Teen band break records for Welsh lan­guage mu­sic

Caernarfon Herald - - NEWS -

ANORTH Wales band are on their way to smash­ing a host of Welsh lan­guage mu­sic records as they take South Amer­ica by storm thanks to a sur­prise boost from Spo­tify.

Alffa, a blues-rock duo from Llan­rug, near Caernar­fon, have seen their pop­u­lar­ity sky­rocket on the dig­i­tal mu­sic stream­ing ser­vice af­ter their sin­gle Gwen­wyn was picked up by bosses and pro­moted in South Amer­ica.

The track is tipped to top a mil­lion streams any day now, and is one of the most lis­tened-to Welsh lan­guage tracks ever.

The group’s suc­cess on­line has been partly at­trib­uted to a new Welsh mu­sic distri­bu­tion com­pany which pro­motes artists to the ma­jor dig­i­tal mu­sic ser­vices in the UK and be­yond.

PYST have been of­fer­ing the ser­vice – the first of its kind to be based in Wales – for a lit­tle over a year.

Founder Alun Ll­wyd said: “We take the songs off the la­bels and we pro­mote them to the stream­ing ser­vices.

“We’ve been do­ing this for a year and, in that year, we have seen Welsh mu­sic streams sur­pass a mil­lion hours.

“This has never been done be­fore.

“Alffa are a two-piece from Llan­rug. They’ve not long left school, and they are set to break all sorts of records on Spo­tify.

“They’ve had over 850,000 lis­tens. For a Welsh lan­guage act, that’s mas­sive, and it’s only their sec­ond sin­gle.

“Spo­tify don’t view tracks as in any lan­guage. They cu­rate purely on the mu­sic. The ones they like they take and they push it.

“They thought it would do well in South Amer­ica, so they popped the track on playlists and pro­moted it.”

Mr Ll­wyd said there has been a “mas­sive in­crease” in the num­ber of peo­ple re­leas­ing mu­sic.

“There’s such a va­ri­ety and all sorts of gen­res too,” he said.

“There’s been a mas­sive shift in how mu­sic is con­sumed these days. My daugh­ter is 15. She loves mu­sic but has never bought a phys­i­cal al­bum.

“We saw a gap in the mar­ket. Most of these la­bels here are part time. They have day jobs, so they don’t have the time to pro­mote the acts.

“We push the mu­sic to the stream­ing ser­vices and it al­lows the la­bels to con­cen­trate on sign­ing new acts.”

PYST have just been awarded a fi­nan­cial boost from the Welsh Gov­ern­ment to help grow the ser­vice and pro­mote the Welsh mu­sic scene on a UK and in­ter­na­tional scale.

“We want to raise the pro­file of Welsh mu­sic to the high­est level avail­able – not just in­ter­na­tion­ally but with our home lis­ten­ers too,” said Mr Ll­wyd.

“Peo­ple don’t seem to re­alise that around three or four songs are re­leased ev­ery week. We’ve got a re­ally healthy out­put here in Wales.

“Sadly, this isn’t re­flected in the gig cir­cuit. We know that most bands want to get out and pro­mote their mu­sic live but, with more venues clos­ing down and many ner­vous about host­ing Welsh lan­guage-only bands, it’s dif­fi­cult.

“But the fund­ing means we are now look­ing at hir­ing a book­ing agent solely for Wales and get the Welsh tour­ing cir­cuit back up and run­ning.

“This per­son will be ded­i­cated to se­cur­ing and pro­mot­ing live shows across the whole of Wales and hope­fully in­crease con­fi­dence with venues.”

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