Alffa males cel­e­brate Welsh hit on Spo­tify

The Guardian - - NATIONAL - Steven Morris

Two teenage rock mu­si­cians from ru­ral north Wales are cel­e­brat­ing af­ter be­com­ing the first band to pass 1 mil­lion plays with a Welsh lan­guage song on the stream­ing ser­vice Spo­tify.

Dion Jones and Sion Land, 18, were stunned when their song Gwen­wyn (which means Poi­son) surged past the mil­lion mark. The pair, whose band is called Alffa (Welsh for Al­pha), have picked up fans not only across the UK and the US but in coun­tries such as Brazil, Mex­ico and Poland.

Jones and Land, who left sixth form in the sum­mer, will rein­vest the funds in the record­ing of an al­bum and are hop­ing their suc­cess may lead to over­seas tours and fes­ti­vals. “It has been amaz­ing,” said Jones, the gui­tarist and lead singer. “It’s re­ally weird to think peo­ple are lis­ten­ing to our mu­sic all over the world. That’s a bit scary.”

The duo’s first lan­guage is Welsh. “It’s nat­u­ral for us to sing in Welsh,” said Jones. “Ac­tu­ally, singing in English is harder. It’s good that this may help break down lan­guage bar­ri­ers … it’s bril­liant for the Welsh lan­guage.”

Jones and Land, a drum­mer, formed the band while study­ing to­gether. “We were mates through mu­sic and then thought it was time to form a band. We played gigs lo­cally, then around Wales. Now it’s re­ally kick­ing off.”

The pair will not talk about the deeper mean­ing of the song. “There’s a story be­hind it but we tend to keep it to our­selves,” said Jones.

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