Feature, News

Horizons Announce 49 New Welsh Artists To Watch In 2022 – With The Biggest Ever Funding Support Since The Fund Started

February 2, 2022

HORIZONS ANNOUNCE 49 NEW WELSH ARTISTS TO WATCH IN 2022, 

WITH THE BIGGEST EVER FUNDING SUPPORT SINCE THE FUND STARTED

Horizons Launchpad Fund has announced awards totalling over £63,000 to forty-nine emerging Welsh artists, the most since it was established in 2014. The fund is part of Horizons – a partnership between BBC Cymru Wales and Arts Council of Wales, investing in and platforming original music talent.  

The artist receiving awards to develop their music careers include dramatic trans auteur Alice Low who won the Triskel Award at the Welsh Music Awards 2021; BBC 6Music favourites The Bug Club; Ladies of Rage alumni Asha Jane; emerging pop star Hana Lili who has caught the attention of Spotify’s New Music Friday; award-winning songwriter Rebecca Hurn; viral tick-tock sensation K(E)NZ; Libertino records risers KIM HON; Green Man Rising winner Teddy Hunter; Cardiff MC Mace the Great who has recently been announced for SXSW2022 and many more.

At a time when lockdowns have caused uncertainty for live music and releases, Horizons Launchpad 2022 delivers a bumper year of awards with over £63,000 in awards offered to support the work of emerging 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 MOBO community, exciting Welsh language music acts and new artists who are gaining recognition and growing their audiences on stage and on record.

Since its inception eight years ago, Horizons Launchpad Fund has been granted to over 250 artists, from over 60 different Welsh towns, spending £273,000 in the Welsh music ecosystem. The funds for Launchpad is 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-nine artists awarded funding this year this is a key moment in their journey, that could include artist development, promotion and showcases sets at festivals.

Lisa Matthews-Jones, Portfolio Manager with Arts Council of Wales said: “We were bowled over by the number and richness of the applications that came in. There is a tremendous amount of music talent in Wales across all genres and corners and Launchpad is a vital opportunity to elevate these artists.”

Bethan Elfyn, Project Manager with Horizons said, “We’re very grateful to Arts Council of Wales and BBC Wales for supporting this project into its 8th year, providing crucial first steps for artists in Wales. It’s more important than ever to connect a community, to believe in the artists and their journey and to inject the Welsh music industry with investment in the whole ecosystem around the artists – from the studios, to producers, labels, promotion companies and more. We’re really excited to see how these music projects develop.” 

The forty-nine artists to receive Horizons Launchpad 2022 funding are:

  • ALICE LOW – CARDIFF
  • ANWAR SIZBAR, CARDIFF 
  • AISHA KIGS – CARDIFF
  • ALEKXSANDR, CARDIFF
  • ARTSHAWTY – CARDIFF
  • ASHA JANE – CARDIFF
  • BANDICOOT – SWANSEA 
  • THE BUG CLUB – CALDICOT, MONMOUTHSHIRE 
  • CHASING SHADOWS – DENBIGHSHIRE 
  • CELAVI – BANGOR
  • CLWB FUZZ – CARDIFF 
  • CERYS HAFANA – MACHYNLLETH 
  • CI GOFOD – MAESTEG
  • CUPSOFTE – CARDIFF
  • GWENNO MORGAN – BANGOR 
  • HANNA LILI – SULLY 
  • HEMES – PONTYPRIDD
  • TEDDY HUNTER – CARDIFF
  • JAMES AND THE COLD GUN – CARDIFF 
  • K(E)NZ – SWANSEA
  • KINNIGAN CARDIFF
  • KIM HON – CAERNARFON
  • HARRY JOWETT – VALE OF GLAMORGAN 
  • L E M F R E C K – GWENT 
  • LLOYDY LEW – TORFAEN
  • LUKE RV – NEATH
  • MACE THE GREAT – CARDIFF 
  • MALAN – CAERNARFON
  • MALI HAF – CARDIFF 
  • MANTARAYBRYN – CARDIFF 
  • MIRARI MORE – CARDIFF 
  • NIQUES – CARDIFF
  • PANTA RAY – CARDIFF 
  • REBECCA HURN – PORTHCAWL
  • ROMAN YASIN – CARDIFF 
  • SKYLRK – DYFFRYN NANTLLE
  • SOREN ARAUJO – CARDIFF
  • SYBS – NEWPORT 
  • SU SANG SONG – CARDIFF
  • SZWE – CARMARTHEN 
  • TARA BANDITO – CARDIFF 
  • TAPESTRI – SIR BENFRO/ SIR FON
  • THALLO – PENYGROES 
  • WINGER RECORDS – CARMARTHENSHIRE 
  • WOBBLI BOI – CARMARTHENSHIRE 
  • WYNT – RHONDDA 
  • VOYA – CARDIFF 
  • YAZMEAN – CARDIFF 
  • XL LIFE – CARDIFF 

Ci Gofod, one of the recipients of funding said: “I’m pleased to have support from Horizons for my EP release. Thanks to the funding, I can have my EP mastered by leading sound engineers and produce an online ‘zine where listeners can learn more about me and my music. Launching this summer, the EP will add Welsh-language funk and neo-soul to the melting pot of the Welsh music scene.”

Another artist, Soren Araujo, added: “I’m so happy to have been selected, I couldn’t be any more grateful. The Horizons Launchpad Fund will have a significant impact on my career as a musician. It’ll allow me to finally record an EP, collaborating with other welsh musicians, to showcase the beauty of the welsh language and that of my mother tongues (Portuguese and Creole). Ultimately, it’ll help me grow roots in this beautiful country that my family and I call home.”

The artists were selected by a panel including Leigh Jones (PRS), Laura Herd (Queens Hall), Helen Weatherhead (BBC 6Music), Gethin Pearson (Producer), Esyllt (Dirty Pop DJ) Rachel K Collier (Musician), DJ Jaffa, Lekan (Intricate Management), Kima Otung (Musician) Elan Evans (Clwb Ifor Bach), Hollie (Adwaith/ Musician), Ifan Davies (BBC Radio Cymru/ Swnami/ Musician) Natalie Jones (Focus Wales) and Andrew Ogun (Arts Council of Wales).

Through February, Launchpad Artists will be able to access bespoke online sessions, as Horizons runs a series of music talks on business advice, marketing and promotion, featuring specialist guests. Also coming up this month will be a return to live events with a Homecoming show for Venue Week ambassador MaceThe Great at Clwb Ifor Bach, supported by Juice Menace, and Lily Beau. 

Horizons is planning a return to Wales Week in London in March followed by a tour of Wales’ Music Venues.  

To accompany the news, there is a special curated playlist, listen below

For further details go to www.bbc.co.uk/horizons

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