AmeriCymru: Hi Gwyndaf and many thanks for agreeing to this interview. What can you tell us about your forthcoming album 'Songs My Mother Taught Me'?
Gwyndaf: This new album that I have just recorded has been something I have wanted to do for a few years now. I wanted to record works from people that i enjoyed listening to as I grew into who I am today.
AmeriCymru: When did you first realise that you had been gifted with an extraordinary voice? At what point did you decide to become a singer?
Gwyndaf: I was very fortunate to have been born into a wonderfully diverse musical family. My mother was an operatic contralto who opened my ears and soul to the wonderful world of Italian opera. It was perfect for me... I love drama on the stage but not in my real life. It is fantastic for me to suffer and battle and even die on stage and then go home to my fantastically normal life with my beautiful wife and daughter.
My father introduced me to Jazz and sacred music. He also brought amazing words of the Welsh Greats. This absolutely helped realize that words matter so much. Even to shape the phrasing in a musical score.
My grandparents brought the wonderful music of the 1920s to the 50s to my life.
Friends that showed me that we are all so different emotionally. We choose music for different reasons and why it touches our heart. Mostly from our culture, belief system and upbringing and life experiences. Especially suffering and love.
My wife and daughter are two of the greatest reasons why I continue to sing professionally. It is a hard life. Without a family it is also very lonely. From the day I met and began living with the love of my life, my professional life has been made much easier. Her support is shockingly strong. We created a beautiful child from our love. She will also be an artist. She oozes that wonderful artistry that is so wonderful to witness.
To answer your question of when i realized i had a gift of an extraordinary voice... Well I do not see or hear it. As a Welsh artist we are very critical of our voices and every step of the entire process.
Thank God that some people think I have a gift that is good enough to make a living. My wife is the greatest driving force in slowly lifting that insecurity from me. Maybe one day I will hear what others hear in me.
AmeriCymru: How would you describe your current repertoire?
Gwyndaf: My current repertoire is exactly what I love to do. A bit of everything that I like to think that I can do well, which is to sing and connect with an audience.
It is so wonderful to enjoy myself on a stage or a studio and have a person of any age come up to me and say that I had really touched them that evening.
Mainly older women. I love to sing songs from their youth. Somehow I understand that time better than today's.
AmeriCymru: What is your proudest achievement or moment? Is there any one performance, tour or album in your career that stands out for you?
Gwyndaf: My proudest achievement career wise will always be when my father got to see and hear me perform the lead in Il Trovatore before he died. I played along side my teacher from the age of 8 years old. He was so proud. I felt it was and still is the greatest performance of my life. It was a magical night. I will carry it in my heart forever.
My greatest recording is this one that I have just finished called Songs My Mother Taught Me. We can all relate to that term. Mothers have always taught us songs. It is my tribute to great composers, singers, musicians and all the lovely people who have shared their music with me over the past 49 years. I hope to have it manufactured and on the market in the new year.
AmeriCymru: Where can people go online to hear/buy your music?
AmeriCymru: Any final message for the readers and members of AmeriCymru?
Gwyndaf: I hope that all the Welsh people world wide realize, cherish and share their God given gifts with anyone who is willing to listen. I know that it builds and creates wonderful artistry in so many people.
I can only say thank you to everyone that have shared their gifts with me. It helped make me the man and artist that I am today.
Singing is healthy. It connects all of us. No matter what language. Mind you Welsh is by far the best.