Adwaith were announced as the winner of the Welsh Music Prize 2019 for their awesome debut album, Melyn during an award ceremony at The Coal Exchange, last night.
A panel of industry experts deliberated over the shortlist of twelve albums. After a successful first eighteen months as a band, Adwaith’s debut album was delivered with much excitement. I said at the time that Melyn was a “vivid depiction of their growth and a testament to why I have previously dubbed Adwaith the most constantly exciting and evolving new Welsh band around. What shines through these fifteen tracks is the sheer quality, breadth and maturity of the songwriting with new details revealing themselves with each listen, possessed of the distinctive quality of three talented childhood friends with the vision to see beyond their Welsh Walian background, borders and to a brighter horizon beyond the margins.”
The win comes fresh off the back of playing M in Montreal this week. In their acceptance speech they said: “This is so insane! Thank you to everyone that bought the album, and everyone that has helped us and supported us.”
Melyn, which means ‘Yellow’ in Welsh saw light of day last October, recorded in Giant wafer studios in Powys and in Music Box in Cardiff, produced by Steff Pringle it’s a wonderful long player. “There are songs on the album that we’ve been working on since we started the band, we used old songs that maybe we didn’t like anymore too and completely changed them” explained Gwenllian to us last year. Hollie adding “all of our songs are very personal, quite nostalgic, that’s the theme of the album” before Gwenllian continues “It’s about growing up, it’s like a documentary on us since we started in this band because we used all the songs since we started the band three years ago, on this album.”
“When we wrote the album we went there without a full album and we wrote some of the songs in the studio.” She continues “It was in a secluded place in the middle of nowhere and we could just create there; when we jam we don’t really have a way of recording things, just on our phone. But when you are recording you can mess around and be really creative and be really free.”
Huw Stephens described the album as “A very exciting and deserved winner from an exceptional shortlist. Adwaith have made a real impact with their personal, beautiful music that captures what it’s like to be young, female, frustrated and bewildered at the world we live in.”
Also awarded for the second time, the Welsh Music Inspiration Award went to Meredydd Evans & Phyllis Kinney. Arwel Rocet Jones collected the award on behalf of the pair, after Meredydd sadly passed away in 2015. Together, Meredydd and Phyllis dedicated their lives to Welsh music and made an enormous impact on the singing tradition in Wales through their integral role in promoting Welsh folk music to a global audience.
Finally, this year, the organisers of the Welsh Music Prize introduced the new Triskel Award, given to three artists they believe offer a bright future for music in Wales. This was won by Rosehip Teahouse, Los Blancos and Hana2k. With the support of Help Musicians UK, the three artists will all receive an industry support package to help kick-start their careers. This includes a creative development award of £500, free access to the Musicians Hearing Health Scheme (MHHS) and two hours of business planning.
This years Welsh Music Prize winners Adwaith played the Welsh Music Mixer this time last year.
The twelve Welsh Music Prize 2019 shortlist albums:
Accü - Echo The Red
audiobooks – Now! (in a minute)
Carwyn Ellis – Joia!
Cate Le Bon – Reward
Deyah – Lover Loner
Estrons – You Say I’m Too Much I Say You’re Not Enough
HMS Morris – Inspirational Talks,
Lleuwen – Gwn Flan Beibl
Lucas J Rowe – Touchy Love
Mr – Oesoedd
Adwaith – Melyn
VRï – Tŷ ein Tadau
Adwaith now joins a list of winners that includes Boy Azooga (2018), The Gentle Good (2017), Meilyr Jones (2016), Gwenno (2015), Joanna Gruesome (2014), Georgia Ruth (2013), Future of the Left (2012), Gruff Rhys (2011).
The judges for this year’s prize were Dexter Batson (Spotify), Matt Jarrett (Diverse Music), Sian Eleri (BBC Radio Cymru/Folded Wing), Kaptin (Boomtown), Daniel Minty (Minty’s Gig Guide), Carolyn Hitt (Journalist), Lucy Wood (Latitude Festival) and Chris Roberts (Son Am Sin).
For more information about the Welsh Music Prize go to welshmusicprize.com or follow @welshmusicprize