Watch: Welsh singer’s brilliant mash-up of Yma O Hyd
Welsh singer Nesdi Jones has recorded a brilliant mash-up of Dafydd Iwan’s ‘Yma O Hyd’.
Nesdi’s unique contemporary bilingual take on the Dafydd Iwan classic sees the Welsh folk star paired with Aussie singer Sia.
The singer who was born and brought up in Criccieth made her name singing in Hindi and Punjabi, but also speaks Welsh.
Here she gives us the lowdown on her folk-pop crossover.
Where did the idea for the Yma O Hyd / Sia mash up come from?
I love mashing up Bollywood/Bhangra with mainstream pop. It’s a way for people to hear new music that isn’t their first language. Then I thought why shouldn’t I do it to Welsh music and get people to know my language and culture.
Was it the meaning in the lyrics that aligned really well?
I toyed with several songs then Sia’s came to me while I was going to pick up my daughter. It’s such a powerful song lyrically and I knew Yma o Hyd would align amazingly well. Just a bonus that they do mashup well musically.
Was it important to you that it was bilingual?
I live in a bilingual household and trying to get my daughter to pick up Welsh as she’s getting older so it’s important to me that the Welsh language gets passed on. So I have the same sentiment when it comes to my music be it a mashup or original works. Music is universal and a great way for us to learn about different languages and cultures.
What do you think about how Yma O Hyd has become this anthem not only for the Welsh language but Welsh football?
It’s amazing isn’t it! The viral video is haunting and the track definitely deserves all the attention it’s getting and more.
Given your version was recorded last year, is it picking up traction and plays on the back of the success of Dafydd’s version?
Oh yeah definitely. I performed it live for the first time at the Senedd recently, and I was extremely nervous because it’s a bit gutsy to change such a powerful track. However, the audience enjoyed it and some said it would be a brilliant anthem for the football. From there the video was being posted on Twitter threads regarding the football and Dafydd Iwan so I’m very grateful that it’s being recognised and shared. That’s why I love the internet – things can come back and bounce off different events and topics.
What’s next for you?
I’m working on my original content and definitely more Welsh mashups, I only have two out at the moment but I definitely want to add more because there are some beautiful Welsh songs that I’d like to share with people in my own way.
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