Young people in Wales and Ireland have come together to create the first music video in both the Welsh and Irish languages.
Youth organisation Urdd Gobaith Cymru and Irish youth project TG Lurgan have released the co-production, ‘Golau’n Dallu / Dallta ag na Solise’, which is a cover of the popular song ‘Blinding Lights’ by The Weeknd.
28 young people from both countries recorded their voices from home and were given directions from videographer Griff Lynch for the music video.
The musical collaboration is an effort to introduce both indigenous languages to a global audience, they said, and a post-Brexit attempt to show that forming partnerships between both countries is essential in giving young people opportunities to thrive.
Online sensation TG Lurgan releases Irish-language music videos of popular songs on its YouTube channel, which has amassed over 44 million views to date, making it the most viewed online minority language channel in the world.
Wales’ largest youth organisation, the Urdd, said that they also wanted to ensure that young people are given the confidence to use Welsh and Irish in their everyday life.
The First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford said: “This project is a symbol of the cultural ties that bind Ireland and Wales.
“It shows how we can learn from each other and emphasises the strength and increasing relevance of our languages in a digital world. This co-operation and creativity will bring us closer together at a time when that is more important than ever.”
‘Blinding Lights’ became a TikTok sensation amid the Covid-19 lockdown and is the first of three songs to be released by the co-production over the next year, and forms part of the Urdd’s international strategy.
As the Urdd approaches its centenary in 2022 it said that it has ambitious plans to ensure Wales makes a positive impact.
“Wales and Ireland have such a rich musical cultural past, but every now and again, you have to be unafraid to rip up the rule book,” said Urdd Chief Executive Siân Lewis. “What we’ve done isn’t in a ‘Celtic’ style – this is a cover of a current and modern song and is the kind of music we are exposed to in our daily lives.
“This is our way of showing these languages are evolving, as are the people who use it. We are looking forward immensely to working with TG Lurgan on the next collaboration.
“Regardless of the political climate and Wales’ position outside of Europe, as an organisation, we are keen to ensure our young people continue to have these unique experiences with counterparts across the world.”
Mícheál Ó Foighil, Director of TG Lurgan said: “Learning more about Wales and the Welsh language has been such an interesting process for us.
“We were not aware of how similar the languages and social situations were until we started working with the Urdd – there should be much more cultural interaction between Ireland and Wales.
“We hope this project helps to open people’s minds and make them realise that these languages are not so very different from each other.”
The Urdd was funded in 1922 and has worked with 4 million young people.