Ed Holden - Mr Phormula, Rapping in Welsh all over the world
Under the name Mr Phormula, Ed Holden is a beat-boxer, rapper and producer, performing Welsh hip hop on the world stage.

What was your first experience of Welsh music?
Guitarist Aron Elias asked me to be a part of his band, Pep Le Pew, and I remember him giving me a cassette of their music. I listened to the cassette and heard Welsh language rap for the first time ever, wow! So I joined the band and that’s what launched my career in the Welsh music industry.

Who was your favourite Welsh language band or musician whilst growing up?
Until I joined Pep Le Pew at 17 I didn’t realise that there was a modern side to the Welsh language. Through the band I heard about Tystion, a Hiphop crew from South Wales. I loved Cravos’ voice (aka Mc Sleifar) and Rhys and Llyr from Twin Town!

What is your favourite Welsh language album or song ever?
Album - Super Furry Animals - Mwng

Song - Tystion - Diwrnod Braf / SFA - Y Gwyneb Iau

What’s the best Welsh language music performance you have ever seen?
Gruff Rhys at the National Eisteddfod, St Davids in 2002. He played a solo set with a bingo machine and a whiteboard with numbers and an SFA song to each number. He’d turn the bingo machine, and pick up a random number and play an acoustic version of the song on a cheap little keyboard and a guitar – amazing atmosphere!

Has Welsh language music influenced your life in any way?
Definitely, as a professional musician I make 90% of my earnings by performing or teaching beatbox and rap through Welsh. Without this I wouldn't be able to live off my craft. Being able to use two language is a huge advantage, especially when I’m performing outside of Wales – it has a great reaction!

What are you listening to at the moment?
Candelas / Ifan Dafydd / Band Pres Llareggub

Finish this sentence ‘Without Welsh language music...’
.....My day to day life consists of music workshops - it gives me such a pleasure to pass on the craft to a new generation and show them that the Welsh language music scene is healthy and so rich. Life is about living and being positive in all that you do. This wouldn't be possible for me without Welsh language music.'

Interested in hearing more Welsh language contemporary music? Have a look on our Contemporary Music page for more information.

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