Sounds That Carry Across Borders
From Planet 224

Congratulations to Hannah Roberts, the winner of our 2016 Young Writers’ Essay Competition. In her essay, Hannah argues the Welsh music scene needs to transcend its linguistic schisms and anxieties in order to promote Welsh music in both languages around the world.

Wales is seen as the ‘land of song’. This stereotype conjures up images of elderly men singing in choirs; a hip-thrusting Tom Jones or perhaps a fair maiden strumming the strings of her harp as clog dancers jump over their hankies and brooms that have been carelessly left lying around on the kitchen floor.

There is far more to the Welsh music industry than this, but that is not to say that it hasn’t got its faults or room to grow. Just like the nation, the Welsh music industry is fractured, linguistically and geographically split. In contemporary music we have two streams: Anglophone music which emerged from the Cool Cymru generation who were responding to a bigger Britpop movement during the 1990s; and its underground Welsh speaking alter-ego which has been steadily growing in popularity outside Welsh-speaking circles since John Peel’s heyday and the later Cool Cymru phenomenon, but is still limited in reach due to the language barrier.

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