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Has Wales found its next great popstar?

Betsy’s debut album is a pop spectacle via a farm in rural Pembrokeshire

Betsy classes her style as “trashy opulence.” Credit: Betsy / Matthew Maitland / Warner Bros.

Betsy didn’t have the origins of your classic pop-star, growing up on a goose-farm in rural Pembrokeshire. But the 25 year old’s newly-released, self-titled debut album sets her apart from the crowd with a bruised, Bassey-esque vocal delivery flavoured with synths.

“It was a massive step being in the music industry coming from Pembrokeshire,” Betsy says, “getting yourself in it is hard enough even if you’re from London.”

Betsy says it’s all down to “luck and who you meet” and says she sent her first demo out to “every man and his dog.”

She may have signed a record deal with Warner, but Betsy still hasn’t forgotten her roots. Her press photos were shot in the caravan her brother still lives in in Pembrokeshire.

But the question remains; if Betsy is Wales’ newest pop star, why hasn’t the land of song birthed a bone fide pop presence?

Rod Thomas is a singer-songwriter who performs as Bright Light Bright Light. Originally from a small village near Neath, he moved to London to originally pursue a career in PR. He spoke to Alt.Cardiff about the country’s struggle to break or sustain any major creative and commercial musical talent.

Rod Thomas releases music as Bright Light Bright Light. Credit: Rod Thomas / WMA

Rod Thomas is a singer-songwriter who performs as Bright Light Bright Light. Originally from a small village near Neath, he moved to London to originally pursue a career in PR. He spoke to Alt.Cardiff about the country’s struggle to break or sustain any major creative and commercial musical talent.

He names modern singers like Katherine Jenkins and pop singer Marina and the Diamonds as stars who are still working consistently. But a barrier to most people are the lack of music-related opportunities in Wales, which necessitates a move to cities like London.

“Growing up in the Welsh valleys,” he says, “your chances of kickstarting a career are much slimmer than if you grow up within reach of a major city with a thriving music scene. You have to work hard to get to a place where you can see the first step, as opposed to working hard making the first step.”

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