What was your first experience of Welsh music?
Welsh language music was such a big part of growing up that recalling my first experience is impossible. I remember my parents taking us when we were very young to see Meic Stevens playing at the Eisteddfod. I think my brother and I stayed in the rock tent all day - it was like a very noisy crèche.
Who was your favourite Welsh language band or musician whilst growing up?
I don’t think I differentiated between Welsh language music than any other language when I grew up. When I began discovering music for myself, Siop Clwyd was the place for music in Denbigh. Big Leaves, Super Furry Animals, Melys, and MC Mabon tapes were always there, on sale. When I was older I immersed myself into listening to Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci, Datblygu, Y Cyrff, and later alternative electronic like Infinity Chimps and Estron. Then collections like ‘Brave New Wales’ introduced a lot of experimental artists from Wales which are part of the British and the world avant-garde.
What is your favourite Welsh language album or song ever?
I’m not a fan of choosing only one thing, I could be missing something. But it would probably by something by Gruff Rhys, Euros Childs or Datblygu. I’ve been collecting Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci, Ectogram, Zabrinski and things from the Ankst label. I think that there’s so much music of high quality in the Welsh language that you can always discover more.
What’s the best Welsh language music performance you have ever seen?
There are too many! Many gigs made an impression on me when I was younger like seeing Big Leaves at Maes B, Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci at Central Station in Wrexham, Super Furry Animals at Sesiwn Fawr Dolgellau. There’s so many amazing gigs going on all the time. I love the moment in a performance when everything clicks into place to create the perfect atmosphere to that time and place.
Has Welsh language music influenced your life in any way?
Of course, more than I could ever imagine. I wouldn’t know where to start if I had to take apart the web of Welsh language music influence out of my subconscious. My head is full of tunes, poetry, politics and humour that only works in Welsh. It’s a massive influence.
What are you listening to at the moment?
At the moment I can’t stop listening to ‘Kaniad y Gwynn Bibydd’ that’s performed by William Taylor, on the ‘Rough Guide to Welsh Music’ compilation CD - even though its traditional folk music the sound is new and fresh to my ears. Some songs have such a deep rooted Welsh feel that’s so close yet so alien.
Finish this sentence ‘Without Welsh language music...’
......It would be difficult for the culture to breath and rejuvenate into an exciting future. I think that every kind of artistic expression is very important in a healthy culture; especially to a country with a minority language where there needs to be a contrast to maintain a natural momentum. Music seems to be able to seep into every part of society and keeps things developing.'
Interested in hearing more Welsh language contemporary music? Have a look on our Contemporary Music page for more information.