Adwaith becomes the first band to win the Welsh Music Prize twice
Adwaith has won £10,000 at this year’s Welsh Music Prize becoming the first band ever to have won the prize twice.
The band from Carmarthen, Wales, were thrilled when accepting the £10,000 prize at the ceremony for their album Bato Mato (Libertino Records).
They said: “We’re absolutely ecstatic. We were not expecting it whatsoever! To win a second time – and the first people to have won it twice, is just amazing and we’re very grateful.”
The prize was presented by BBC Radio 1 presenter Sian Eleri.
The Welsh language indie rock group, formed in 2015, consists of Hollie Singer, Gwenllian Anthony, and Heledd Owen. Bato Mato was released in July 2022 on the independent Libertino Record Label.
Huw Stephens, the Welsh Music Prize’s co-founder, said: “Congratulations and Da Iawn, Adwaith! They have won the WMP for the second time and are the first band to do this.
“The judges debated and were blown away by the quality of all 15 albums. They felt Bato Mato by Adwaith deserves this title. We are thrilled for the band, who continue to make excellent music and find new fans constantly.”
Welsh Music Prize judge Matt Wilkinson, Apple Music, said: “The quality of the nominees this year speaks volumes: it was so difficult for us to pick an overall winner.
“But, with their undeniable sense of purpose, vision and growth, Adwaith had us all agreeing that Bato Mato is an album that demands and deserves recognition.”
Supported by Creative Wales, Welsh Music Prize is an annual award celebrating the best new music created in Wales, by musicians from Wales. Previous editions have seen albums by Gruff Rhys, Gwenno and Boy Azooga win, and last year’s award was given to Inner Song by Kelly Lee Owens, from Flintshire.
Speaking of Creative Wales’ support for the Welsh Music Prize, Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport, Dawn Bowden MS, said: “Creative Wales is proud to support the Welsh Music Prize again this year. It’s a fantastic opportunity to showcase the diversity of genres and artists making such exciting music in Wales today.
“The Welsh Music Prize is a celebration and recognition of excellence and creativity in Welsh Music – and I’d like to congratulate Adwaith on being named as the winner and I’m confident that the prize fund will contribute to their future success.”
The 12th annual awards ceremony – started by radio presenter Huw Stephens and music consultant John Rostron – was held for the first time in front of a live public audience, as part of Llais, Cardiff’s flagship international arts festival.
Held at Wales Millennium Centre, the evening saw performances from shortlisted artists including Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard and Dead Method, and Triskel Award winners Aderyn and Sage Todz – and acted as the opening event for Llais, which returns to Cardiff from 26-30 October with an eclectic line-up of international acts including John Cale, Pussy Riot, Cate Le Bon (shortlisted for Welsh Music Prize for her album Pompeii), Death Songbook, Abdullah Ibrahim, Midlake, and black midi.
The shortlisted albums have been whittled down from a longlist of 130 albums by the Welsh Music Prize jurors, with judges having the difficult task of choosing one of the 15 nominated albums for the coveted prize, and the £10,000 award.
The judging panel was made up of Aoife Woodlock – Other Voices, Matt Wilkinson – Apple Music, Nest Jenkins – Backstage, ITV Cymru Wales, Sizwe – Artist/Beacons Cymru, Sophie Williams – NME, Tegwen Bruce Deans – Journalist, and Daniel Minty (Minty’s Gig Guide)
The other 14 artists in the running for the prestigious award included Manic Street Preachers (nominated for their 14th album), along with 8 debut albums from Art School Girlfriend, Breichiau Hir, Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard, Dead Method, Danielle Lewis, L E M F R E C K, Papur Wal and Sywel Nyw. The other nominated albums were Bryde – Still, Cate Le Bon – Pompeii, Carwyn Ellis & Rio 18 and The National Orchestra of Wales – Yn Rio, Don Leisure – Shaboo Strikes Back, and Gwenno – Tresor.
Kate Reilly, Chief Membership & People Officer, PPL said: “Congratulations to Adwaith for winning the prestigious Welsh Music Prize against such strong competition. This year’s shortlist featured several of Wales’ most well-known artists alongside promising emerging talents, reflecting a music culture in rude health.
“It is a privilege for PPL to be a long-term partner of the prize and to support its valuable work showcasing this breadth and depth of Welsh music. Each artist shortlisted and all of those in the longlist should be proud of their contribution to Welsh music culture and the valuable place it has in the UK.”
The Welsh Music Prize ceremony also presented the three artists with the Triskel Awards. The winning artists – Aderyn, Minas and Sage Todz – will receive a £5,000 financial award to assist their careers and support from charity Help Musicians.
The Triskel Awards are given to three artists who judges believe offer a bright future for music in Wales. This year, the charity has expanded its support for the emerging Welsh talent with one-to-one application writing support and tailored business skills guidance with music industry experts, reinforcing their long-term career plans.
Caroline Hansell, Head of Musicians’ Development at Help Musicians, said: “Help Musicians extends its congratulations to the whole shortlist, and of course Adwaith on this brilliant achievement.
“Being a musician can be a tough career with ups and downs around each corner. Whilst challenges come along all too easily, it’s moments and recognition like the Welsh Music Prize that help balance this precarious job.
“We’re delighted to be providing our charity support to the three Triskell Awardees, who we’ll help to build skills to navigate the industry and financial support towards their valuable music plans.”
Adwaith is the first band to win the prize twice having first won in 2019. Previous winners include Kelly Lee Owens (2021), Deyah (2020), Adwaith (2019), Boy Azooga (2018), The Gentle Good (2017), Meilyr Jones (2016), Gwenno (2015), Joanna Grusome (2014), Georgia Ruth (2013), Future of the Left (2012) and Gruff Rhys (2011).
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