With Welsh-language music enjoying a surge in popularity and a wave of genre-diverse acts emerging, it’s an exciting time to be part of the Welsh music scene.
Let us introduce you to the Welsh bands and artists you should have on your radar in 2022 – all of which have been supported by the PPL Momentum Music Fund.
Magugu’s commanding vocal tones and versatile, experimental music are what sets him apart in the music industry. The Cardiff-based Nigerian rapper stormed onto the underground music scene with his avant-garde pidgin rap style – a local Nigerian dialect made up of English and local slangs. Now he’s taking his unique sound to the world with plays on BBC 1Xtra, 6Music, BT Sport and ESPN.
Introducing Venom Prison. After releasing their demo in 2015, the heavy metal supremos ripped through the festival circuit – playing at the likes of Download, Glastonbury and Bloodstock. In 2019, their album Samsara was named one of Kerrang!’s top 10 albums of the year. Meanwhile, their 2022 release Erebros continues to propel the band through the metal music ranks worldwide. Vocalist Larissa Stupar is widely respected for her outspoken lyrics on topics from racism to social injustice.
Post-punk trio Adwaith are no strangers to being named as a band to watch. Formed in Carmarthen in 2015, the Welsh-language band have gone on to receive critical acclaim. Their debut album Melyn was the 2019 winner of the Welsh Music Prize.
As well as enjoying multiple radio plays on 6 Music, they also recorded a session in the BBC Maida Vale Studios for Huw Stephens. Their beautiful bilingual songs have been played at gigs across the globe and the trio have taken to the stage at Green Man and Latitude.
Cardiff born and raised rapper Juice Menace is all about determination, and it’s paying off. Even before turning 20, she was cementing her place in the UK’s contemporary rap scene. As well as making her way onto Spotify’s Rap UK playlist, she was tipped as one of Triller’s UK creators of the month. gal-dem also named her One to Watch in 2020. Proud of her roots, the talented rapper with a virtuosic flow credits Cardiff as having a huge influence on her.
Hailing from Dolgellau, Welsh-language wonders Sŵnami appeared back on the scene after a four-year hiatus with new single Theatr in 2021. The 5-piece indie rockers began their journey in 2011, but it was their self-titled 2015 EP that brought in the accolades. As well as winning Welsh Language Album of The Year, the band were nominated for the Welsh Music Prize.
Immerse yourself in their synth-pop sounds and watch their Portmeirion-filmed video for Theatr, starring White Lines star Tom Rhys Harries.
Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard
If you haven’t had a chance to see Cardiff’s Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard play live yet, then you need to. The 70s glam-rock inspired band are a force on and off the stage and fast becoming one of Wales’ most promising young bands. They've enjoyed radio plays across the UK's top stations, including Radio 1 and 6Music. And the four-piece are favourites on the festival circuit – from Glastonbury to All Points East.
Backhand Deals, their long-awaited album, is out now. Soak up their sweet, nostalgic sounds and give them a listen.
Those Damn Crows
Following in the footsteps of Welsh legends Funeral for a Friend and Bullet for my Valentine, Those Damn Crows burst out of Bridgend in 2014. Their second album Point Of No Return was released in 2020 to critical acclaim – hitting number 14 in the Official Album Chart.
The hard rockers are known for their killer riffs and vocals, which they’ve taken to the stage at Planet Rock and Download Festival. Keep an eye out for their third album scheduled for release later in 2022.
Llandudno-born Nia Wyn is a soulful singer with a talent for socially conscious, forward-thinking storytelling. While her distinctive voice is heavily influenced by sounds of the past, her lyrics battle with many contemporary frustrations.
As well as having her songs played across BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 1, and BBC Introducing, Nia recently toured as chief support for the legendary Paul Weller.