This weekend, all eyes are on Wrexham as the 12th edition of Focus Wales 2023 takes place. From 4th to 6th May, the festival will feature a variety of workshops, music panels, art events, and even a film festival. With over 250 artists performing in more than 20 venues throughout the city, this festival is one of the top gatherings in the music industry today. Attendees can expect to see the best in Welsh music as well as talented artists from around the world.
To help you make the most of your experience, we’ve curated a list of ten Welsh and Wales-based artists we recommend seeing live.
Skunkadelic, also known as Tumi Williams, is an emcee, artist, and music educator based in Cardiff, making significant contributions to the UK hip-hop scene. With a deep, recognizable voice and skilful lyricism, Skunkadelic creates a unique multi-genre experience, blending modern soul and jazz (think The Roots and Erykah Badu) with the sounds of his Nigerian heritage, including Fela Kuti and Tony Allen.
In addition to his solo performances, Tumi leads the funk hip-hop 9-piece collective Afro Cluster, who will also perform this weekend.
Skunkadelic | Thursday May 4th | 9:30 pm | Penny Black I Room 1 Afro Cluster | Saturday May 6th | 12:00 am | The Rockin' Chair
Juice Menace is a talented female rapper from Cardiff who is making a name for herself in the UK scene. She has released several impressive singles, including “Sundown,” “No Speaking,” and her latest release, “Pink Notes.” Her versatile flow, clever lyrics, and flawless performances have caught the attention of many fans. As a result, she has a steadily growing fanbase who support her every move.
Friday May 5th | 10:20 pm | Penny Black | Room 1
Elina Lee is a talented singer-songwriter based in Cardiff who is quickly gaining a following at just 25 years old. Her unique sound blends lo-fi, R&B, and mainstream pop, with musical inspiration from artists like Majid and Snoh Aalegra. Don’t miss the chance to see Elina perform this weekend.
Friday May 5th | 8:20 pm | Penny Black | Room 2
N’famady Kouyaté is a Cardiff-based Guinean musician. The multi-instrumental artist has wowed audiences across the UK with his modern interpretations of traditional West African Mandingue songs and rhythms fused with Western jazz, pop, indie, and funk influences. His multi-instrumental performances are guaranteed to create incredible atmospheres and vibrations wherever he goes, charming audiences with his infectious enthusiasm and joy.
Saturday May 6th | 10:00 pm | Ty Pawb Flexible Space
Noah Bouchard is a talented 25-year-old alternative hip-hop artist originally from Cardiff, Wales, who currently resides in East London. Noah is renowned for his emotionally charged and introspective music, which is characterised by its poignant lyrics. Over the past two years, Noah has released several independent singles, such as Pantomime, which have garnered him a loyal fan base and introduced his unique sound to a wider audience.
Friday May 5th | 6:15 pm | Old No.7
Sage is a bilingual musician specialising in Welsh rap, hip-hop, and R&B. He is based in North Wales and began releasing music in 2020. Over the past few years, Sage has been involved in numerous exciting music collaborations. His music is a unique blend of English and Welsh language, which has made him a prominent figure in the UK’s drill music scene.
Friday May 5th | 9:50 pm | Penny Black | Room 2
Adjua is an alt-R&B vocalist and guitarist with Welsh and Ghanaian roots. Since 2021, she has been creating beautiful music that draws inspiration from her life experiences and spirituality. Her debut EP, “Self,” is now available on all platforms. Adjua writes and produces her own music, which showcases her dreamy voice and soulful style. If you get the chance to watch her live, you’ll be transported by her music this weekend.
Saturday May 6th | 4:00 pm | Old No.7 Saturday May 6th | 8:30 pm | The Royal Oak
Mace The Great
Mace The Great is a highly influential figure in the Welsh Grime and hip-hop scene. He was awarded the Triskel Award at the Welsh Music Prize 2020, and was nominated for the Welsh Music Prize 2021. Mace was also selected as the first Welsh Mobo artist to perform and showcase at SXSW 2022. He is deeply connected to his hometown community of Cardiff, as demonstrated in his recent album “SplottWorld”, which pays tribute to his roots. With his extensive career and numerous collaborations, Mace is poised for a global takeover. Don’t miss out on his incredible setlist this weekend.
Saturday May 6th | 3:00 pm | Old No.7