Despite the recent hardships faced by the music industry in Wales, Forté Project, an artist development scheme for emerging musicians, is proud to announce nine new artists selected to embark on its 2021 programme.

Forté Project did not give up the fight in 2020 and as a result, has secured Arts Council of Wales and PRS Foundation funding, allowing the project to expand beyond its original South Wales regions for the first time and reach new artists across the country.

Thanks to this, the chosen artists, aged between 16-25, will be given professional industry support designed to progress their early careers, during a six month mentorship programme.

They will receive masterclasses from top names in the industry such as Romesh Dodaganda (Grammy-nominated producer: Bring Me The Horizons), Corey Sanders (Songwriter for Katy Perry), Warp Records (home to Brian Eno and Aphex Twin), Bethan Elfyn (BBC Radio Wales), and Davey Newington (Boy Azooga).

Naturally, the programme has been shaped to suit a more Covid friendly way of working with all classes taking place digitally, and the addition of some new pandemic-proof lessons. Including, how to professionally live stream and record tracks at home, which is more important now than ever before.

On top of this, another new yet relevant aspect of the programme this year is working with Mental Health UK to deliver a digital mental health support package tailored to each act.

Forté Project’s Lead Officer, Spike Griffiths says, “Even though the past 12 months have been crushing for the music industry, it feels great to finally say that something good has emerged from such challenging times.”

“It’s important that we adapt our ways of working to be relevant right now which is why we’ve introduced live streaming, home recording and mental health support packages for each artist.”

“The new way of working has allowed us to expand outside of South Wales and discover the incredible quality of music emerging from Wales. Obviously, this all made things very difficult for the panel in the final selection process.”

Over five years, Forté has worked with over fifty young artists to build their profile, generate opportunities and provide the necessary knowledge to help propel them into a career in the industry.

Former acts who have previously benefited from Forté support include Welsh producer EÄDYTH, pop act HANA2K and singer-songwriter Otto, who signed to Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart’s record label in 2020.

The nine artists joining the project in 2021 are:

  1. Aderyn - Infectious, spiky indie-pop guitar music
  2. LEWYS - Instantly danceable Welsh language indie rock
  3. Demzie - Viscerally honest rap artist from North Wales
  4. Elina - Gorgeously self-produced teenage dream-pop
  5. Hemes -  Infuses Arabian scales with modern day dark-pop
  6. KINGKHAN - Creatively packaged emo rap artist already featured on Radio 1Xtra
  7. Mari Mathias - Luscious Welsh language folk tones
  8. Mojo JNR - Slacker rock project from 24-year-old Josh David-Read
  9. The Honest Poet - Soulful energy with an unforgettable voice 

Listen to the full playlist: