Despite being a relatively new project, the Cardiff Music Awards have already established a certain prowess in the local scene. Launching as a grassroots project in 2015, their aim was to bring together creators and promoters to award them for their work. In their own words they want to “reinforce how healthy the scene is by getting hundreds, if not thousands, of people involved in one major honour roll for Cardiff music” and from the Awards this year, it is clear they have already made headway on this.
On arrival to the event, we were greeted by the lovely Tramshed staff and given Bardi Rum cocktails. Despite arriving early it was clear to see the atmosphere had already started to build with a wide mix of recognisable faces from the Cardiff music scene from members of MADI to Al Moses as well as DJ Jaffa providing music. HANA2K was the first act of the night. Her music feels like a combination of IAMDBB as well as catchy and cool lyrics of Dua Lipa. Her performance was super high energy and having never seen her live before, I was quick to follow her on social media to keep up to date with her music.
The lovely DJ duo GRLTLK hosted the awards. Since the women are well known to the scene, they gave an indescribable hospitality and warmness to the rest of the night. One highly notable feature of the awards is their breadth and range. The awards don’t just cover the bands and singers, they commend the people involved behind the scenes, whether is be local promoters, music photographers or even the best club nights. I was particularly happy to see that Minty from Minty’s Gig Guide was awarded with Best Music Press. His work is beyond commendable and has marked a clear turning point in the promotion of Cardiff’s music scene.
The acts of the night gave the night another boost of energy, with most of the audience getting out of their seating and gathering at the front to dance. The variety of acts with hugely praiseworthy with genres at either end of the spectrum. Grime artist Mace, who filmed his music video for ‘It’s Mad’ at Cardiff City Football’s Club grounds, played next and gave a great, sharp performance with hugely meaningful yet occasionally playful lyricism.
The last two acts of the night were MADI, a four piece band with their self described ‘weirdo pop’ (think glittery, synthy Kate Bush). Their performance was an undeniable spectacle with everyone gathering to the front to get a closer look at their huge stage presence. Following MADI was Chroma. Chroma had already swept up two awards earlier in the night, namely the Best Music Video award for their video ‘Girls Talk’ that shows a number of girls dancing and singing passionately along with the band. Their excitement and pride from winning those two awards was even evident through their explosive performance.