12 New Acts for 2022
Every year since 2008 we have been coming up with a list of acts we think are going to be making headway in the year ahead. It’s gratifying to see some of the artists we’ve featured in previous years such as Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard and Bandicoot beginning to establish themselves beyond Wales. It’s been incredibly hard for new acts to make a name for themselves with very few live gigs for much of 2021. However, we have come up with 12 acts that we think have huge potential for the years ahead.
N’famady Kouyaté is a young energetic master musician from Guinea (Conakry), who relocated to Cardiff in 2019. A talented multi-instrumentalist who has wowed audiences across the UK and Ireland with his modern interpretations of traditional West African Mandingue songs and rhythms. N’famady’s primary instrument is the balafon–the traditional wooden xylophone, sacred to West African culture and his family heritage of the griot/djeli. N’famady released his first EP in 2021 and it includes guest appearances from Gruff Rhys (Super Furry Animals), Lisa Jên Brown (9Bach), and Kliph Scurlock (The Flaming Lips). He plays a special show promoted by Newsoundwales at Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff 9th April https://www.chapter.org/whats-on/performance/newsoundwales-nfamady-kouyate-special-guest-james-bower/8455
Relocating to Wales from Swindon Alice Low became something of an overnight sensation following her performance at this year’s SWN festival. The release of an audacious 14 minute single “Ladydaddy” confirmed she is a star in the making.
Tapestri is a new Americana music project sparked by a chance meeting between Lowri Evans and Sera Zyborska two of the finest folk/roots singers in Wales. Having met at Lorient Celtic Festival in France in 2019 they decided to form Tapestri and the combination of their voices is proving to be pure magic.
Fast rising Welsh language indie band signed to Sheffield’s Bingo Records and released the “Blomonj” EP in August. They were also joint recipients of the Triskel award at this year’s Welsh Music Prize alongside Alice Low and Juice Menace (one of our acts from 2020).
Proof, if you needed it, that the garage band formula is alive and well and living in bands like Clwb Fuzz.
Rhys’ “Hailstones” was one of finest tracks of 2021. It was recorded pre-lockdown when he was just 16 and is a hefty achievement for someone who is still at school and has only been writing songs for a few years. The song deals with that age old theme of growing up in a small rural town (Llanidloes) and the timeless struggle to fit in with your contemporaries. Still early days but we have high hopes for Rhys.
Cardiff band Shlug immediately established themselves back in May with the release of their sledgehammer onslaught debut “The Scent of Roy Keane”. Let the noise and mayhem commence.
New project from Josh Dickens (Perfect Body, Rosehip teahouse). Further evidence that he is quietly getting on with becoming one of the most interesting Welsh musicians of his generation.
A Welsh/Parisian artist who moved to Wales during the pandemic. If she can perform these tracks live she’s definitely a star in the making.
Very early days with not much to go on yet. However, if this debut track is anything to go by he’s a huge talent in the making.
Blue Amber are a Cardiff band who combine Post-Punk, Jazz, Experimental Music, Folk and Hip-Hop. The band have been going since 2019 and are beginning to gain a strong live reputation.
Four piece heavy rock band from Caerphilly fronted by the superb Megan Jenkins their debut single “On the Rise” was released earlier this year.