Meet the Team

  • Production!

    Diandra McCalla


Music has been a major part of my life for as long as I can remember! I started playing the cello aged 5, which furthered my interest. I have a Music degree from the University of Nottingham where I particularly enjoyed conducting the string orchestra and learning about how music relates to different social contexts. I decided to take part in Project SoundLounge as I thought it would be an exciting opportunity to combine my passion for music with my borderline obsession with organising things!

At the moment I’m listening to a lot of Neo-Soul and top of my list would be the group Hiatus Kaiyote. Check them out:  Hiatus Kaiyote – Breathing Underwater

Fun fact: I can do an uncanny impression of Donald Duck.

Shemuel Mason


My support worker found out about SoundLounge after seeing a flyer looking for applicants for this years project. I was immediately really interested and she applied on my behalf. I have always been passionate about music and am a DJ/Sound engineer on weekends, as well as a producer. I have been doing this from the age of 11!

I don’t really have a favourite genre because I’ve grown up around loads of different types of music. However, I am currently listening to: J Hus – Did You See

Fun fact: I once interviewed Kim from Eastenders (Tameka Empson)! 

Alice Watts


Last year I worked for an online magazine, creating a platform focused on young Birmingham based artists and entrepreneurs. The city is full of talented people and for me, Project SoundLounge is a great way to continue putting underrated and undiscovered talent into the spotlight. At the minute I am grabbing every opportunity I can to gain experience in marketing and events through working in a marketing job, volunteering at a pop-up cinema company and also running a social action campaign.

Right now I am listening to Flashed Junk Mind by Milky Chance, and Pansy Waltz by Shakey Graves.

Fun Fact: Apparently I’m somehow related to a musician from back in the day called Matt Monro?!

Amanda Castillo-Bastias


I am really interested in working in live music shows, particularly the live engineering part. I joined Project SoundLounge because I thought it’d be a great way to get experience in organising music events outside of what I do in college. I really enjoy learning new things and discovering areas of music tech that I hadn’t even considered before. 

I listen to a bit of everything, but at the moment I’m really into Crossfaith. This song is 10/10 live btw! 

Fun fact: I accidentally headbutted the drummer of Pierce The Veil when I was 13.

  • Programming!

Lamorna Conlon


I have always been interested in the arts, both visual and performing, and look to take any opportunity to broaden my knowledge on the subject. Project SoundLounge seemed like a great way to learn about a side of the arts that I hadn’t considered before and has made me realise how much work is put in behind the scenes! Being a part of the THSH organisation as well as the PSL team is really cool, whilst the project is becoming a great way to learn more about the Birmingham music scene.

Music wise I enjoy most styles, listening to anything from Sleaford Mods and Guns N’ Roses to Eminem and Johnny Cash. I am currently listening to: Lady Gaga – John Wayne

Fun fact: One of the best shows I’ve been to was Barry Manilow!

James Attwood


I am a musician, producer and songwriter who performs regularly across the West Midlands, currently playing guitar in local band The Life and for anyone else who needs me! I am currently in a gap year, working as a teaching assistant within Walsall Studio School’s music department. Here I use my skills and experience as a musician to aid the learning and hopefully inspire others looking to pursue music further as they grow up. I am keen not only to gain work in the music industry as a performer, but to learn, gain experience and potentially work behind the scenes too. Project SoundLounge is an excellent opportunity for me as a young musician to not only network, but to gain an insight into a different area of the industry that I plan to work in. It’s not everyday you get full control over planning a music festival in one of the city’s best venues!

Currently listening to: Loveless by Lo Moon. Came across these guys by chance, really looking forward to hearing more of their material!

Fun fact: I once performed at the O2 arena in London with about 20 minutes notice!

Sara Abouhilal


I am an opera enthusiast who is planning (fingers crossed, gah) to pursue a career as a professional opera singer (and I am sure my degree in Liberal Arts from the University of Birmingham is leading me just there). Performing arts management is also something that immensely excites me, so working with Project SoundLounge, besides being great fun, provides an amazing opportunity to have a glance inside the work of such a prominent organisation as THSH. Programming this festival is an insane challenge, but nevertheless a very pleasant one!

When it comes to music I love anything classical ( well, maybe not neo-modernism). I am currently listening to: La Traviata (boring, but here, try it out)

Fun fact: No, I cannot break glass with my top notes, but I love singing arias under the shower.

  • Marketing! 

Sophie Duncan


I am currently pursuing a career in the arts sector and am particularly interested in careers within heritage, culture and fundraising. I joined Project SoundLounge because it was based around music and events planning/management and I’d had little experience in these areas. I wanted to push myself outside of my comfort zone to gain new skills and experience new things. I also thought it sounded interesting and working with THSH sounded really special, definitely not something I’d have the opportunity to do again! I am currently in my second year at the University of Birmingham studying towards an English Literature degree.

My favourite music genre is probably indie/rock, both old and new! I am currently listening to: Fleetwood Mac – Sisters of The Moon

Fun fact: I wrote a short story that got published in an anthology (book of short poems) when I was in secondary school!

Peter Bowkett


I am an English and Film studies graduate from the University of Keele and now work at the ICC and VOX conference centres in Birmingham. I also regularly volunteer at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery as an activities assistant. I am interested in potentially pursuing a career in events or marketing but also love being involved with the Birmingham arts scene. This is why Project SoundLounge seemed like the perfect opportunity for me, as it has allowed me to develop a variety of new and valuable skills in a sector that I love.

My favourite music genres are RnB, pop and disco and I’m currently listening to: Kitty Girl by Rupaul

Fun fact: I love creating things and I love lip syncing for my life!

Sinnie Foday


I am currently a student at Birmingham Ormiston Academy, an academy that focuses on the performing, creative and digital arts. I am currently working towards a Level 2 diploma in musical theatre, and next year will be working towards a Level 3 diploma in music technology. I chose to apply for Project SoundLounge for the pure experience that you gain from it,  which will most likely come in handy in my future career involving the arts (hopefully!)

My favourite genre is rap/grime and i am currently listening to: Dave | JKYL+HYD

Fun fact: I once paddled across an African river in a handmade canoe, whilst I was spending a year living there at 7.

Harry Alimo


My passion in life is always to do with art, no matter what the art form is. The Ikon Youth Programme, a extra curricular club of young creative people, pitched what Project SoundLounge was and within the first 5 minutes I wanted to sign up immediately.  I am currently finishing my gap year and signing up to every opportunity that comes my way! In 2015 I was diagnosed with a brain tumour and for a while it had been a downward spiral, until recently when I gained the motivation (thanks to my best friend) to find what I want to do in life. I will say that this Gap Year has saved my life for the better – meeting more friends and making new friendships to last a lifetime.

I love listening to Dream Pop (great video editing music): Andrew Applepie – I’m So

Fun fact – Harry Alimo is my Abbreviated name.