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Gruff Rhys backs Welsh Songwriters
Gruff Rhys fears Welsh language songs could be “forced out of existence”.
The Super Furry Animals frontman joined over 750 artists in the Welsh Songwriters Strike – asking BBC Radio Cymru not to play their records yesterday (19.12.11) – after PRS (Performing Right Society) For Music royalty payments were dramatically cut.
Gruff said: “It’s possible that the PRS have no understanding of the cultural damage that their new policies are causing.
“Recording and singing in the Welsh language will always be a labour of love, and not a career choice, but it seems an unnecessary burden to be penalised for doing so.
“And as a very fragile minority language, surely its popular culture should be encouraged, not forced out of existence.”
The 41-year-old star admitted the majority of his income comes from English songs, despite Welsh being his first language, as his earlier musical efforts could not sustain a living, though he thinks he is a “freak” for doing so.
He added in a blog for the Huffington Post: “For many songwriters who have been raised speaking Welsh however, it would be baffling not to write in Welsh. It’s the most natural thing in the world to want to communicate using your first language, your mother tongue.
“I’m a freak therefore, singing in my second language much as Ace Of Bass from Sweden, 2 Unlimited from Holland, or Transylvania’s Cheeky Girls (but less successful, obviously).
“I didn’t sing in English until I was 25, prior to that I released three Welsh language albums snd made enough money to buy some instruments, but not to pay the bills.
“It’s never really been an option to be a full time songwriter or performer in the Welsh Language.”