Deyah was revealed last night via a digital ceremony on the Welsh Music Prize website and AM app as the winner of this year’s Welsh Music Prize, its tenth. The Prize aims to highlight the very best in new music from Welsh artists.
Rapper, singer and MC Deyah‘s second album ‘Care City’ is released on her own label and is self-produced. The record’s DIY aesthetic is reflected in its grounding in unflinching reality, delving into her personal past and exploring addiction issues and healing, and isolation, meaning the album inadvertently reflects the universal 2020 experience.
Deyah has received praise from notable artists such as Wiley, JME, Little Simz, Lily Allen, Jessie J, Kojey Radical, Shakka and Bugzy Malone and earned support from The Guardian, Fred Perry: Subculture, Guestlist Network, GUAP Magazine, I Am Hip Hop Magazine and Itchy Silk.
She is a prolific artist, her debut album Lover Loner was shortlisted for the Welsh Music Prize last year, and she was added to BBC Introducing’s Hot List for International Women’s Day 2019.
In her acceptance speech, Deyah said: “Winning the Welsh Music Prize for Care City is a total surprise but a complete honour. It’s a body of work that documents the hardest season I’ve ever gone through and for it to be nominated let alone win is so humbling, I’m so grateful! With this album I want to educate people to live life without pressure of expectation”.
Huw Stephens, the Welsh Music Prize’s co-founder, said, “Deyah’s Care City impressed the judges immensely with her personal, poetic and intricately produced album. She’s a young Welsh artist who is really making her mark on the music scene, and we’re thrilled for her to be the 10th recipient of the Welsh Music Prize. Care City is a phenomenal listen, her words and flow are outstanding.”
Also announced last night were this year’s three Triskel Award winners, emerging artists showing substantial potential are Eädyth, Mace The Great and Malan. They win a creative support package to help them progress their careers
The Triskel has an impressive track record; in 2019 Rosehip Teahouse, HANA2K and the Welsh Music Prize 2020 shortlisted Los Blancos, received the award.
The digital ceremony included a surprise appearance from Michael Sheen, a long-standing champion of music and the arts in Wales, via zoom.
He said, “The incredible richness, the imagination, the creativity that is represented by all the nominees this year is extraordinary. I’ve been blown away by it. It makes me feel incredibly proud to know that people across the world are able to get a window into who we are in Wales through this music, because you are our voice internationally.”
The shortlist expanded to 15 albums this year instead of the usual ten. Five this year, the Prize’s 10th anniversary, were debuts.
The Welsh Music Prize 2020 albums are: ‘Mirores’ – Ani Glass, ‘Chaos Wonderland’ – Colorama, ‘Ofni’ – Cotton Wolf, ‘Care City‘ – Deyah, ‘Steel Zakuski’ – Don Leisure, ‘Mai‘ – Georgia Ruth, ‘Pang!’ – Gruff Rhys, ‘Eyelet‘ – Islet, ‘Bring Me The Head of Jerry Garcia’ – Keys, ‘A Vision In The Dark‘ – Kidsmoke, ‘Sbwriel Gwyn‘ – Los Blancos, ‘Valley Boy‘ – Luke RV, ‘Zone Rouge‘ – Right Hand Left Hand, ‘Everything Solved At Once’ – Silent Forum, ‘Iaith Y Nefoedd’ – Yr Ods
You can hear more from the Welsh Music Prize 2020 shortlisted artists with a new podcast series called Welsh Music Prize Conversations. The 15 episodes feature in-depth conversations with each of the artists about their nominated album, led by a uniquely matched contributor. The full series is released on Monday 23 November via AM, Apple Podcasts and Spotify and includes BBC presenter and Music Venue Trust patron Bethan Elfyn speaking to Georgia Ruth, musician and producer Shawn Lee speaking to Colorama, and journalist and broadcaster Jude Rogers speaking to Gruff Rhys.
The Welsh Music Prize was founded by Huw Stephens and John Rostron, recent previous winners include Adwaith, Boy Azooga, The Gentle Good and Meilyr Jones.