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Gruff Sion Rees

Aderyn y Nos (Night bird)

Gruff is a musician and composer who is also a TV producer and director. He is originally from Ammanford but now lives in Cardiff.

What inspired your song?

It's a unique song – it begins like a folk song but develops into a rock anthem!

It's a song about the nightingale which warms the night and disperses the shadows with its song. The bird represents the musicians and songwriter in Wales who are working to produce creative stuff in Welsh despite the hurdles which face them.

The second verse is about a thief who wants to steal its pure notes – this is a reference to everyone who is working against Welsh music.

Why did you decide to compete in Cân i Gymru?

The idea for the song came some months back as I mulled over the discord within the Welsh-language music scene.

After a busy year at work, over Christmas I had the chance to do some composing and the song came suddenly to me late one night after playing around for a while with chords.

The chance to record the song in a professional studio of my choice also appealed to me.

In which studio and with whom did you prepare the song for the competition?

I recorded with Tim Hamill at the Sonic-One Studio, Llangennech.

I was also fortunate to have Andrew 'Wal' Coughlan playing the bass on the track. Mark Galozzi Hibbert is on the drums and the talented singer Miriam Isaac on the backing track.

If you were able to perform with any artist/artists, who would they be and why?

I would love to perform with James Taylor, Neil Young and Joni Mitchell – the music of the singer songwriters in this era has always influenced and inspired my work.

More recently I would love to perform with Ben Folds. He's an exciting and very talented pianist and songwriter who has a unique voice.

What is your favourite song and why?

An impossible question to answer! It changes daily.

'You can close your eyes' James Taylor, 'Old Man' Neil Young and 'Case of you' Joni Mitchell stand out, but at the moment 'Picture Window' by Ben Folds is being played over and over again in the car.

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