Artist Of The Week: Geraint Rhys
Our artist of the week this week is Swansea's very own Geraint Rhys. If you've ever seen Geraint play or heard Geraint's music, you'll agree with three things: 1 - it's almost impossible to pin a genre to his music. 2 - he has a lot of worthwhile things to say. 3 - his enthusiasm and energy for music is unparalleled.
His lyrical content in his tracks delve into politics, life, love, hate, culture and more, but do so in a way that'll have you singing along and believing every word.
With so much to talk about, we had the opportunity to send Geraint some questions this week, to find out more about his music, growing up in Swansea and what 2018 holds for him:
How would you describe your music?
Catchy, musically eclectic, lyrically challenging.
How has growing up in Swansea influenced your music?
Trying to figure out how we as a society create a sense of place is something that runs through all my work. Whether it's music, writing or film I'm always trying to discover the relationships between self and society. I've lived all over the UK and Swansea is a great place for this because there's a sense of genuineness that you don't get elsewhere. Growing up in Swansea you're surrounded by nature from Kilvey hill to Rhosilli. I live 5 minutes away from Swansea Bay and you can't help but be inspired. In all my music videos I try to reflect a strong sense of place.
A few of your compositions are in Welsh and it seems to be something that you are passionate about (the Welsh language) - what is your view on the future of welsh language music?
Being a Welsh speaker in Swansea I felt at times like an outsider. There were far less spaces for you to express yourself and because the internet wasn't as big of a thing then, it was a lot more difficult to discover good Welsh language music. In general, I think the Welsh language scene is really healthy and there's some great acts doing some great stuff. However, I also think there are plenty of bands and artists out there who readily release a lot of shit songs just so they can pick up their PRS cheque and their HENO performance money. So many times I've been told by people in 'the industry' to translate a song of mine from English to Welsh to exploit the Welsh language market. But I don't want to go down that route. That's why I release less stuff in Welsh because I want to make sure that what I do put out there isn't just boring drab filler.
What can we expect from you as a musician this year?
This year I will be releasing 2 more tracks which are already recorded and good to go. I'll also be playing more shows throughout the UK, so watch this space. I'm also currently working on a few electronic side projects with other artists and will be releasing a short film about Music and protest in Catalunya. So 2018 it will be a busy year.
What advice would you give to emerging artists in Swansea?
Try as many different genres as possible and surround yourself with creative people. If you don't know where they are, hang out at gigs and you'll eventually find them.
What is your best Swansea live music memory / moment?
When I was old enough to go to gigs by myself, it was around the same time that the Patti Pavilion in Swansea hosted loads of really good bands. I saw some amazing British Ska Punk bands like Capdown and Lightyear. I remember being around 12 and ended up dancing on stage with the lead singer from Lightyear, the energy was incredible.
Are there any Swansea musicians that you're a fan of currently?
I urge people to use the Swansea Music Hub website to discover new artists. It's such a great tool. Some artists I particularly like which I discovered through the website include Ben Luc, Craze the Jack, Rachel Rimmer and your very own Simon Parton.
How do you feel about the growing and developing music scene in Swansea?
I think the Swansea Music Hub is a great step in the right direction. Just having that space which consolidates all musical information is a great idea. There are plenty of great musicians in Swansea, but growing up here, the scene was saturated with cover bands, rocks bands or rave music. What Swansea lacks is a few smaller music venues which offer real musical diversity. I think the Swansea Music Hub could be a great way to bring people together to do this.
Written by Simon Parton