Mama Alto is a cabaret artiste, jazz singer & gender transcendent diva.
Mama Alto is a cabaret artiste, jazz singer & gender transcendent diva. A queer, transgender person of colour, she works with the radical potential of storytelling, strength in softness and power in vulnerability. Her sublime velvet voice, her innate sense of pathos and poignancy, and her commanding oration have propelled her prolific rise in the performing arts as a niche talent and underground icon, whilst the intimate and revelatory inclusion of queer, gendered and racial politics in Mama’s work has made her a beloved beacon to her communities. From small salons to grand recital halls, Mama Alto is a consummate diva.
Mama Alto will undergo a creative process of extensive research and investigation through literature, practice and performance. Her focus will explore the concept of the diva, and the diva’s relationship to society. From sirens of ecstatic doom, to imperious prima donnas of the theatre and camp icons of queer popular culture: what can the diva, and her entanglements with gender, sexuality, womanhood, queerness, history, mythology and psychology tell us about art, society, and ourselves? Mama Alto intends to share her learnings through auto-ethnographic works - written, performed, audiovisual and multidisciplinary.
Spotify: Mama Alto
What does being awarded a Creators Fund grant mean to you?
Being awarded a Creators Fund grant is such a wonderful validation of my artistic practice, and enables access to such a greater variety of opportunities and platforms.
How important is 'time' to you, as an artist/creative professional?
There is never enough 'time' - time, money, energy, creativity and the 'business' of being an artist all congeal into an all-consuming, high-pressure, non-stop avalanche. Something like the Creators Fund interrupts that rigmarole and allows for 'time' to expand - for focus, for imagination, for investigation, for reflection, and for new creative horizons.
What are you most looking forward to over the months ahead?
Growth. Much, much growth.
Where would like to see yourself at the end of this process? How do you anticipate your career will develop as a result?
This opportunity and process will allow me to delve deep into my artistic practice, and extend that into a greater understanding of the contexts and histories of my art form, and become a better, more engaged and more intelligent artisan. I hope this process will be another springboard for me in my current and ongoing quest to gradually transition from an emerging artist into an established one. I hope as a result I will develop into an artist who can make even more significant contributions to the form of cabaret performance and to carry the flame of the lineage of divas before me.