When did you begin making music, and did you ever ponder a different career?
I guess I was about 12 or 13 years old when I began composing music in school bands, but it took years and years before my songs were any good – hopefully they’re much better these days. But in terms of a career, I never really contemplated a career in music when I was younger – I didn’t think I could get away with it for long enough! So, I do actually have another career other than music – I’m also a radio producer.
How would you describe your music?
I think melodic nu-folk is an apt, if not too pretentious, description. My music is inspired by Welsh folk music, but I wouldn’t call it ‘Welsh folk music’ in the traditional sense – it has loads of other influences on it – from France to Brazil, from pop to psychedelia. It was once described as ‘shimmery Welsh folk-pop’ which I guess sums it up quite nicely. Lyrically, I try to make the meaningless meaningful.
What have you been up to so far and what can we expect over the coming months?
I released my debut album called Os Mewn Swn (translated as ‘If In Noise’) as a self-release in 2009, and it was released the following year on the wonderful Gwymon label. Because it came out twice in subsequent years, I gigged the album for two years, until I got sick of playing the songs live. Anyway, I’m really glad to say that I have since then recorded my second album. It’s called Gathering Dusk, and it’s coming out on July 30th on the Gwymon label. I will be gigging it this year, and hopefully I won’t get sick of it.
If you could duet with anybody who would it be and why?
The singer, composer and political activist Malvina Reynolds. She was born in 1900 and became an important figure in the American folk seen during the 1960s – her songs were made famous by people like Joan Baez, Pete Seeger and Harry Belafonte, but personally I prefer her own versions of them. The reason I’d like to duet with her is that she had such character in her voice, and she really believed in what she sang – she represents everything that is good about music, and is the antithesis of image driven pop. Her records aren’t that easy to get hold of, but it’s really worth the effort.
What’s your desert island disc and why would you take this one album?
If I was on a desert island I’d probably take a guitar so I could get my fix of folky music that way, so I’d rather take an uplifting record – something that I could never even attempt to reproduce on my own acoustic guitar. One of my all time favourite albums, which I always really enjoy revisiting, is Grandaddy – The Sophtware Slump. It’s crammed with brilliant brilliant songs that would undoubtedly put me in a happy mindset on the island. It’s as simple as that.