WYNT

WYNT take their name from the Billy Wynt, in homage to a 300-year-old mysterious tower that overlooks their village in the Rhondda valley, South Wales. WYNT started their journey in 2018 after individual old bands fell away. Beginning by locking themselves away in the backroom of their local pub for 8 months to write, demo, and perfect their live sound emerging with a handful of tracks. The band describe their live shows as sweat filled, ear shattering, blood pumping sing alongs.

Wallgrin (BC, Canada)

WALLGRIN is the experimental pop project of Vancouver-based composer, improviser, vocalist and violinist Tegan Wahlgren. Drawing from an array of musical influences — including a background in fiddling and choral singing — Wallgrin’s sound moves between lush string-based orchestration, beat-driven pop and ornate vocal arrangements. Their spirited and raw live performances have led them to perform at BreakOut West, ArtsWells, Music on Main, Western Front and the Queer Arts Festival alongside artists such as Okkyung Lee, Holy Hum, Jenny Hval and Nicole Lizée. Wallgrin’s sophomore album, Yet Again The Wheel Turns, is due for release in 2022.

St.Arnaud (Alberta, Canada)

By the release of his debut album, St.Arnaud was an old hand on the folk festival circuit, a University graduate in Neuroscience, accidental overdose survivor, and at a loss for what to do next. In the Fall of 2017, his bandmate, friend, and at times antagonist, was hit by a train, dissolving his trio, North of Here. To honour the loss, St.Arnaud rewrote the collection, previously titled The Cost of Living. Harkening back to ‘60s protest folk, Ian’s beaming, clever lyrics belay more cerebral themes behind sha-la-las. Simply orchestrated, impeccably composed, St.Arnaud tackles themes of loss and resilience with sardonic humour and heart-on-the-sleeve, puppy-love honesty.

Robbie Caswell-Jones

Raised in Wrexham but currently located in the East Midlands, Robbie Caswell-Jones has been honing his skills as a folk guitarist and vocalist since 2013. Specializing in bluegrass guitar, he has performed across the UK and Europe and has developed a picking technique that gives his playing both drive and energy whilst remaining graceful and sweet. Robbie’s choice of traditional songs and his dynamic vocal delivery is both nostalgic and refreshing.

Rona Mac

I’m an indie singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from West Wales. I write songs about things that feel real to me, in hope that they’ll feel real to other people. If I can talk about things we’ve been told we shouldn’t, and help people connect to feelings they tucked away in their teens, then I’ll be happy when I’m old. So I’m giving it a go.
I’m 26, I’m gay, and I live in a caravan. With music, I’d love to help break down walls of pretence: to question the comfortable boxes we put ourselves in and cut straight through to something more real. In 2019 I settled back home on the most western tip of Wales. I collected second hand and borrowed equipment produced an album in the corner of my caravan. Learning as I went along, I recorded songs that I’d written and gigged over the previous year and mixed and mastered them myself. I released my debut album, ‘Sheelah’, in June.
I’m now working on two new E.P’s, collaborating with local artists for media and visuals, and gigging around the Wales and the UK (while we can, anyway!). Looking forward to meet you all, whoever you be <3

Ophelia Xerri

Ophelia Xerri is 25 year old singer and multi-instrumentalist based in Cardiff Wales. Ophelia’s music is inspired by jazz, soul, RnB, love and the relatable bittersweetness of life. Ophelia has played piano and trumpet since a child, and guitar in December 2019. Ophelia performed FOCUS Wales 2019 under the group name Xerru.

Joe Dolman

With several independently released EP’s under his belt, two of which landed him in the top 10 of the UK/US iTunes charts, Dolman has been growing from strength to strength racking up support from the likes of Huw Stephens (BBC Radio 1), BBC Introducing and playlisting spots from both Apple, Spotify and Deezer’s editorial teams with spots on New Music Friday – Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Iceland (Spotify), Today’s Acoustic (Apple), Smooth Hits (Deezer) and Autumn Acoustic and Beautiful Day (Spotify). He has also sold out UK Tours and played a number of showcase festivals in 2019.

Hannah Willwood

Hannah is a 21-year-old singer songwriter from Snowdonia in North Wales, whose music exhibits a unique blend of indie, folk and jazz. There is a gentle but resolute quality to her writing and performance, where inspiration has been found through relationships and the rugged beauty of the mountains in which she grew up. Her organic approach to music is driven by a desire to affect the emotions with the lightest touch, however her lyrics hold an understated weight with at times a brutal honesty. Her songwriting cites influences from Julia Jacklin, Laura Marling and Alice Phoebe Lou.

Eädyth

Eädyth is an exciting emerging artist who has enjoyed many exciting opportunities over the last year, thanks to being selected as a BBC Horizons artist. She recorded at the acclaimed Rockfield Studios, she performed at many events and festivals including at The Senedd and Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay, Festival No 6, Brecon Jazz Festival, Swn Festival, Festival of the Celts and at the Eisteddfod. Her music has also received radio support via BBC Wales, Radio Cymru, Kiss FM and was used for a promo video for the Football Association of Wales

David Burton

David Burton is a guitarist singer and songwriter based in North Wales. His style is a fusion of folk blues fingerstyle and classical elements recalling the playing of Bert Jansch, Doc Watson and Pierre Bensusan. His songwriting combines moments of introspection with imaginative story telling. David has played at numerous venues including 12 Bar – London Zanzibar – Liverpool and Focus Wales Festival and has appeared on Manchester GMR Calon FM and Cheshire FM. He has opened for Mark Morris and also fingerstyle guitarist Eric Roche. He was chosen by Pierre Bensusan as winner of his guitar video competition.

Braden Lam (Nova Scotia, Canada)

Blending authentic songwriting with modern indie flare, Braden Lam is forging the path to a new 21st century folk-pop. The young artist from Canada takes listeners on a journey of growth and aspiration with his latest EP Inside Four Walls, six songs that walk from adolescence and a wide-open future into the reality of adulthood and its sundry limitations, trying to find the ideal balance between art and responsibility. It’s music for driving and singing along to, for late night heart-to-hearts and Sunday morning papers, for growing up and letting go.

1987- (1987tilpresent)

1987- (1987 til present), real name Neal Smith, is a solo artist from Llanelwy. Neal is excited to return for a third consecutive year of Focus Wales. After living in London, Manchester, New Zealand and now settled back in Denbighshire, he wrote his first CD ‘Letters To The Past’. Neal has had a break away from music to concentrate on other studies but armed with a guitar he is back with some new tunes to show off in the 10th anniversary year of the festival.

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