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Welsh learning couple from northern England release Welsh song ahead of the Eisteddfod

07 Jun 2024 3 minute read
Imogen and Andrew

Imogen Hopkins and Andrew Skelton are releasing their first song in the run up to this year’s Eisteddfod, and despite both being from northern England, they have written the song entirely in Welsh, with a bilingual version also available.

The song, titled ‘Mae Wedi Dechrau’ (It Has Started) celebrates the Eisteddfod being hosted in Pontypridd – the first time the town has hosted the Welsh culture festival for over 100 years.

Writing a Welsh song has been quite an achievement for the pair, with Imogen only studying at Entry level through weekly evening classes, and Andrew learning solely via Duolingo. 

Since both moving to Wales to study at Cardiff University, the couple have adopted both a love and appreciation for Wales and its culture, including its rich language. 

A musical match

Imogen and Andrew became friends when they first met in 2019, while volunteering at the Cardiff branch of the charity GoodGym.

They started dating in April this year, around the same time they collaborated on this music project. 

Imogen and Andrew at the Hay Festival

Andrew has been writing and releasing music as a hobby since 2013, whereas Imogen is completely new to songwriting, making this release especially exciting for the couple. 

“I never knew I could write a song before,” she says, “I woke up at 5am one morning, unable to get back to sleep, and somehow within 45 minutes I’d written the bilingual song.”

“I then sent the lyrics to Andrew and three days later I was sat on his living room floor, and he was performing the song to me on his guitar – it was a bit surreal.” 

“After hearing Andrew play the song, I wondered if it might be good enough for an Eisteddfod competition, but I realised we’d need a fully Welsh version. So, over the next few days, we translated all of the English lines to Welsh.”

In at the deep end

Imogen added: “We’ve entered the song into a Welsh Learner Singing Competition but we’re not sure yet if we will both be singing it yet on the day, as I’ve done very little singing, and never performed in public before.

“Hopefully I’ll feel ready to sing with Andrew on stage at the Eisteddfod in August!”

The creation of the single has been a joint effort between the couple, with lyrics and single artwork by Imogen, and Andrew singing the song and playing all the instruments.

The artwork features The Old Bridge in Pontypridd, a further nod to the location of this year’s Eisteddfod.

The song will be released in Welsh and bilingually, with both versions being available to stream from Friday 7 June.

Keep up to date with Imogen and Andrew’s music on Spotify (Andrew Skelton) and Instagram (SkeltonSingsHopkinsSongs)

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8 days ago

Ardderchog!! Llongyfarchiadau

8 days ago

Da iawn i chi a phwb lwc 👍🙂.

8 days ago

Da Iawn a phob lwc yn yr eisteddfod!🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

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