Horizons Launchpad Fund has announced awards totalling over £70,000 to forty-two emerging artists and labels across Wales. Horizons Launchpad Fund is part of Horizons – a partnership between BBC Cymru Wales and Arts Council of Wales – investing in and platforming original Welsh music talent.
Horizons Launchpad 2023 delivers a bumper year, with over £70,000 in awards being distributed – the highest amount awarded since the fund was established in 2014. Funding is offered to support the work of talent from across the country and spanning the entire spectrum of the music scene in Wales.
The recipients include a strong contingent of artists from the RnB and rap community, rock and punk bands, talented Welsh language music acts and exciting new artists who are gaining recognition and growing their audiences on stage and on record.
The awards are announced on the eve of Dydd Miwsig Cymru and, to mark this day and to celebrate the artists receiving awards, Horizons will be hosting an official launch party at the Norwegian Church in Cardiff Bay on Thursday 9 February – featuring performances from Sage Todz, Parisa Fouladi and Mari Mathias with a special appearance showcase from Angel Hotel, Jenna Kearns, Macy and Telgate.
A selection of 2023 launchpad artists – including Sage Todz, Parisa Fouladi, Gillie and Melda Lois will also be recording BBC sessions at BBC Central Square on Dydd Miwsig Cymru (Friday 10 February 2023). You can follow all the activity on the Horizons socials @horizonscymru
The artists receiving awards this year to develop their music careers include Welsh language rock band Ffatri Jam – who come from Anglesey and Caernarfon; Cardiff R&B singer-songwriter Aduja; aggro-glam band Telgate; 19 year-old Newport rapper Truth, North Wales hip hop artist Sage Todz; indie pop singer Aderyn, who grew up on a sheep farm in the Brecon Beacons; Welsh language experimental electronic act Sachasom who hail from Machynlleth; and Koash – a contemporary pop artist of Arabic and Welsh descent.
Three record labels have also been awarded funds this year to help their work developing and supporting Welsh artists. The three labels are Dirty Carrot Records – an independent record label based in Newport: and Cardiff labels Bard Picasso Records and Phwoar and Peace Records.
Antwn Owen-Hicks, Portfolio Manager at Arts Council of Wales said: “There’s a huge amount of talent in Wales’ music scene and it was a real privilege to listen to the range of music and discover some great new artists. Launchpad is a crucial source of support for emerging artists in Wales, and we look forward to following the progress of the recipients of this year’s funding.”
Bethan Elfyn, Project Manager with Horizons added: “It’s certainly been a bumpy few years for new artists and for the music community in Wales and it’s been a challenging time for everyone to pick up momentum again so it’s great to see investment in the very grassroots of the scene in Wales. By investing in artists, we inject the whole music ecosystem around the artists – from the studios, to producers, labels, promotion companies and so much more. We’re really excited to see how these music projects develop.”
The forty-two recipients of Horizons Launchpad 2023 funding are:
- ADERYN – BRECON
- ADJUA – CARDIFF
- ANGEL HOTEL – CARDIFF
- ANGHARAD – SWANSEA
- BABY BRAVE – WREXHAM
- BANSHI – CARDIFF
- BARD PICASSO RECORDS – CARDIFF
- BREICHIAU HIR – CARDIFF
- CHROMA – PONTYPRIDD
- DACTYL TERRA – CARDIFF
- DD DARILLO – CARDIFF
- DIRTY CARROT RECORDS – NEWPORT
- FFATRI JAM – ANGLESEY & CAERNARFON
- FRENCH ALPS TIGER – PONTADAWE
- GILLIE – LLANGADOG, CARMARTHENSHIRE
- HOLLIE PROFIT – CONWY
- JENNA KEARNS – NEWPORT
- JIMBO – CARDIFF
- KOASH – NEWPORT
- LEILA MCKENZIE – SWANSEA
- MACY – ABERTILLERY
- MAN LIKE VISION – NEWPORT
- MARI MATHIAS – CARDIFF
- MELDA LOIS – CARDIFF
- MINAS – CARDIFF
- MURDER CLUB – NEWPORT
- NATTY PAYNTER – CARDIFF
- NOOKEE – CARDIFF
- PARISA FOULADI – CARDIFF
- PHWOAR & PEACE RECORDS – CARDIFF
- RHI’N’B – SWANSEA
- SACHASOM – MACHYNLLETH
- SAGE TODZ – CAERNARFON
- SAMANA – WHITLAND, CARMARTHENSHIRE
- SORRY STACY – CARDIFF
- SYWEL NYW – CARDIFF
- TELGATE – CARDIFF
- THE FAMILY BATTENBURG – CARDIFF
- THE GOUDIES – PONTYCLUN, RHONDDA
- THE NIGHT SCHOOL – SWANSEA
- THE LIXX – TONYREFAIL, RHONDDA
- TRUTH – NEWPORT
Since its inception eight years ago, Horizons Launchpad Fund has been granted to approximately 300 artists, from over 60 different Welsh cities and towns, investing £343,000 in the Welsh music ecosystem. The funds for Horizons Launchpad are made possible through the National Lottery, allocated by Arts Council of Wales.
Many have been supported in their creative work with the fund enabling them to spend time in a studio, commission photography and artwork, for the promotion of releases, equipment, video production and touring costs. For the forty-two artists awarded funding this year this is a key moment in their journey and a step closer to other Horizons support including artist development, promotion and showcases sets at festivals.
Leila McKenzine from Swansea, one of the recipients of the funding said: “I’m currently working on my debut EP, set to drop this year. This funding is going to help with the process – from everything such as artwork costs to live sessions and PR – which is all hugely valuable for an artist like me.”
Another artist to receive funding, Gillie said: “I’m excited to have been chosen as one of the launchpad awardees, using this funding to invest in some much-needed recording equipment that will take my production process to the next stage of its development. This means so much to me, not just as an artist, but as a female producer, and I look forward to further harnessing my skillset!”
Dirty Carrot Records said: “We’re very grateful to Horizons for helping us to support the budding South Wales music scene. The funding will help us deliver our next project – which is filming live sessions in The Westgate Hotel, providing our artists with high quality videos of them performing.”
The 2023 Horizons Launchpad Fund recipients were selected by a panel including:
Lowri Jones (Arts Council of Wales)
Antwn Owen-Hicks (Arts Council of Wales)
Tori Sillman (Anthem)
Ifan Davies (BBC Radio Cymru)
Sam Dabb (Le Pub)
Helen Weatherhead (BBC 6 Music)
Christina MacDonald (EYC Ltd)
Aleighcia Scott (BBC Radio Wales/Artist)
James Prendergast (The Shutdown Show)
Tara Turner (Beacons/The Honey Sessions)
Perrie Wilson (Artist Manager: Mace The Great)
Sam MacGregor (BBC Radio 1)
Danni Ditson (BBC Radio 1)
Alex Jones (Beacons/Forte)
Natalie Jones (FOCUS Wales)
Dydd Miwsig Cymru/Welsh Language Music Day aims to introduce Welsh language music to new audiences by celebrating music being made in Welsh and the artists making waves at home and internationally. In the past 12 months, more than 70 albums and 140 singles have been released in the language, while songs have been performed on stages from Glastonbury to Eurosonic in the Netherlands.
Live events are at the heart of this year’s Dydd Miwsig Cymru with more than 30 gigs and events happening across Wales and the world- from Cardiff, Swansea, Newport, Pontypridd, Aberystwyth, and Wrexham to Budapest- in what promises to be the biggest and best-attended Dydd Miwsig Cymru ever. Further details on the awards are available here.