We caught up with Welsh singer-songwriter Geraint Rhys Jones as he prepares to make his Focus Wales debut at Saint Giles Church tonight (Friday April 25).
Singing a bilingual set Geraint will be performing in Focus’ most unusual stage. The church offers a new set of problems for performers to tackle but Geraint hopes that his mix of political-pop-funk will be able to get the St Giles’ crowd moving in their pews.
He will be performing a seven-song 30 minute set and will be one of Focus Wales’ bilingual crowd, performing some of his set in English and some of his songs in Welsh.
Geraint said: “Every time I play at the moment it’s a majority in South Wales and every time I play there’s a few Welsh songs you know so it’s good to surprise people who might not actually hear welsh songs although I know there is a lot of Welsh language artists here, so yeah it’s good to sing in both.
“It wasn’t a conscious decision or anything, it’s just that I speak both languages, I have ideas and things I want to express and sometimes they come out better when I’m doing it in Welsh and sometimes they come out better when I’m doing it in English so yeah there’s no structured way it’s just I speak both languages.”
One benefit of being a bilingual artist is that Geraint Rhys can tap into both markets, he finds himself able to make television appearances through being a Welsh-language singer that would otherwise not be available if he limited himself to just English.
He added: “It helps doing both because I’ve been on Welsh language TV, and it opens a lot of doors to be able to both especially in Wales so you can add that on your musical CV”.
He says that smaller festivals such as Focus manage to unite the city and says that it’s a completely different experience to the more traditional festivals where you’ll be in a field as opposed to spread over a more urban area.
Geraint isn’t fazed by the chance to play in the church despite being in with a varied mix of artists on the night.
“It is an obscure venue, it will be the first time I’ve performed in a church but I’m really excited, we dropped off the kit and it looks absolutely beautiful.
“Hopefully we’ll get a good crowd in there and I am excited.”
Geraint will be playing on Friday 25 at St. Giles Church, Wrexham, and will be releasing an EP later this year. Or you can find him on Twitter: @GeraintRhys1