Welsh language music has been boosted through Welsh Government support for a new digital distribution and promotion service.
Funding has been awarded to PYST Cyfyngedig – a digital distribution and label promotion service for labels and artists in Wales – to aid the much needed growth of its digital distribution service, the first of its kind to be based in Wales and able to tailor services specifically for the Welsh Language music industry.
The financial backing will also allow for a bespoke service that will be able to drive the promotion of Welsh language music through appropriate and popular channels to increase awareness and number of streams.
In addition the money will create the role of the first ever booking agent for Wales. This role will fill a gap in representing artists to secure more gigs around the country and beyond. It is hoped the role can trigger the creation of a Welsh touring circuit and encourage growth in the number of promoters and venues in Wales.
Minister for Culture Tourism and Sport, Lord Elis-Thomas, said:
“The Welsh music scene is growing quickly and it’s important that we as a Government react and seek to foster that.
"With this partnership we are taking steps to ensure Welsh language music is easily accessible and promoted well on all digital platforms. We hope this move will increase the awareness and popularity of Welsh language artists.
"The foundations for a thriving music industry are in place and it’s a real privilege to be able to encourage that in any way possible.”
Minister for Welsh Language and Lifelong Learning, Eluned Morgan, said:
“Dydd Miwsig Cymru has shown that there is interest in and an enthusiasm for Welsh language music in Wales, the UK and internationally. Music is an ideal way to introduce people to the language in a social setting and to show that Welsh is a language that is alive and thriving.
I am delighted that PYST will build on the success of Dydd Miwsig Cymru and make Welsh language music more accessible all year round. Our efforts here will also help to fulfill the target of reaching a million Welsh speakers by 2050.”
Co-founder of PYST, Alun Llwyd, said:
“Our aim is to create a structure that reflects the vibrancy and energy of the Welsh language music scene and carves a route to develop growth so that labels and artists not only achieve greater success but multiply in numbers for the future.
"Following the initial work undertaken by PYST, 2018 has seen Welsh language music pass a million streams on digital service providers which is huge for a minority language - and Welsh labels will now be able to exploit that initial success on a national scale.”
Gruffydd Wyn Owen, founder of Libertino Records, said:
“The growth of PYST as an all-encompassing support service for Welsh labels and artists will for the first time see a coherent outward looking vision to bring Welsh music not only to a bigger UK stage but also a global stage.”
Yws Gwynedd, manager of Recordiau Côsh, said:
“The establishment of PYST as a bespoke digital distribution and promotion service based in Wales is a huge and vital step towards the professionalisation of our contemporary music landscape in Wales.”