Long-standing Wales Arts Review contributor Kevin McGrath is releasing a fundraising mixtape for Velindre Cancer Centre: V4Velindre.
This week, Wales Arts Review contributor Kevin McGrath is set to release a 43-track mixtape in an effort to raise funds for the NHS’ Velindre Cancer Centre. Described as ‘a brilliant, lovingly compiled album that showcases a lot of superb new Welsh Music’ by John Harris, V4Velindre began following a suggestion from Julian Pitt (Armstrong) that the expansive bank of contacts McGrath had built up from working with Wales Arts Review could be used to compile an album.
Welsh acts make up over half of the tracks on the completed album; V4Velindre includes contributions by the three past winners of the Welsh Music Prize (Boy Azooga, The Gentle Good and Adwaith), as well as music from WMP nominees Climbing Trees, Silent Forum, Simon Love and Jodie Marie. For McGrath, the most satisfying aspect of putting the album together was the fact that a number of groups and artists — Burning Ferns, Armstrong, Peter Hall, Y Dail and Silent Forum — donated brand new songs to the project.
Although the original intention had been to create a 14-track album, McGrath struggled to curb his enthusiasm and the track list soon grew to its current length at 43. By extending the scope of the album, he was able to be more ambitious in his selections, including legendary bands like The Wedding Present and The Nightingales as well as more obscure personal favourites such as BOB and Tot Taylor. V4Velindre also flaunts international connections, with radio stations from Paris, Hamburg, Berne, Montreal, Ohio and Pittsburgh having pledged their support for the album. McGrath actively sought out new music from Europe and America, and takes pleasure in introducing Turku’s That Forgotten Band, Turin’s Smile and Texas’ Parker Woodland to a new audience in the UK.
McGrath’s motivation to create V4Velindre stemmed from his personal experience of Velindre Cancer Centre, having been a recipient of their care as an outpatient since an operation to remove a tumour from his spine on Christmas Eve 2012. ‘With this album, I hope to give a little something back to them and to all the NHS staff who are still willing to sacrifice their own lives to care for us eighteen months into this pandemic,’ he said. All proceeds from the album sales will be passed onto Velindre Cancer Centre.
To order V4Velindre, click here.
Kevin McGrath is a long-standing contributor to Wales Arts Review.