To celebrate the wealth of Welsh language music on February 9th, the Welsh language initiatives will showcase the quiet heroes of the Welsh music scene, from emerging artist and gig organisers to school DJs.
Mentrau Iaith Cymru, an umbrella organisation who support the 22 Mentrau Iaith (Welsh language initiatives) across Wales wanted to celebrate not only the musicians and artists at the top of the pile, but those who are the backbone of the scene in our local communities.
Marged Rhys, Development Officer at Mentrau Iaith Cymru, says;
“There’s a wealth of Welsh language music out there, to rival any other music scene, but the successes are thanks to the hard work of people in local communities organising gigs, holding songwriting workshops for young people, or volunteering at a local radio. The Mentrau Iaith contributes a large part to the Welsh language music scene through organising events and running projects like these. This week, to celebrate Welsh language music, we’re showcasing only a few of the different ways the Mentrau Iaith have supporting the Welsh music scene in Wales with a different example on our website every day.”
One who has benefited from the Mentrau Iaith’s work is Ethan Williams from Beddau. Ethan, 17, attended sognwriting workshops organised by Menter Iaith Rhondda Cynon Taf with well known Welsh music producer and performer, Mei Gwynedd. Ethan says;
“I’ve been playing the piano and the guitar for a while but was never confident enough to write songs myself and perform them. Through the workshops with Mei Gwynedd I learnt a lot and have formed a band with my friends. We really enjoy playing music together and writing our own songs.”
According to Ethan, the local Menter Iaith supports the Welsh language music scene in many ways. He says;
“It’s great that Menter RhCT organises gigs for under 18s, music workshops, silent discos and the Parti Ponty festival in Pontypridd with great Welsh artists like Geraint Jarman and Chroma – all raising awareness of Welsh language music.”
Menter Rhondda Cynon Taf have also recently taken up a radio show with GTFM every Sunday Night from 8-10pm. Gwyndaf Lewis, who works for the Menter Iaith and presents the show, says;
“GTFM is a very popular digital radio in the local area and we thought it would be a great platform to showcase Welsh language music. The radio were very supportive of having a Welsh language show and we’re really greatful that they have offered us this platform to show listeners that there’s more to Welsh music than male voice choirs!”