SXSW 2016 Interview: Gwenno

By on Wednesday, 30th March 2016 at 11:00 am

Friday afternoon during SXSW 2016, a special showcase sponsored by Cerdd Cymru / Music Wales was put on at the British Music Embassy at Latitude 30. It was a happy occurrence that the programming included a trio of Welsh female solo artists (Rozi Plain, Violet Skies and Gwenno), an all female band (Liverpool’s Stealing Sheep) and a female-fronted one (Fickle Friends). What was less delightful were some forcibly shortened sets during the afternoon that, while minor, seemed more than a coincidence and symptomatic of the struggles that women in music face.

Gwenno Saunders, formerly of the popular girl group The Pipettes, has decided to celebrate her Welshness by recording her music entirely in her native homeland’s tongue On her album ‘Y Dydd Olaf’, which was re-released by Heavenly Recordings last year, she tackled issues of patriarchalism, sexism and the fighting against the establishment, all set against a kraut / pop backdrop. The tunes are incredibly catchy and while only a small portion of the world’s population knows what Gwenno is singing about, she’s quick to explain the premise of her songs in concert, which she did wonderfully during her Friday afternoon performance in Austin.

She has a voice of an angel, she looks like she could be The One, she’s written and recorded a cracking album, and she recently had a baby, who she brought along to Austin with her. Gwenno seems to have it all…or does she? Have a listen to our chat just outside Latitude 30 below. For a feel of her live performance, I’ve also included a live video of Gwenno performing at a music festival last year as well.

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