We caught up with Afanc, ahead of their launch night in Cardiff this weekend

Penwythnos yma fydd lawnsiad y label recordiau electronic Cymraeg, Afanc. Prosiect sy’n canolbwyntio ar gerddoriaeth electronig o Cymru, wnes ni sgwrsio gyda’r dyn tu ol y label, cyn y ddigwyddiad yng nghaffi nos Blue Honey nos Sadwrn.
This weekend in Cardiff will see the launch of Welsh record label, ‘Afanc’. A project focusing on electronic music coming out of Wales, we chatted with the guy behind the label, ahead of Saturday’s event at Blue Honey Night Cafe.

Beth odd y syniad cychwynnol tu ôl i lawnsiad of ‘Afanc’?
What sparked the initial idea to launch your label ‘Afanc’?

Yn syml I ateb y galw. Nes i siarad a lot o bobl adnabyddus yn y Sîn Roc Gymraeg a gweld bod angen un, yn ogystal o ni’n gweld bod dim cerddoriaeth Cymnraeg yn cael y llwyfan odd e’n haeddu tu allan i Gymru. Chi’n clywed pethe electronic o wledydd erill o hyd ond byth pethe Cymraeg, o ni hefyd wedi bod yn siarad a artistiaid yng Nghymru odd yn dweud bod labeli yn troi nhw lawr gan fod ei cerddoriaeth nhw yn Gymreag, bach yn hyrt really os ma’n banger, hefyd odd rhai artistiaid o ni’n nabod yn rhyddhau ar labeli indy rock ac yn y blaen sydd ddim yn target audience i’r artistsiad cerddoriaeth ddawns, so dyna beth feddyliais i. Beth am greu label ar gyfer artistiaid electronic o Gymru.

To put it simply to answer the call for one. I spoke with my other producer friends and they were also finding it difficult to have their music heard and released on labels. If they were releasing anything it was on a label that had Indus artists or punk artists and it wasn’t tailored for their style of electronic music. This is one of the main reasons I started this label. I found that some label owners in the UK were reluctant to release Welsh language music, so I created a Welsh electronic music label for anyone that makes it. From drum and bass to Dream Pop we’ve got you covered.

Mae rhan fwyaf o bobl yn ymwybodol o nifer yr artistiaed electronic Cymraeg, tan ei’n sgwrs diweddar am y label, roedd e’n newyddion i fi fod yna artistiaid yng Ngymru yn creu Afrobeat/footwork ayyb, sut darganfyddoch chi yr artistiaid yn y dechrau?
Though most of us are aware of the wealth of Welsh artists within electronic music + beyond, until we spoke recently about the label, it was news to me that there were producers in Wales making afrobeat/footwork etc, how did you discover these artists in the first place?

Gan fy mod i wedi bod yn DJo am 7 mlynedd a wedi bod yn y SRG ers 2014 nes i ddarganfod yn eitha cyflym bod yna ddigonedd o gerddoriaeth allan yna os ewch chi i chwilio. Ma lot o artistiaid anhygoel wedi dod o Gymru. Ma na sîn ‘dream pop’ anhygoel yng nghysgod mynyddoedd Eryri, ma da chi producers house yng Nghaerdydd, a sîn drum and bass ag electro sydd yn ffyni yn y Canolbarth. Ma’r agwedd DIY sydd gan y Cymry yn adnabyddus ac yn eich dal chi, fydd pobl yn clywed rhywbeth a just yn ei greu, ma Roughion yn un esiampl o hyn gan iddynt greu llwyth o gerdorriaeth gwahanol cyn aros ar Acid House.

I have been in the electronic music scene in Wales as a Welsh artist since 2014 and a DJ before then, but I found the abundance of electronic producers mind boggling once I started looking. There’s a dream pop scene in the Snowdonia mountains with Ifan Dafydd and Serol Serol and then you’ve got the house artists in Cardiff such as Dan Marshall and Bodhi, then there’s Drum and Bass in Mid Wales and Electro in the form of Audio Hertz. It’s all there. The DIY attitude of the Welsh language scene is what makes it incredible, people will hear a genre of music they like and just get on their synths and make it, just take a look at Roughion, they’ve created Welsh language Garage, Acid House, Bass House and trip hop in their 5 years of being in the scene.

A fyddwch chi’n rhyddhau artistiaid iaith Cymraeg ar y label?
Will you be releasing Welsh language artists on the label?

Fydd yr holl artistiaid ar y label yn rhyddhau cerddoriaeth yn ddwyieithog, byddwn ni hefyd yn rhoi artistsiad ar y label gyda’i gilydd felly os ma artist yn creu stwff Saesneg rhoi cerddor Cymraeg gyda nhw AYYB. Ma da ni artistiaid gwych ar y label a ni methu aros i ddangos i chi beth ni’n gweithio arno!

All of the artists that will be releasing on the label will be releasing bilingually, we will also be focusing on teaming up the artists we think that will work together that might not have yet and getting them to release together. We have a lot of great artists on the label and we can’t wait to show you what we have in store!

Er bod gymaint o gerddoriaeth yn dod allan o Gymru, mae’r diwydiant eu hun yn teimlo bron yn unigryw i Lundain, yn yr ystyr bod na gymaint o gerdd yn cael ei rhyddhau gan labelau Saesneg, gall Afanc fod yn helpu i ddarparu cadref newydd i gerddoriaeth Cymraeg yng Ngymru?
Despite there being so much music coming out of Wales, the industry itself feels very London-centric in the sense that so many releases are overseen by English labels..could Afanc be helping to provide a new home to electronic artistry in Wales?

Hwn oedd un o’r prif rhesymau. Doedd dim digon o ffocws yn cael ei rhoi ar gerddoriaeth electronig o Gymru oni bai eich bod yn un o’r enwogion. Doedd hefyd ddim cartref I artistiaid electronic gan ei bod yn rhyddhau ar labeli doedd ddim efallai yn addas ar ei cyfer. Gyda label electronic yn cael ei rhedeg gan berson sydd ag angerdd tuag at gerddoriaeth electornic bydd hwn efallai yn galle sbarduno yr artistiaid sydd ar y label I fynd ym mhellach yn y ei crefft. 

This was one of the main reasons why I wanted to create this label.There was no time given to focus on the electronic music coming out of Wales unless you were one of the big players. There was also no home for the up-and-coming Welsh language producers, this will be their home.

Beth yw’r prif beth rydych chi’n ceisio’i gyflawni gydag lansiad ‘Afanc’?
What is the main thing you’re trying to achieve with the launch of ‘Afanc’?

Y brif nod gyda’r label yw i ddatblygu artistiaid electronic o Gymru. O rhoi llwyfan i nhw ar ein nosweithiau mewn clybiau, i helpu gyda rheoli ei band/brand, help gyda stwff cyfryngau cymdeithasol, cael archebion i nhw fel artistsiaid o gwmpas y wlad gyda’i set byw a DJ sets ac yn y bôn rhyddhau cerddoriaeth o’r safon uchaf yn y byd electronic.

My main focus will be developing up and coming electronic artists from Wales. From giving them a stage at our club nights to helping with artist management, social media,marketing advice, getting them bookings with their DJ and Live sets and releasing music that NEEDS to be heard through the label.

Beth ydych chi wedi’i gynllunio ar gyfer eich noson lansio yng nghaffi Blue Honey y penwythnos hyn? Ac a oes unrhyw beth y gallwch chi ei ddweud wrthym am eich prosiectau sydd ar ddod?
What have you got planned for your launch night in Blue Honey Night cafe next weekend? And is there anything you can tell us about your upcoming projects?

Ma’r digwyddiad yng nghaffi nos Blue Honey ar nos sadwrn y 9fed o Dachwedd yn ddechrau cyffroes iawn, bydd y noson yn llawn cerddoriaeth o Gymru, boed yn gerddoriaeth ddawns electronic, ska, acid house, Dream Pop, Disco, Hip-Hop, Drum and Bass ag Afro Beat. Ma da ni cwpwl o enwogion o’r 90au yn dod, phobl adnabyddus yn y sîn nawr, ac yn y canol bydd ei’n roster arbennig a fydd yn eich Spotify playlists nesa. Bydd hi’n noson werth chweil. Yn ogystal, byddwn yn rhyddhau backlog caneuon Roughion I spotify, a un can y mis yam a’r nesaf fydd yn rhan o compilation albym cyntaf y label fydd allan ym mis Ionawr.

The event in The Blue Honey Night Cafe on Saturday 9th of November will be an exciting evening of music from Wales. We’ve got a couple of tricks up our sleeves, appearances from 90s legends in the scene to the best in the game in Wales at the moment and in the middle of it all will be the new names that you’ll soon have on your Spotify playlists from the artist roster. It’s going to be exciting and you’ll miss out if you’re not there. There’s a plethora of welsh language music out there that needs to be heard. Expect genres like Acid House, Hip Hop, Drum and Bass, House, Disco, Dream Pop, Ska, and Afro beat. It won’t all be electronic music but all the artists playing and being played will be on Welsh labels and Welsh Artists. Also we’ll be drip feeding Roughion’s discography of songs to Spotify as well as 2 songs one this month and next from the compilation album out in January. This compilation will be a song from each of the artists on the label and we’re very excited to show you all!

Words/Interview by @rhimarilou

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