Art School Girlfriend, Bryde, Dead Method, Lemfreck talk Welsh Music Prize 2022 1

Art School Girlfriend, Bryde, Dead Method, Lemfreck talk Welsh Music Prize 2022

In the buildup to the Welsh Music Prize ceremony this Wednesday, we spoke to four of the nominated acts Art School Girlfriend, Bryde, Dead Method, and L E M F R E C K to find out how they felt about being nominated and why the WMP is important for them. Also nominated are Gwenno, Cate Le Bon, Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard, Adwaith, Don Leisure, Carwyn Ellis & Rio 18, Manic Street Preachers and more. Read our interview with Huw Stephens here.

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I remember when it started, like 10 years ago, I remember thinking this is a really good thing because I knew that obviously, different countries have their own things. We’ve got the Mercury Music Prize, but to have it on a bit more of like a macro level is great.” Nominated for her sublime and evocative debut album Is It Light Where You Are, Art School Girlfriend aka multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Polly Mackey explains why she thinks the Welsh music Prize is a positive force shining a spotlight on Welsh releases.
“Wales is so synonymous with music, I think it’s a really good way to kind of zoom in and focus on the good stuff happening and Wales as well, just as well as nationally,” she enthused.

In a year full of brilliant Welsh releases, competition was fierce: “Yeah. When I got put on a long list, and I was looking at it I was like “oh, yeah every single Welsh artist has released music this year!”

“So that’s why I was so thrilled to be announced on the shortlist because Cate Le Bon is one of my favorite artists ever and then yeah to be on the same list as her is incredible!” she explains.

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Previously nominated when she was working in Paper Aeroplanes, Bryde aka Sarah Howells, received the news of her nomination for her latest album Still via email from Huw Stephens. She describes the nod as “Really nice. It feels like a nice, close to the chapter. And it’s nice to get recognition. I love a ton of the albums that are nominated. And we’ll check out the others that I’ve yet to hear too!”

Recorded at the end of lockdown, Howells says it’s an album of different shades of love. “I was aware that one song in particular was kind of about unrequited love, and that whole drama of throwing yourself at someone and the pain and heightened emotions of unrequited love. Then I wanted to name it. I didn’t want to feel like a cliche. Then I looked at the other songs, and realized that they were all about different kinds of love.”

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Dead Method aka Lloyd responded to being nominated for his illuminating hyper pop opus Future Femme .”I’m over the moon. A a lot of time passed on and I thought ‘I am definitely not nominated because haven’t heard anything.’ And then as soon as I’ve given a hope, I got the email so I’ve been extra happy about it.”

“When we when we started making the album, me and Edward who produced it, one of our concrete goals was we wanted to be nominated for it. So we’rw really happy we both achieved it.”

He talked about how much being nominated means to him as a Queer artist.”Wales is not always the most inclusive place,” he explains. “So I’ve been having something like this with an album nominated, which is so openly queer and celebrates everything queer is really nice. It’s it feels really good to be recognized for that.”

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An excited L E M F R E C K tells me Huw Stephens rang him to tell him he was on the Welsh Music Prize shortlist for his album The Pursuit, released last year. He was really happy to hear the news. “When I made the project. I didn’t think anyone would notice apart from my mum. My mum and the boys, and only the boys because I forced it down them. Then I think once we released we really ‘Falling’ and like I was like people like they’re like “okay, then we released ‘Kings’ and it just took off from there. So yeah, I had no yeah, no idea at all. “

Speaking of the inspiration behind The Pursuit, he explains it was “born out of – I don’t really like using the word desperation – but there is a beauty that is often born out of desperation. And I felt like I had a lot of stuff that I wanted to unpack and save for myself. And I had, like, a lot of stuff that I wanted to say for my community as well.”

The Newport artist reveals he sees the community of Welsh hip-hop supporting the wins for each other as a community “I feel like people are now understanding that like a win-win for one person in our community is a win-win for everyone. We had Mace The Great on the shortlist last year. We had Luke Rv before, and Deyah won like two years ago, ” he enthuses.

Also the exciting Welsh Mobo scene is looking beyond Wales too. “Yeah, it’s more than that. And we kind of need to see it with this broader lens. Look at the big hitters we are producing at the moment, A-listed and regular performance on Radio One, regular on One Extra.”

The winner of the Welsh Music Prize 2022 is announced on 26 Oct in the Donald Gordon Theatre at Wales Millenium Centre, and features live performances from Adwaith, Buzzard Buzzard, Dead Method, Sage Todz and Aderyn. The event officially open this year’s Llais festival. Tickets available here.

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God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.