By Hallum Cowell
The third annual Cardiff Music Awards ceremony was held on the 29th of March at Tramshed, Grangetown. The event aimed to “promote, recognise and celebrate music in the Welsh capital”. The night, along with the awards themselves, contained a number of live acts including Chroma, MADI, Mace, Hana2k and DJ Jaffa. Most of these acts were also up for awards themselves.
The evening hosted a total of 23 awards, from Best Single to Best Radio Show. The winner of Best Radio Show was Bethan Ellfyn, from BBC Wales, with her producer, Chris Harding, commenting he had “the luckiest job in the world”. The band Chroma went on to win Best Music Video as well as Best Single for their song Girls Talk. When asked what was next for Chroma, they said “we hope to become more well known, not just in Wales but also across the UK.” With these awards the group are hoping to take their band full time as many band members still hold day jobs or are at university.
Chroma went on to talk about their influences for Girls Talk, with band member Carey Cardwell saying “I wrote the song because I’m a woman and I don’t like people having the upper hand on me,” adding that “it’s not about women having the upper hand, it’s about having gender equality”.
Boy Azooga won the Best Album award for their album 1,2 Kung Fu, while also winning Best Live Act and Best Group. Sŵn Festival also did well at the awards by winning both Line-Up of the Year and Best Festival. This year’s festival will take place from October 18th to 20th and they are currently looking for volunteers for the event.
Winner of Best Music Press was Minty’s Gig Guide. He described winning as “unbelievable” and spoke of being “dedicated to the cause” and “the day in day out”. For Best Commercial Venue Cardiff University Students’ Union lost out to Tramshed. Best Club Night was taken by Blue Honey, a bar near Womanby Street, while Gwdihŵ, which closed in January due to its landlords’s plans to demolish it, won Best Independent Venue.
Gair Rhydd has reported on updates to the situation with Gwdihŵ throughout the year and although the demolition work has been cancelled, it is unknown whether the bar will have found a new location or will have resumed its original one by the time nominations for next year’s awards come around. Tramshed is also facing issues with its future as a music venue, with proposals for it to be developed into high-end apartments having emerged in recent weeks; ideas which have faced backlash from locals.
One trend of the night was the fact that many women had achieved awards. As well as Chroma’s wins, Best DJ was won by GRL TLK, who pointed out that “last year there were no female nominations” for Best DJ. Winner of Underrepresented Music was Ladies of Rage, who champion females being involved in the music industry. Winner of Best Solo Act was MADI, a relatively new group who performed a vibrant set on stage.
MADI’s style is similar to that of EDM, although they follow a narrative specific to them which rejects conformity. This narrative is expanded upon by actors in the crowd in an array of costumes that help compound the themes of their performance. Upon winning the award MADI said, “it’s really nice to win” and that “we had put in a lot of effort,” adding that “It is nice to get some recognition”.
Despite there only being 23 winners, an array of bands, shows and venues were nominated, with lists of nominations being available on the Awards’s website should anyone wish to explore more of Cardiff’s music scene.