When you think of famous Welsh musicians, one’s mind would go to the likes of Charlotte Church, Tom Jones, The Stereophonics, Katherine Jenkins, Duffy (The Welsh Songstress), Shirley Bassey, Manic Street Preachers, Catfish And The Bottlemen, Nessa and Bryn From Gavin and Stacey (They got UK number one you can’t question it). But a large and growing rap scene would not then immediately come to your mind when thinking of Welsh music. Oh how wrong you would be.

James Pendergrast and His Contributions to the Music Scene

Enter James Prendergast, better known in the Music world as Prendy. He has risen to become a big figure in the Cardiff Music Scene. Having moved to Cardiff from Somerset in 2016, Prendy has become an integral figure in the careers of many musicians’ careers, curating many nights in and around Cardiff to celebrate Welsh Music. He created The Shutdown Show, a series of shows performed by musicians in the Cardiff area and has reached a wide audience, with Prendy appearing on Radio a number of times in order to promote the shows.

Investing in the Cardiff music scene a few years ago would have been as profitable as a good win on bitcoin slots. Similar to the popularity of the title, Funky Monkey, which can be attributed to the game’s groovy soundtracks, the acts that generally perform at The Shutdown are in the Grime, Rap, Hip Hop, Drill, Garage, and RnB genres. In the years since Prendy has lived in Cardiff, the grime and rap scene has grown exponentially. He studied performance at the University of South Wales and has put that experience into his showmanship when MC’ing at The Shutdown Show. Since then, he has gone on to host a variety of other nights, most notably at The Moon in Cardiff, as well as publishing articles, mixtapes and creating a football podcast.

Friends in High Places

Time Out magazine is also a believer that the most exciting rap scene in the UK is not London, but is in fact 131 miles away in Cardiff. Rap as a whole has taken the UK by storm over the last few years. When rock n roll was the biggest music in the country, rappers now sell out the big arenas faster. The genre preferences of the country have changed greatly and that is reflected in the increase in demand for it in the city of Cardiff.

2022 Was a Big Year

2022 was a big year for music, Cardiff is hoping to spearhead an even bigger 2023. With its ever- groundbreaking music scene, Prendy will hope that he can be one of the big figures in making Cardiff gain the focus of the world for the music it produces. While being interviewed for Time Out Prendy reflected on this change by stating “I’m not saying there weren’t any events on here when I started, but there have been a lot more since I have been. Th ere is also more eyes”. When talking about the kind of artists he wants to book for his events and those he wants to see make their debut in the Welsh Capital, Prendy said “I want supporting artists to be up and coming local talent where possible”. With this in mind he will be hoping that 2023 will bring even bigger and better things for the scene.

The Little Guy Packs a Punch

Cardiff has a population of less than 500,000 compared to London which has a population of nearly 9 Million people. So it is a valiant effort from Cardiff to be able to give London a run for its money in the rap scene. I write this while living in London, so to me, most places are comparatively smaller than my home city. Plus with my London arrogance, I also believe that it is better than everywhere else as well. But in this case, the smaller city of Cardiff packs a huge punch that can rival the capital. Especially with the mindset of many Londoners post-Covid, a continued transition in power over to Wales could be likely, with many people leaving London due to the cost of living. That being said, Cardiff has been accused of recently having slower population growth than is to be expected.

This reflects the real world of music. That it does not discriminate and while nepotism is rife throughout many job industries, true talent and truly wonder nights based around music cannot just be given to anyone. Someone with talent and a wonderful work ethic can arise from anywhere in the world regardless of how rich they are or how they look. So here stands Cardiff, a city in Wales that out of nowhere has become a wonderful place filled with talented musicians gathering and creating a sound that only they can. Being in the music scene makes all those around it tremendously proud, something which Prendy would agree to. It is something that anyone with a keen interest in Music should be looking towards to see just what will happen next.