wasn't a wealth of access. I come from the valleys, on top of that. From where I was standing, it felt like a bit of a boy's club.

I’m also a lesbian, and I have a lot of community around me because of that – a lot of trans and non-binary friends. I was noticing that this is a common thread; it's not just a woman's problem, there are trans men who don't get the same opportunities as me and often get worse or will be treated worse in a work environment. I tried to figure out what was holding people back. A lot of the time it was the attitudes of those in power who were meant to be training you and how they can make you feel small.

I started building the idea for this project around centring marginalised genders; coming together, finding common ground, and finding a community of people who support them, and understand what they've been through. I've had applications for the project almost bring a tear to the eye: how can anybody turn their back on somebody just trying to be themselves?

At Resonant, we take on 10 individuals of all ages for a six-month course. They have monthly workshops, and they partake in shadowing opportunities. We've got a great partnership with Clwb Ifor Bach. We've been sending them on event wrapping, sound-teching and lighting design, so they get to shadow with a professional and see if it's for them.

They’re assigned an industry mentor to help with their development. At the end of this, they're also going to work Sŵn Festival; that could be behind the scenes, on stage, artist liaison or in the ticket office.

Our project participants overwhelmingly identify as LGBTQ. A lot of them are also neurodivergent. There are certain barriers that you face when you have these identities. This project needs to exist, so people have access and a clear roadmap into the industry. Otherwise, it's inaccessible. You can't do a role that you don't see yourself in. Representation is so important for us, and it drives everything we do. The project is in its second iteration, so we're grateful for the funding. It's allowed us to do that.

I know that there are lots of people in the valleys like me; young, queer people, young trans people, non-binary people, and women that haven't had the option to explore music. I'd love to see us take what we have here and bring it to other areas of Wales.

I would also love to see other projects like it, or I would love to leave a legacy with it. Other than that, I'm intending to start working at USW as a guest lecturer later this year. And I hope that I have a very successful band.

To find out more about the Creative Wales-funded project Resonant, head to Beacon’s website.

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