Tuesday, 23 July

Rapper told he can't perform at festival due to English lyrics

Odd News
Sage Todz says he was told 'essentially there's too much English in my songs'. Pic: Regan Management

A Welsh festival has defended its decision not to allow a rapper to perform as he uses both Welsh and English lyrics in his music.

The National Eisteddfod has traditionally had a Welsh language-only policy for the annual cultural event and Sage Todz performs bilingually.

Writing on Twitter, the musician said he would not be performing at the event "due to the Welsh language policy" in place.

"Essentially there's too much English in my songs," he wrote.

Defending the decision, Ashok Ahir, chair of the Eisteddfod's ruling board, said the festival's main purpose was "to perform, compete and discuss in Welsh - and only in Welsh".

He added that it was the rapper's own decision that he "wished to perform in English and bilingually only".

The festival has also criticised racist remarks aimed at Sage Todz after he announced he would not be performing at the event, with Mr Ahir saying he was "deeply saddened" by the comments on social media.

Born in Essex, Sage Todz lives in North Wales and started releasing music officially in 2020.

He joined forces with the Football Association of Wales (FAW) last year ahead of Wales' World Cup campaign to remake a famous Welsh protest song, Yma o Hyd.

There have been a number of calls on social media for the Eisteddfod's policy to be reviewed, while others have defended the decision as the event is a celebration of the Welsh language.

Held in August every year, the festival attracts around 150,000 visitors, 6,000 competitors and 250 stalls.

According to its organisers, the origins of the Eisteddfod date back to 1176, with the modern-day version dating back to 1861.

The week-long event takes place in a different part of Wales each year and this year will be travelling to Llŷn ac Eifionydd in Gwynedd.

| The National Eisteddfod was held in Tregaron, Ceredigion in 2022

Mr Ahir said: "The Eisteddfod is a Welsh-language festival, and we take great pride in celebrating the language across every genre of the arts.

"We create lots of opportunities for artists to perform in Welsh for the first time."

He said the Eisteddfod was working with its partners to make the Welsh language "accessible for a wider range of individuals and groups".

Mr Ahir added: "To perform, compete and discuss in Welsh - and only in Welsh - is the main purpose of the National Eisteddfod for the one week of the year when the festival is held.

"We respect Sage Todz's passion and dedication to the languages he chooses to use in his music.

"It was his decision that he wished to perform in English and bilingually only. We were keen for him to perform in the festival but we respect his decision not to perform only in Welsh."

Source: news.sky.com