Is Welsh Rap on the rise? How one the UK's oldest language is making new waves in music

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Report Zahra Errami, ITV News' Here's the Story

"I'm here for Welsh rap, you might hear them on my show," is what Radio1 Xtra DJ Target said.

"That guy's hard what's his name?" was rap collective NSG's response to a future collaboration.

They were listening to Welsh rap, a contemporary take on the UK's oldest language.

ITV's Here's the Story took to the GRM Gala's red carpet, a star-studded event that saw the likes of Stormzy, Giggs and Tion Wayne show up to celebrate black excellence within the industry.

"It's going to be fresh if someone is coming from Ireland or Wales, London-based rapper Tion Wayne thought. "It might bring something new to the industry."

"Vibe can transcend the language, we get it with Afrobeats," said Radio1 Xtra DJ, DJ Target.

"Not everyone can understand Jamaican Patois, but it's the vibe."

It's no secret that Welsh, Irish or even Scottish rappers aren't exactly the face of UK Rap at the moment.

But could that change?

As more regional accents come up through the ranks - with artists like Aitch and Bugsy Malone from Manchester and MIST from Birmingham making it mainstream in the last few years.

Is the industry ready for a new wave of rappers - that have regional accents and speak their native language?

"We speak it day to day so it was only natural to put it in the music," says Sage Todz, a bilingual rapper from north Wales.

Over 900,000 people speak Welsh in Wales according to The Annual Population Survey by the Office for National Statistics in 2023.

But Welsh rapper Lloyd wants representation to stretch further than the Welsh border.

"The opportunities we've had in Wales are amazing within the Welsh language circle, but what would be good now is to get it pushed more outside of Wales.

"I feel like it's (the industry) very English and London-based at the moment.

"It's frustrating because if we had the support outside of Wales, I think we'd do well as well."

Sage Todz, whose first Welsh language track 'Rownd a Rownd' went viral online has seen him catapult into the spotlight, featured on tracks made specifically for the FAW ahead of the World Cup qualifiers last year - and performing internationally.

Though they feel supported within Wales, they believe being noticed on a UK level could give them the exposure they need to succeed further.

Max, a content creator and rap expert, says with the help of digital platforms, there's potential Welsh rap could make a big impact to the scene.

"When the rapper MIST started using Punjabi slang in his lyrics, it definitely made him memorable."

He says he's seen a rise in international and English artists showing more of their identity, be that accent, culture or language in the music they share online.

He says it's only a matter of time before we'll see this for happen for Welsh, Irish and Scottish artists.