Final selection of artists announced for Cymru - Wales 2022 spotlight at Showcase Scotland and Celtic Connections

Published: 11 Oct 2021

The 6 artists selected to perform at Showcase Scotland and Celtic Connections in February 2022 have been announced as Wales prepares for the spotlight event as international partners.

As part of the Celtic Connections 2022 festival programme launch, Wales Arts International are excited to reveal the six Cymru Wales spotlight artists who will perform in headline concerts at Celtic Connections and at the industry facing Showcase Scotland in 2022, where it’s Wales’ year to be the featured international nation. It’s 15 years since Wales was last featured as an international partner at the event.

The final selection of Cymru Wales Spotlight 2022 artists are:

Cynefin Ceredigion
The creative vision of West Wales native Owen Shiers, Cynefin travels through the local musical landscape, unearthing songs and stories, some never before recorded, and giving them new life in the present.

Eve Goodman – Gwynedd
A bilingual musician from North Wales, Eve Goodman’s music is rooted in her sense of place, carried by a clear voice. Eve weaves in the natural world and the beauty surrounding her, and her lyrics reveal what it is to be human in these times.

N’famady Kouyaté – Cardiff / Guinea
A master musician from Guinea (Conakry), N’famady Kouyaté fuses the vibrant sounds of Mandingue African and Western European jazz, pop, indie and funk influences. The mesmerising sounds of the balafon brings joy to all of his creations.

No Good Boyo - Cardiff
Trad-influenced full throttle band NoGood Boyo experiment with rock, pop and EDM beats whilst shredding the old traditional Welsh tunes, bringing the party wherever they go. Go loud or go home!

Pedair – North Wales
Pedair’s live performances have captured the hearts of many. Their harmonies, fresh interpretations of the Welsh folk tradition, and intimacy of song writing bring together their unique gifts as song-tellers, taking inspiration from Wales and beyond..

The Trials of Cato – Wrexham
With stomping tunes and captivating stories and dubbed the "The Sex Pistols of folk” (J Davis), The Trials of Cato pay clear homage to tradition in their sound, whilst twisting old bones into something febrile and modern.

The final selection was made by Artistic Director of Celtic Connections Donald Shaw, who said “I’ve been blown away by the quality and diversity of application by musicians from Wales and look forward to seeing them perform in Celtic Connections this year. As 2022 launches the UN decade for indigenous languages we look forward to listening to and creating space for indigenous languages.” 

The spotlight event at Showcase Scotland takes place on 4th February 2022, also coincides with Dydd Miwsig Cymru, a day to celebrate the best of Welsh language music.

2022 also marks the beginning of the UN Decade of Indigenous Languages, which highlights the emergency facing some of the world’s most minoritized languages. As a nation where our indigenous Welsh language is protected by legislation, Welsh artists and cultural organisations are collaborating with other minoritized cultures and languages around sustaining and decolonising attitudes to languages and minority cultures around the world. Music is a powerful medium through which to transmit languages and to explore these issues, as is reflected by these six artists through their multilingual practices.

Eluned Hâf, Head of Wales Arts International, said “We are thrilled to be working with such talented artists on this important showcase opportunity. Being the featured nation in 2022 is an opportunity to step into the spotlight as a Celtic nation with a bold, diverse and exciting modern identity and languages.”

“Many of the artists find direct inspiration for their music from their surrounding environments, connecting lyrics and sounds to the dialect and history of their local region, it’s relationship with the world and exploring myths and legends which influence their song writing.” 

“As well as leading to career development and increased touring opportunities for the artists, the legacy of this programme will lead to closer collaboration around addressing global cultural and linguistic issues between artists in Wales and other Celtic nations including Scotland, Ireland and Brittany.” 

“The urgent need for us to seek solutions for a more sustainable future and the important role of music and the arts have to play will be at the forefront of people’s minds, with the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) taking place in Glasgow only two months before Showcase Scotland.”

The selection process was highly competitive and demonstrated the vibrancy, breadth and excellence of world, folk and roots music in Wales, with 42 artists applying for the showcase opportunity.

A shortlist of 15 artists was drawn up through a two-stage assessment process by a panel chaired by Arts Council of Wales Portfolio Manager Lisa Matthews-Jones who said: “As well as identifying six fantastic artists who will present Welsh music to the world at Showcase Scotland, this selection process also demonstrated the incredible quality, diversity and vibrancy of music being created by musicians across a variety of genres in Wales today.”

The selection panel comprised of Deborah Keyser (Tŷ Cerdd), Andy Jones (Focus Wales), Danny Kilbride (trac) Gareth Iwan Jones (BBC Radio Cymru), Helen Needham (BBC Radio Scotland), Keith Harris OBE (Board Member of EFEx) and artists Eädyth Crawford, Emma Daman-Thomas (Islet), singer Aleighcia Scott, Eluned Hâf (Wales Arts International), Antwn Owen-Hicks (Arts Council of Wales) and Judith Musker Turner (Wales Arts International). The final selection was then made by Donald Shaw, Artistic Director of Celtic Connections.

For more information and comment, please get in touch with

Catrin Morris
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