Don’t scrap BBC Introducing in Wales
Posted on Monday, December 19, 2011 at 1:04pm
Don’t scrap BBC Introducing in Wales
Plaid AM joins industry calls to keep vital platform going
Bethan Jenkins AM is calling on the BBC to reconsider plans to bring to an end its Introducing platform in Wales, which is used to promote unsigned new musical talent. A new show is being proposed under the Delivering Quality First agenda, where there will be one show for Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. Now there are 3 separate shows. Jen Long is the current presenter, but famous former presenters include Bethan Eflyn and Huw Stephens.
Introducing goes out on Radio 1 and 6Music (it also has a website here), and has broken many new Welsh artists, and Bethan is joining with some of them to urge the corporation into a rethink. A petition will be presented in the UK Parliament on Monday(today), alongside a petition calling for the retention of BBC Introducing in Scotland, and Northern Ireland, and a facebook group has been set up to save the show in its current format.
Bethan, who is Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson on Heritage, Language and Sport, said:
“ BBC Introducing in Wales is exactly the kind of platform that new Welsh musicians need. Having regional variation allowed more artists – and specifically more Welsh artists – to be heard. I say to the BBC – think again, because this is where the stars of tomorrow are found, and it has a responsibility to help nurture them in this way.”
Turnstile Music manages Gruff Rhys, Los Campesinos and Islet. In a statement, it said:
“Turnstile Music was gutted to hear the BBC Introducing regional programmes are coming to an end. Over the years these programmes have been a great platform of credible support for established and upcoming bands and artists across our roster, as well as constantly supporting and helping promote Welsh and non-Welsh language bands and music events throughout Wales.
“This kind of support will be sorely missed and is another blow to an industry already struggling to support its most important assets at a regional level – new and emerging talent.”
Romesh Dodangoda, who has worked with bands such as Funeral For A Friend, Kids In Glass Houses, Attack! Attack!, The Blackout, Not Advised, Twin Atlantic and Save Your Breath, and is based in the well-known Longwave Recording Studio in Cardiff, added:
“Over the many years of working in the music industry, there is no doubt as to how much impact the BBC Introducing shows have had with helping new bands take themselves to the next level and get their music heard.
“A lot of the artists from Wales particularly have been given such great opportunities through the exposure they have gained from the shows and the support of the DJ’s. To get rid of these shows would make it harder for new talent to have their music heard by a wider audience.
“BBC Introducing has supported countless band’s that I have produced and those bands have gone forward and made careers for themselves. Not only that, but the show also helps local producers and studios by using them to record the live sessions for the programme.”
Welsh rappers Goldie Lookin’ Chain said:
“Along with many other Welsh artists, we remember our first radio play and hint of success and recognition from BBC Introducing In Wales. The show is a national treasure and without it we will have lost an invaluable chance for our artists, singers and song writers to take a giant leap to fame and fortune and to ultimately bring that fame and fortune back to Wales.
“We need a show like this in Wales for the artists and music fans of Wales and beyond. There is so much talent in Wales and we need to keep the channels open to maximise our potential and gain the greatest opportunity.”
Cardiff musician Matt Hudson from the band Fox Lane added:
“BBC Introducing in Wales provides the best incentive for young and unsigned bands to showcase their music. Without it, live opportunities are hard to come by and Talented young bands are forced out of the music business and lose motivation.”
Sam Airey added:
I feel that BBC Introducing in Wales is an absolutely vital platform for emerging Welsh talent, providing a step up for bands and artists to reach a wider audience than they ordinarily would be able to. My music was discovered earlier this year, largely due to the BBC Introducing system – I sent my first single to the Introducing Uploader, and from there it was picked up by Jen Long on BBC R1 Introducing in Wales, and Adam Walton/Bethan Elfyn on their BBC Radio Wales shows, who each gave it a big push. Since then (and mainly due to such great support) I’ve had national radio play on BBC Radio One, Two, and 6Music, played a radio showcase at Swn Festival in Cardiff, recorded a BBC Maida Vale session for Huw Stephens on Radio One, and last week recorded a session for Freshly Squeezed on Channel 4 tv. I have absolutely no doubt that without the help and support of BBC Introducing in Wales, I would have really struggled to achieve what I have so far, and I’m sure the same can be said for countless new artists from Wales that have also been benefactors of the Introducing system.
The band Friends Electric said:
“Without BBC Introducing in Wales we wouldn’t be where we are today. It’s as simple as that. The amount of passionate support we’ve received over the years from Huw, Bethan, Jen and the team, and the opportunities that have come because of this support, has been both incredible and invaluable. Seriously. Because of them we’ve been able to write music for a living. We have them to thank for everything.”