A Mercury style music prize for Welsh musicians has today been launched by SWN Festival and its co-founders Huw Stephens and John Rostron.
The prize will celebrate Welsh music across a range of genres and will be judged by a panel of industry figures and music experts.
A shortlist of 12 albums released between 1 August 2010 and 31 July 2011 by Welsh artists will be announced very soon with the winner to be announced at SWN Festival 2011.
BBC Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens said: “The Welsh Music Prize is a chance to highlight incredible albums made by Welsh musicians, and bring their music to a wider attention.
“By inviting a panel who love, make or work with music to judge this award, it will be a chance to celebrate the wealth of recording talent that exists in Wales, and shine a light on some exciting, diverse and excellent albums.”
John Rostron said: “We’ve long thought Wales should have a critically judged music prize which celebrates the great diversity in genre and language which comes from this country.
“I’ve watched developments such as the Nordic Music Prize and the Polaris Music Prize in Canada and how they’ve been great platforms to discover new bands from those countries. We hope the Welsh Music Prize does the same for bands in Wales.”
The album shortlist for the 2011 prize is expected to appear on http://www.welshmusicprize.com/ within the next two weeks.