The late 1990s and early 2000’s saw the emergence of what became known as ‘Cool Cymru’ with bands such as Stereophonics, The Super Furry Animals and Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci who achieved a high degree of UK wide success. Today, bands such as Gwilym, Adwaith and Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard are leading a new wave of what is fast becoming ‘Cool Cymru ll’. Alongside this rise in the success of Welsh language indie bands there has been a corresponding demise in the success of Welsh language pop. In the past bands such as Mega, Pheena and Clingol provided the soundtrack to Welsh speaking teenagers and this pop backdrop played out on daytime radio which today is sadly lacking.
This could, however, be about to change with the launch of Popeth a new musical project put together by Ynyr Roberts, which is aiming to produce Welsh Pop music for the world. Ynyr is probably best known as one half of Brigyn renowned for their modern folk music which has always had a strong sense of melody. Inspiration for Popeth partly came from hearing his children’s choice of music such as Dua Lipa, Dusky Grey and Little Mix echoing around the house which resulted in him writing a series of Welsh language pop songs.
The music is being released by Côsh Records and aims to spotlight both established and emerging artists. First release was the stunningly catchy ‘Golau’ sung by Cardiff teenager Martha Grug and future releases include Kizzy Crawford, Shamoniks and Lewis Owen (Bendigaydfran). Although Roberts is writing and producing the tracks, he is keen for the work to be collaborative with each singer bringing their own ideas to the final sound.
Pop has always been the lifeblood of the music industry providing the soundtrack for each successive generation since the 1950s. Hopefully Popeth will enable Wales to find a whole new raft of Welsh language pop stars; maybe even our very own Sigrid or Harry Styles.
Newid, Popeth’s 2nd song is released on Friday the 2nd of September on all streaming sites and Bandcamp. Like and Subscribe Popeth on Youtube whilst singing along to the lyric-videos: