Despite the recent hardships faced by the music industry in Wales, Forté Project, an artist development scheme for emerging musicians, recently announced the next nine musicians to take part in their 2021 programme, with five coming from South Wales.
Those five being:
KINGKHAN: A Cardiff based singer-songwriter who exemplifies what it means to have a DIY work ethic by producing his own tracks to filming his own videos. His music ranges from dance-pop to old school rap so there’s a little bit of something for everyone.
Hemes: Based in Pontypridd, Hemes has been making her name known throughout the South Wales scene since she released her debut single last October. Her music is inspired by the likes of Grace Carter and Khalid, and infuses Arabian scales with modern day dark pop.
Mojo JNR: Mojo JNR provides a unique spin on indie pop, with his summer soundscapes and husky vocal musings. He takes inspiration from personal experiences and his emotions and makes it clear in his music.
The Honest Poet: Using raw power and emotion in every track he creates, THP writes lyrical stories from a completely honest view point. He uses poetry and spoken word to enhance the tales he’s telling and combines a range of acoustic sounds with hip hop and soul to create an absolute treat for your ears.
Mari Mathias: Mari is a young Welsh folk/indie singer-songwriter that brings a fresh sound to traditional folk songs as well as her own material. She’s been with multiple bands throughout the Welsh music scene, making her name known and leaving a mark on the Welsh folk scene. She’s now ready to take the next step in her career and create some amazing music.
Thanks to funding secured by Arts Council of Wales and PRS Foundation, the Forte Project was able to expand for the first time across Wales and the chosen artists, aged between 16-25, will be given professional industry support designed to progress their early careers, during a six-month mentorship programme.
They will receive masterclasses from top names in the industry such as Romesh Dodaganda (Grammy-nominated producer: Bring Me The Horizons), Corey Sanders (Songwriter for Katy Perry), Warp Records (home to Brian Eno and Aphex Twin), Bethan Elfyn (BBC Radio Wales), and Davey Newington (Boy Azooga).
Forté Project’s Lead Officer, Spike Griffiths says:“Even though the past 12 months have been crushing for the music industry, it feels great to finally say that something good has emerged from such challenging times.
“It’s important that we adapt our ways of working to be relevant right now which is why we’ve introduced live streaming, home recording and mental health support packages for each artist.
“The new way of working has allowed us to expand outside of South Wales and discover the incredible quality of music emerging from Wales. Obviously, this all made things very difficult for the panel in the final selection process.”
Former acts who have previously benefited from Forté support include Welsh producer EÄDYTH, pop act HANA2K and singer-songwriter Otto, who signed to Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart’s record label in 2020.