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Rise Up 2023: Generational experiences as a BPoC creative

  • MH Big Sky Studio
  • Music Hall
Rise up logo


Creatives from different generations discuss their experiences growing up and working in Scotland and how their journeys compare.

Host – Arusa Qureshi
Panellist – Adjei Amaning
Panellist – Ica Headlam
Panellist – Amanjit Uppal


Free but ticketed


Arusa Qureshi
Arusa Qureshi is a writer and editor based in Edinburgh, and a passionate advocate for diversity and accessibility within arts and culture. She is the current Editor of Fest and the former Editor of The List and writes mostly about music, most recently Flip the Script – a book about women in UK hip hop, published by 404 Ink. Her work has appeared in the Scotsman, Clash, The Guardian, GoldFlakePaint, Time Out, NME and more. She has previously been shortlisted for PPA Scotland’s Young Journalist of the Year award and was also a winner of the Allen Wright Award for quality writing in arts journalism. She is on the board of the Scottish Music Centre.

Ica Headlam
Ica Headlam is Creative Practitioner based in Aberdeen. He moved to Scotland in 2004 and is also a qualified Social Worker who works with vulnerable young adults across the city.

In late 2017 Ica started to independently produce and host Creative Me Podcast a fortnightly show that explores creativity and arts in the North East of Scotland, with the aim of drawing a wider focus on Aberdeen’s creative community.

Ica is also the founder of We Are Here Scotland which is an organisation that aims to amplify the voices of Black and People of Colour artists and creatives across Scotland’s creative industries. Ica is a strong advocate for representation across the creative sector and values the importance of open and honest dialogue.

Adjei Amaning
Adjei started off in the music industry as a session drummer, working with a lot of popular bands in the 80s. He then went on to form a band as a singer-songwriter, signing to Chrysalis Records (EMI), before going on to work as a manager, managing the likes of Neneh Cherry and Terence Trent D’Arby. He has also worked in A&R for Universal Records, EMI Records and Sanctuary Music and started a dance label, Sacred Records. More recently, he set up a new management company, Sacred Creative Artists, and a new record/publishing company, UJ Music. In addition, he is one of the founders of the Versus Cancer Charity, putting on concerts at the Manchester Arena for cancer patients in the city, and also founded Stigma, a charity that organises concerts in aid of mental health.

Amanjit Uppal
Amanjit is a law graduate and future trainee solicitor who also enjoys writing law-based newspaper articles. Over the past year, she has written articles for The National and The Press & Journal newspaper with a primary focus on human rights and immigration law. She has also featured on podcasts for the theatre company, Stellar Quines, and was listed on Scotland’s 30 under 30 list in 2022.



About Rise Up

Rise Up

A weekend of performances, talks, workshops and community spaces celebrating Black and People of Colour Creatives in Aberdeen and Scotland. Curated by We Are Here Scotland in partnership with Aberdeen Performing Arts.

See the whole programme here.