The Launchpad fund part of Horizons a partnership between BBC Cymru Wales and Arts Council of Wales, which invests in and highlights original Welsh music talent, has announced the most diverse list in its history.
And to celebrate each awardees’ talent and potential and to get them started, there is an online festival from today until Friday, with profiles, home sessions and online discussions.
The incredible thirty three artists supported this year including Eadyth, Faith, Los Blancos (pictured), and Madi will benefit from £40k funding between them and are joined by record labels for the first time High Grade Grooves (Caernarfon), Recordiau Jigcal (Cardiff), Something Out of Nothing Records (Cardiff), to firm up support of those who find and platform grassroots talent.
Fourteen female artists and sixteen black musicians and artists of colour from a range of genres receiving funding to aid their music and creative work, spotlighting the exciting growth of MOBO (music of black origin) music throughout Wales. Everyone will be offered artist-centred music business training as well.
Since it started in 2014, the Launchpad fund has been awarded to over 200 artists including two Welsh Music Prize winners – Adwaith and Meilyr Jones – plus the up and coming Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard, Rosehip Teahouse, Melin Melyn who now enjoy UK-wide success, from over 60 towns across Wales, investing £210,000 in the Welsh music ecosystem.
Many have been supported in their creative work with the fund enabling them to utilise studio time, specially commissioned photography and artwork, promotion of releases, equipment, video production and touring costs. For the thirty three artists awarded funding this year this is their first step on their Horizons journey, that could in the future include artist development, promotion and showcases sets at major festivals.
The applications were selected by a panel made up of twenty five members – including Super Furry Animals’ Cian Ciarian, Producers Gethin Pearson, Kris Jenkins, band manager Ryan Richards, singer Casi, and BBC Radio Cymru host Rhys Mwyn and many more bloggers, performers, managers and others from the UK music industry.