New track debuts as part of Welsh music video scheme
The first video commissioned as part of the next stage of an innovative scheme to create independent Welsh language music videos, has been released.
In October, it was announced that S4C’s Lŵp, in partnership with music distribution and promotion body, PYST, was to double their newly launched Music Video Fund to support the delivery of twenty new independent videos over the next year.
Today PYST premiere the first video commissioned as part of the second round, as Machynlleth-based artist, Francis Rees, reveals her new single and video, ‘PELL’.
Formed originally in 2022 as a way of giving new artists and video directors the opportunity to create their first video to promote new tracks, the fund was doubled this autumn to commission twenty new videos.
With a focus on facilitating new opportunities for a variety of new artists, Alun Llwyd, Chief Executive of PYST, says: “The success of the first round (of videos) showed that there is a real demand for funding opportunities for independent videos. This is especially true for those musicians and directors who would not have the opportunity and would certainly not be able to realise their vision without financial help. The variety of artists and directors in the first round underlines the desire that exists to engage and create in Welsh.”
Among those who were financially backed last year to fulfil their visual vision were Sachasom, Dead Method, Talulah, Kathod, and Achlysurol – with the first artist to be commissioned as part of the second round of videos being Francis Rees.
Francis explains: “This track has turned into something really special for me because of how personal it is, not just for me, but to create a song so many people can relate to, it just makes things better!
“Looking back at the video, being given the opportunity to do this by S4C Lŵp and PYST, it means the world that my creativity and my ideas can be shown to everyone, and show me as an artist and individual. The amount of work, time, tears, laughter and effort that’s gone into this has been worth it, even the bruises from falling over countless times!
“It was really difficult to find inspiration for this track. I had just come from competing at the National Eisteddfod and Maes B’s Battle of the Band competition, being part of Eden’s S4C Curadur episode, and had many radio plays with BBC Radio Cymru. I was also fresh out of Forté, therefore all my ideas and thoughts went into that project.”
“When preparing for this year’s Battle of the Bands, I of course needed to come back in a new and exciting way, with new ideas and styles within my music, and thank goodness before finding out I made it once again to the final round of the competition, Eurovision was on the TV. I’ve always watched the competition, but nothing had really caught my eye until this year, with Käärijä representing Finland. Even though his songs are a bit more extreme than mine, I learnt from watching him that lyrics can be as random as ever, and I love the fact that he doesn’t really worry about what people think about him – he’s just really quirky and cool in a very unique way! So, I created a backing track, and that was that; there were no words.
“Only a month to go until the competition, and there were no lyrics for the track. I took my mind back to the sessions and workshops with Merched yn Gwneud Miwsig, to see how Heledd Watkins (HMS Morris) and Hana Lili would warm up their minds to write, therefore I explored and tried the techniques I had learnt from them, and some kind of theme appeared on my phone about how dull my life is, and how the small things around me in my hometown made my life that little bit more interesting.”
About the video, Francis adds: “The theme in this video is along the lines of ‘creative school project gone wrong’, with the time period being around the 90’s, where most of my music inspiration comes from. As the song is about losing inspiration, I thought this would be the perfect scenario to highlight.
“Being able to work with Izak Zjalic, and have him as my label manager (Pendrwm) has been the highlight of my year. Not only has he helped me develop and expand my ideas and creativity, but he’s also been a good support system for me, especially when I was at my lowest this year.
“Also I’ve known him since competing in my first Battle of the Bands with him in Tregaron, with his band Sachasom claiming the title that year, that trust has been built between us, and the fact he had belief and confidence in my craft and ideas, I don’t think I need to worry on what people might judge my music.”
“I also want to take the time to thank Hedydd Ioan for agreeing to film the video and bring this unique idea to life. As for cast wise, I want to thank Iestyn, Ryan, Mia and Tabby for being amazing, and also a great support system when I needed them the most! They’ve responded positively to the project, and I will be forever grateful. Rhys Grail did the artwork for the track cover. I just hope people enjoy this new genre and new development in my career, and hopefully they’ll see more of a sensitive, fun side to me as an artist and individual!”
All videos commissioned as part of Lwp x PYST’s Music Video Fund feature on AM here.
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