Originally from Wrexham, Mike Williams is the music magazine NME's Editor in Cheif.

What was your first experience of Welsh music?

My first real experience was aged around nine, when someone brought a tape into school to play with Dafydd Iwan on one side and Sobin a’r Smaeliaid on the other. 

My first really positive experience was a few years later in secondary school when a copy of Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci’s ‘Patio’ was passed around my year. I thought it was incredible. It totally blew my mind that a bunch of teenagers, only four or five years older than me and my friends, were creating this weird and wonderful music and being influenced by things completely alien to me at the time. 

Who was your favourite Welsh language band or musician whilst growing up?

Again, Gorky’s. They opened my mind to a whole new world.

What is your favourite Welsh language album or song ever?

‘Bwyd Time’, by Gorky’s. Amazing from start to finish. It’s pop music through a psychedelic lens without losing the basic and honest sound of young people having a laugh and a good time. 

What’s the best Welsh language music performance you have ever seen?

Cate Le Bon at The Borderline in London around 2012. Cate was just starting to get some proper recognition outside of Wales, so the venue was quite full. During the set she played about four or five Welsh language songs which so captivating and mesmerizing that they completely transcended the language they were being sung in, meaning that while only a handful of people in the venue could understand the words, no-one could have broken the spell between the audience and the stage. 

Has Welsh language music influenced your life in any way?

I loved how less formal the language was in song than in school. As someone from an English-speaking family, that gave me more confidence in expressing myself in Welsh. Musically, I don’t like to draw distinctions - if something is brilliant and life-changing, it doesn’t matter to me whether it’s in Welsh, English or Zulu. 

What are you listening to at the moment?

I’m a big fan of H Hawkline. He’s got the same otherworldly spirit that inhabits Gorky’s and Super Furries. 

I also get weirdly pulled back into listening to ‘Y Da, Y Drwg ac Yr Hyll’ by Pep Le Pew on the walk into work fairly often. Definitely my favourite Welsh language hip-hop track.

Finish this sentence ‘Without Welsh language music...’

...... I would never have found Gorky’s, never had my mind blown in their unique way, possibly never become as obsessive about music in the way I did and therefore would most likely be doing a completely different job to the one I do now!'

Interested in hearing more Welsh language contemporary music? Have a look on our Contemporary Music page for more information.

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