Celebrations for the third Welsh Language Music Day took place all across the country on Friday (9 February). Wales’ vibrant and diverse Welsh language music scene is thriving – exclusive figures released for the day by Spotify revealed that 1.3m hours of music by artists with Welsh language material was listened to in 2017; meaning if play was pressed today the music wouldn’t stop for 148 years.

Recently declared as a Music City, Cardiff held a number of events to celebrate the day including Clwb Ifor Bach’s all day event at Castle Emporium featuring Los Blancos and The Gentle Good. Brand new sounds are available through special Welsh Language Music Day releases including ‘Y Gwyfyn’ - a new EP entirely in the Welsh language from most recent Welsh Music Prize winner, The Gentle Good, on Bubblewrap Records.

Promoters including Sŵn, BBC Horizons and Forté Project also organised free gigs from rising and iconic artists including Chroma, Adwaith and Eädyth. All forms of Welsh language music were celebrated in music venues, schools, call centres, supermarkets and more. BBC Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens, ambassador for the day, said: “Whatever you're into, Dydd Miwsig Cymru is a day to help you discover music you'll love. You may already be listening to Welsh language music, or maybe you haven’t listened to it for years.

“There's incredible music of almost every genre, all being made in the Welsh language - there’s even some great playlists to share with your friends and family who may not be listening to Welsh language music. Try something and you might just find your favourite new sound.”

Spotify revealed their most streamed bilingual artists to be: The Joy Formidable, followed by Super Furry Animals, Cate Le Bon, Catatonia and Iwan Rheon, with Gwenno, Yws Gwynedd, Bryn Fon, Al Lewis and Swnami the top five most listened to predominantly Welsh language artists. 

Shazam has revealed its most Shazamed Welsh artists of last year as Catatonia, Super Furry Animals, Gwenno, Casi and Yws Gwynedd with Bryn Fôn, Meic Stevens, Dafydd Iwan, Omaloma and Elin Fflur completing the top 10.

A series of giant graffiti portraits of historic and contemporary artists have been hung in the hometowns of seven artists across Wales, alongside stories providing context on their careers: Gruff Rhys (Haverfordwest), Datblygu (Cardigan), Kizzy Crawford (Aberdare), Elin Fflur (Anglesey), 9Bach (Bethesda), Candelas (Bala) and Yws Gwynedd (Caernarfon), whose music was streamed for close to one million minutes on Spotify in 2017.

Haverfordwest-born actor Rhys Ifans, who was briefly the lead singer of breakout band Super Furry Animals before they made it into the mainstream charts and frontman for psych-rock group Y Peth, said: “It’s a many faceted scene – there’s everything from crazy folk music to people who are at the foothills of grime. Get into it. It’s a complete, total, whole, gold mine of a musical world and it’s on your doorstep. Dig it up.”

Welsh Language Music Day is a part of the long-term vision to see a million people speaking and using Welsh by 2050.  Keep spreading the love and the music by using the hashtag #DyddMiwsigCymru #WelshLanguageMusicDay.  Playlists can be found here.

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