Today (Tuesday, 4 February) details about the composers who will compete for the Cân i Gymru 2014 title, and £3500 first prize, have been announced.
This year, the competition will be held at a new location; at Anglesey Pavilion, Gwalchmai on Friday 28 February. One of the presenters on the night will be the local singer and TV presenter, Elin Fflur and the competition will be shown live on S4C.
The songs and composers are:
Aderyn y Nos (Night bird) - Gruff Siôn Rees – Gruff is a musician and composer who is also a TV producer and director. He is originally from Ammanford but now lives in Cardiff. The message in his song is about the disputes within Welsh music today.
Agor y Drws (Open the Door) - Joseff Owen, Marged Gwenllian, Ifan Edwards and Alun Roberts – These are the four members of the group Y Cledrau from the Bala area. They will perform the song themselves in the final and are delighted that their music will be heard on the Cân i Gymru stage.
Ben Rhys - Gwilym Bowen Rhys and Siân Harris – This is the second time that Gwilym, lead singer of the group Y Bandana, and his mother, Siân, have reached the Cân i Gymru final. They also competed in 2012. This folk song tells the story of a relative who was killed working in a south Wales coal mine.
Brown Euraidd (Golden Brown) - Kizzy Meriel Crawford – In the past two years, the 17 year old singer-songwriter from Merthyr Tydfil has received acclaim from the music industry, in both Welsh and English. Her song talks about prejudice, and declares that everyone is beautiful on the inside.
Dydd yn Dod (The day is coming) - Ifan Davies and Gethin Griffiths – Ifan and Gethin are students at Bangor University and this if the first time they have composed a song together, although they regularly perform at open mic events. The song is about a glimmer of hope during a dark period.
Galw Amdanat Ti (Calling for you) - Barry and Mirain Evans – Barry is a member of the Welsh folk group Y Moniars and this is the first time he has composed with his daughter Mirain. Mirain will perform this love song in the final. Although she is looking forward to the experience, her father is nervous!
Each composer, or composing team, receives up to £900 to pay for time in a studio of their choice to prepare the song for the final.
The chairman of the judging panel, musician Siôn Llwyd, will discuss the finalists on Ifan Evans' C2 radio show tonight, with the programme starting at 7.00pm. Share your opinion and join in the discussion using #CIG2014 on Twitter or the Facebook page – facebook.com/canigymru
Talking about the chosen finalists, Siôn Llwyd said, "This year the finalists feature a wide cross section of genres and, looking at the names, it's encouraging to see that young composers and performers are at the root of each song. That is always good to see and is a healthy sign for Welsh music."
Siôn's duty as chairman was to steer the discussions, but it was the panel of jurors who had the final say in choosing the six songs. Among the panel this year are last year's Cân i Cymru winners Osian Williams and Rhys Gwynfor, of the band Jessops a'r Sgweiri.
They are joined by Alys Williams, who competed on The Voice and has also performed on Cân i Gymru in the past; Gwenda Owen, singer from Cwm Gwendraeth who has years of experience in the industry; and Neil 'Maffia' Williams of the Welsh rock group Maffia Mr Huws.
Go to the Cân i Gymru website – s4c.co.uk/canigymru – for more information about the competition and to hear the winning song in 2013, Mynd i Gorwen efo Alys.