Steve Balsamo and Ynyr Roberts win 2011 Cân i Gymru competition


Steve Balsamo and Ynyr Roberts are the winners of S4C’s 2011 Cân i Gymru (Song for Wales) competition with the song Rhywun yn Rhywle.

Steve and Ynyr won the main prize of £7,500, as well as having the honour of representing Wales at the Pan Celtic Festival in Ireland later this year. Tesni Jones, a young singer from Mochdre performed the winning song.

Ynyr, originally from Penisa’r Waun near Caernarfon, says: “What an incredible night for all three of us! We’re grateful to everyone who picked up the phone and voted for us and for the positive reception to Rhywun yn Rhywle. The Cân i Gymru competition means a lot to me personally and winning has been an ambition of mine for a long time.

“Working with someone of Steve’s ability has been great too. I think we brought out the best in each other. Steve had written the melody and came to me for the lyrics. From the outset, he knew that he wanted the song to be about hope. The song’s main message is to keep chasing your dreams and keep the faith.”

It’s a message which Ynyr can certainly relate to as it was a case of third time lucky in the competition for Ynyr, who is a singer with the group, Brigyn.

“Winning Cân i Gymru this year is even more of an honour because the standard of the songs was very high. Anyone would have been worthy winners. We’ve lived with this song for months now and it was a great experience to finally unleash it to the public and be given high praise by the judges and receive positive feedback by others.”

Swansea singer and songwriter Steve adds: “Because of Tesni’s powerful voice, it added an extra challenge for Ynyr and myself to create something bigger and more exciting. Without a doubt, she was the best person to sing and promote the song.”

Steve is probably best known for the lead role in the West End production of Jesus Christ Superstar and supporting Elton John on two European tours with the band, The Storys.

It promises to be a hectic few months for the new song-writing team. The three are already planning to work on other musical projects and in April they will travel to Kerry in Ireland where ‘Rhywun yn Rhywle’ will compete in the Pan Celtic Festival.

In second place and winning £2,000 was Osian Rhys Roberts with the song Cofia am y Cariad. Gai Toms came third winning £1,000 with his song, Clywch.

The Cân i Gymru final was presented live from Pontrhydfendigaid Pavillion in Ceredigion by Elin Fflur and Dafydd Du.

Viewers can download the eight songs from the final, including the winning song, on the iTunes website.

For those who missed the live final, Cân i Gymru will be broadcast again on Friday 11 March (22:40). Viewers will get another opportunity to enjoy all the excitement of the competition, the eight songs in their entirety and a special performance by Rhydian Roberts.


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