Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit
DSC 0327

Melin Melyn on the Welsh language artists playing at Focus Wales

10 April 2024, 12:16

With the Wrexham-based conference and industry showcase less than a month away, Melin Melyn frontman Gruff Glyn talks us through the Welsh Language acts performing at the festival.

Taking cues from the likes of Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci and Super Furry Animals, Melin Melyn balances the surreal and psychedelic with instant and accessible ingenuity. Just as they get juxtaposed in their sound, so too do their lyrical compositions, freely bouncing between English and Welsh.

After releasing two EPs, distinct in their playful and inventive approach and full of bright sun-kissed melodies, the London and Cardiff-based band are currently working on their debut record. “Recording is done, we’re now mixing it, under the capable hands of our producer Llŷr Pari,” says Glyn. “We’re very excited about releasing it, not only because it’s our debut album but because we have a few ideas around the performing of it too.”

Well-loved for their absurdist and joyful live shows, the band are looking forward to a summer full of festivals, kicking off with a trip North to the star-studded home of Wrexham FC. “I’m really excited that Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney will be the sound engineers for our gigs,” laughs Glyn. “It’s great fun to travel far and wide with the band, either playing to new audiences or familiar fans. Who doesn’t love a good festival?”

As well as showcasing a wide range of international artists, Focus Wales platforms a wealth of homegrown talent. As Glyn agrees, one of the best things about Wales is its music, and keeping the native tongue alive is just as vital. “Why wouldn’t you want to keep a language alive?” he asks. “It’s part of our identity and culture. It’s been around for centuries and it’s beautiful. I speak it every day with my family and many friends. I’ve been really surprised and touched by people coming up to me after some of our shows saying they are learning Welsh because of our music. That isn’t our intention but it’s pretty great! People on the whole have been really excited to hear a language they weren’t familiar with, and music is a great way of sharing it far and wide. However, it isn’t a big deal for me to write in Welsh, it’s natural to me, and there are amazing bands out there that sing only in Welsh. I’ve always said, if anyone would like to practise their Welsh, come and say hello to me after a show.”

Here’s Gruff Glyn’s guide to the Welsh language bands playing Focus Wales.

Cerys Hafana

I think I randomly stumbled upon a performance of Cerys' on Noson Lawen which is a kind of Grand Ole’ Opry show on valium in Welsh. Everyone sits on hay bales, shoes off, with straw in mouth.

She has a beautiful voice, and often performs wonderful covers of old traditional Welsh folk songs on the harp. Her performance of “Bwthyn Fy Nain / Tŷ Bach Twt” gives me goosebumps.

There are many people in Wales that play the harp - Cerdd Dant is an old traditional form of music using harp accompaniment. Not only does she play the triple harp but there is a haunting to her voice that is really captivating and authentic.

She is doing a lot over Wales, but I’m chuffed to see that she is appearing in so many big festivals this year, including Green Man, End of the Road and Deer Shed festivals. Well deserved I say!

Pys Melyn

I think I saw a Pys Melyn video on Lwp - a Welsh language version of MTV. We were lucky enough to have them support us on tour last year. Unsurprisingly, the audiences loved them!

I love a band with 60s/70s influences – lovely riffs, gorgeous harmonies and wonderful wonkyness. I love how different their recordings are to their live performances. They are all great musicians and I love the humour in their lyrics. Check out “Defaid”, a song about sheep.

They have an impressive fan base. Cate Le Bon recently picked them for a show called Curadur where the artist picks their favourite artists. They put a song together with Cate and Tim Presley.


Dylan, the front man of Ynys, was in Race Horses and Radio Luxembourg. Great bands! So when I saw he was starting a new project I obviously had to check it out. I think that their song “Caneuon” is one of the best Welsh songs ever written.

I loved their self-titled debut album, and am really excited to hear their next album which I believe comes out around July this year. Dylan is a great keys and synth player, who is obviously inspired by the 70s.


The producer of our album, Llŷr, is currently working with Ffenest. They currently have just one song out and I love it. It’s called “Rhywbeth Arall” - which means ‘Something Else’. Really catchy with great vocals. More music to come soon, I hear!

You could say they are a bit of a supergroup, as their members have played with great bands such as Omaloma, Sen Segur, Phalcons, Cate le Bon, H Hawkline and Crinc.

HMS Morris

Their recordings are great, but they really bring a show to their live performances. Lampshades and all. We were lucky to have them on tour with us a couple of years ago, and I think we complement each other really well. Like roasted tomatoes with a sprinkle of Himalayan salt.

I think they write really empowering lyrics and they’ve developed their sound and evolved as the years have gone on. We also steal their musicians when we’re in need of one!

Sage Todz

I enjoyed a few of his videos online and he released a song around Wales’ appearance at the 2023 World Cup 2023. Spoiler alert: somehow we failed to win the World Cup.

To be honest, I don’t listen to rap often enough, but I find myself following many of his lyrics intently. He raps about raw and painful experiences. I believe that one of his EPs, Sage Modz is about his experience growing up in Penygroes, Gwynedd, where my Nain / Nan lived. Unfortunately it documents his experience of racism growing up as a member of the only black family in the village. I admire him for writing about it.

I’m not aware of many who perform similar music in the Welsh language. I love how he naturally switches from English to Welsh during many of his songs, such as “Switch Up.” Wales is a bilingual country and he embraces that. I love the idea that he’s inspiring others to create whatever music they love, including in the Welsh language, if they so wish.

FOCUS Wales runs from 9-11 May 2024

Share article

Get the Best Fit take on the week in music direct to your inbox every Friday

Read next