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Welsh creatives win Youth Music Awards 2023

Owain Elidir Williams, the founder of Welsh language website and magazine Klust, has been named the winner of the Rising Star Award (Industry) sponsored by Songkick, at the star-studded Youth Music Awards 2023 in association with Hal Leonard Europe, held at London’s legendary Troxy on Wednesday 18 October. 

The annual event represents a more diverse, inclusive and creative music industry, by platforming young people facing the biggest barriers to accessing music.  

Owain Elidir Williams is the creator and editor of Klust – a bilingual music website that gives a platform to Welsh artists. In December 2022, he produced Klust’s first print edition which is the sole bilingual music publication in Wales.  

Klust is an authentic, bilingual collection of reviews, interviews, and short essays championing Welsh artists, put together by an eclectic mix of Welsh writers. Featuring stunning photography and independent journalism, the first magazine shed light on ten different artists from Wales and came with a unique physical print by photographer Rhys Grail. Owain Elidir Williams plans to continue to grow and develop Klust in an inclusive, sustainable way. 

Speaking on his award, Owain said: “It’s come as such a surprise and any recognition of what I do, what I represent, what Klust is doing, is massive so it’s a big honour to receive this award.” 

An esteemed panel of music industry experts including singer-songwriter and Hits Radio UK presenter, Fleur East; Chicken Shop Date star and youth services advocate, Amelia Dimoldenberg; singer and BRIT nominated Rising Star, Joy Crookes, and artist Kojey Radical judged the Youth Music Awards 2023.   

Following another year where music festivals and award ceremonies faced criticism for lacking representation, the Youth Music Awards appealed to the music industry to ‘Take Note’ of a more diverse, more inclusive and more creative future of music.  

Youth Music has championed equalising access to making, learning, and earning in music for 24 years, and believes that every young person should have the chance to change their life through music. The Youth Music Awards is sponsored by some of the UK’s most prolific music, fashion and culture brands including Amazon Music, Levi’s, Marshall Amplification, Ticketmaster and TikTok.  

Youth Music CEO, Matt Griffiths, said: “The Youth Music Awards provides a platform for the incredibly talented next generation of creatives and leaders emerging from the grassroots organisations we invest in across the country. The event really demonstrates the importance of supporting grassroots music. Without it, the future of music is less diverse, inclusive, and creative.  

“As we approach our 25th anniversary next year, we hope the music industry is inspired to ‘Take Note’ of what it means to level the playing field for young people making, learning and earning in music.” 

Songkick commented: We’re humbled to support the ‘Rising Star Award (Industry)’ – our congratulations go to all the nominees as well as the winner, Owain Elidir Williams!  

“Songkick is proud to share the passion and belief that every young person should be given the chance to change their life through music. We call for everyone across the industry to TAKE NOTE and champion young Artists, supporting them to grow fanbases and build long term careers in the live music space.”