North Wales musician and producer Kelly Lee Owens has won this year’s Welsh Music Prize for her album Inner Song.
She said: “It feels amazing. As a Welsh artist to be recognised by your country, ultimately for me, is the greatest honour. I’m so passionate about Wales and I want everyone to know where I’m from.
“I remember last time when I was nominated, my nana Jeanette came down and since then she has passed away and she’d be so thrilled, I’m sorry I’m emotional - but she’s on the album and she’d be so chuffed. Thank you so much.
Huw Stephens, the Welsh Music Prize’s co-founder, said: “We are thrilled for Kelly Lee Owens. The judges were all astounded by this album. Kelly Lee Owens has been so critically acclaimed for this record, and we are so happy that she is the 2021 Welsh Music Prize winner. We are thrilled that Creative Wales are giving the £10,000 prize money – this is typical of the warm, supportive music scene in Wales."
The 12 finalists for the 2021 awards were: Afro Cluster, The Anchoress, Carwyn Ellis & Rio 18, Datblygu, El Goodo, Gruff Rhys, Gwenifer Raymond, Kelly Lee Owens, Mace The Great, Novo Amor, Private World and Pys Melyn.
Speaking of their support of the Welsh Music Prize and the inaugural prize fund, Deputy Director of Creative Wales, Gerwyn Evans, said: “Creative Wales is proud to support the Welsh Music Prize for the third year running. It’s a fantastic opportunity to showcase the diversity of genres and artists making such exciting music in Wales today.
“The Welsh Music Prize is a celebration and recognition of excellence and creativity in Welsh music – and I’d like to congratulate Kelly Lee Owens on being named as the winner and I’m confident that the prize fund will contribute to future success.”
Kelly Lee Owens now joins a list of winners that include Deyah (2020), Adwaith (2019), Boy Azooga (2018), The Gentle Good (2017), Meilyr Jones (2016), Gwenno (2015), Joanna Grusome (2014), Georgia Ruth (2013), Future of the Left (2012) and Gruff Rhys (2011).
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Header image: courtesy of Cowshed