With funding awarded to buy new instruments, book studio recording time and to produce videos – the latest round of Launchpad funding will help up-and-coming Wales-based artists to develop their music and shape their careers.
Since its inception in 2014, The Launchpad fund has invested £170,000 in supporting over 170 Welsh artists from all corners of the country. Launchpad is part of BBC Cymru Wales and Art Council of Wales’s Horizons/Gorwelion project and is made possible by funds from The National Lottery.
This year, Launchpad saw a diverse mix of applications and a positive increase in the number of successful applications from under-represented communities. Urban music, folk, soul, electronic pop, rock and post-punk artists are represented with a mix of artists performing in both Welsh and English.
There is also one special project being funded this year with partially deaf musician, Lucas J Rowe. Bethan Elfyn, Horizons Project Manager, BBC Wales explains:
“Lucas has to wear hearing aids to have functional hearing. He applied to Launchpad to fund a music video that incorporates sign language. There are videos available with subtitles but to have artist sign throughout a video is very rare. It is something that Lucas feels passionately about, providing a fun alternative for those, who like Lucas himself, can often feel a little left out when it comes to the progression of our media culture.”
Another creative project this year is from Abergele artist Denuo:
“The Launchpad funding is going to allow us to work with talented Japanese visual artists for the promotional campaign of our new album. The album is inspired by Japan, and in 2019 we commissioned Tokyo-based filmmaker Pennacky to create a music video for the latest single “Lucid”. The funding would allow us to continue working together to make three more videos to promote the album’s release.
Panic Shack whose debut single has received support by Radio One and 6Music, as well as BBC Radio Wales, will be able to head into studio to record their debut album to make the most of the momentum behind the band:
“We’re so excited to be awarded this fund. We’re going to use it to record our debut album!”
Telgate are another unique band that stood out this year:
“We want to produce a 4 part EP that will emphasise our artistic aspiration of igniting a queer flame in the national music scene that will empower and give purpose to LGBTQ+ people and music listeners who feel out of place in a society built on conformism.”
Antwn Owen-Hicks, Portfolio Manager with Arts Council of Wales said:
"It’s fantastic to be working in partnership with BBC Wales to make a difference to the careers of emerging musicians in Wales. We’re delighted that the diversity of this year’s applications mean that we can support more artists from under-represented communities. We’re looking forward to seeing the development of the Launchpad artists and hear their music over the coming year."
For more information about Launchpad and how to apply as well as the wider Horizons initiative, go to the Launchpad website bbc.co.uk/horizons
The successful Launchpad artists are:
Adwaith (new instruments); Ailsa Tully (studio time); Al Moses, (studio time and commissioning artwork); Alffa, (studio time and recording in Paris with Owain Ginsberg); Asha Jane (promote new music); Big Thing (live music video & photos); Blackelvis, (music videos); bloom! (recording, mixing & mastering); Breichiau Hir (PR for album); Chasing Shadows (recording); Corey Austin, Cardiff (studio equipment); Cynefin (live music video); DD Darillo (national plugging campaign); Dead Method (music video, PR & photography); Denuo (work with Japanese artist); Dienw, (studio time); Endaf (photoshoot and live set video); GG Fearn (music video); HANA2K (EP Production); Juice Menace (video production); Lucas J Rowe (a music video that incorporates sign language); Luke RV (album mix & master, promo & music video); Lunar Bird (music video, online campaign, merchandise); MACY (Studio production and recording); Mantaraybryn, (studio time); Melin Melyn (studio recording); Natty Paynter (recording software); Noah Bouchard (recording time); Panic Shack (rehearsal and studio time); Red Telephone (working with producer Steffan Pringle); Rosehip Teahouse (video production); Sonny Winnebago (engineering mix & mastering); Telgate (studio and photoshoot activity); The Rotanas (studio recording); TJ Roberts (PR work); Y Cledrau (studio time); YazMean (studio