BBC Cymru Wales and Arts Council of Wales will today announce a music initiative to support emerging contemporary music artists in Wales and help provide a legacy from the WOMEX World Music Expo hosted in Cardiff this week.
The scheme - Horizons/Gorwelion - will be jointly funded by BBC Cymru Wales and Arts Council of Wales across the next two years, supporting artists and bands working in Welsh and English. Horizons/Gorwelion will grow fresh musical talent by offering a platform for contemporary music at events across Wales and through the BBC's national radio services - BBC Radio Cymru and BBC Radio Wales. The scheme will showcase the most exciting unsigned acts through the new Sounds of 2014 initiative and help unlock future potential through a Launchpad Fund.
The Sounds of 2014
The Sounds of 2014 will showcase 12 unsigned artists or acts from Wales with the potential to make a real breakthrough in 2014. The acts will be brought together under one brand to develop and showcase the freshest and most exciting artists across Wales. The acts will be chosen by a panel of industry experts.
Working with Arts Council Wales, BBC Cymru Wales will broadcast live from over 10 major events across Wales per year, providing a showcase for new and emerging music talent and underlining the diversity of Welsh music in both languages.
The Launchpad Fund will help support unsigned artists with the potential to significantly further their career within the next two years. It will offer grants of up to £5,000 to new Welsh artists towards resources such as instruments and equipment, rehearsal and demo time and tour costs.
Recipients will be chosen by editorial experts from BBC Radio Cymru, BBC Radio Wales and Arts Council of Wales to ensure support goes to the best talent of contemporary talent.
Director of BBC Cymru Wales, Rhodri Talfan Davies says: "This new scheme will provide a launchpad for Wales' most exciting and promising music talents. It is much, much more than a fund - it offers Wales' brightest emerging talent the opportunity to shine, to take the next step in their careers and to reach out to new audiences.
"BBC Cymru Wales has a very proud tradition of finding and championing the most promising artists in Welsh and English. Right now there's a real boom in Welsh music popularity with artists like The Joy Formidable, Yr Ods and Georgia Ruth going from strength to strength - and this partnership with Arts Council Wales demonstrates our commitment to supporting artistic excellence right across Wales."
Chief Executive of Arts Council of Wales, Nick Capaldi says: "We are delighted to build on our partnership with BBC Cymru Wales through the Horizons/Gorwelion initiative. The Arts Council of Wales is committed to supporting great music across all genres, exemplified by our hosting of the WOMEX World Music Expo and our sector-specific Music Industry Development Fund. Horizons/Gorwelion builds on this by nurturing and supporting early talent. It will offer contemporary Welsh music a platform to reach audiences through live events and broadcast, ensuring that support goes to the best talent of today and tomorrow across Wales during 2014."
Bethan Elfyn from BBC Radio Wales says: "There's a huge passion for supporting Welsh music of all shapes and sizes across BBC Radio Cymru and BBC Radio Wales and this fund will take this passion to a new level.
"It's not an isolated mission, it infuses everything we all do. Sometimes it's a bedroom-recorded acoustic act, sometimes an international rock band; from the wave of big 90s bands who are still playing and performing, to the independent record labels, studios and producers. The Welsh music map is as interesting as ever and we've been playing all of them from their very first release or demo. I'm proud to be part of BBC Wales' impressive track record of supporting real music - big or small, new and old, loud and quiet, sung in Welsh and in English - and all its magical variety."
The announcement will take place at the 'Wales, WOMEX and beyond' reception at the Senedd, at 1930 on Friday 25 October. Kizzy Crawford will be performing at the event.
The scheme is a part of the Public Value Partnership between Arts Council Wales and BBC Cymru Wales announced in June 2013.
The Horizons scheme will be targeted at Welsh domiciled artists and bands writing, producing and performing contemporary popular music including new and emerging genres. This includes indie, electronic, urban, pop, rock, world and folk.
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