For our third Skivvy Speak we are featuring welsh musician Elin Edwards, otherwise known as ‘Thallo’ meaning blossoming of spring. Elins songs are beautifully arranged, from uplifting horn sections and strings to electronic samples, her soundworld is skillfully crafted and truly unique. Originally from North Wales Elins music is permeated by the folklore and the women in these tales that shape the culture she grew up in. Elin is revitalising the welsh language music scene, respecting its history whilst pushing its limits for the future. Watch the video from her latest release here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v
'Music is embedded into Welsh culture, so I’ve always been surrounded by it. My parents supported my interest in music and before I knew it playing classical piano became my identity. I loved to perform and compose and I never doubted my ability as a classical musician. But as soon as I started writing, performing and producing pop at uni I struggled with crippling self-doubt. I also took up singing when I was advised to do by my tutor instead of pursuing piano. I don't regret it, but I suddenly noticed that all women in my class were singers. I've often turned up to venues to play and been mistaken for the singer of the band. It's just harder for women to get respect as musicians other than as vocalists. I now battle my self-doubt and perform my own songs, arranging them with classical instruments. I recorded a bilingual concept EP based on ancient Welsh folk tales.
There is a shift happening in regards to the amount of women we see in music now, but ‘Female Artists’ is still ridiculously used to categorise musicians, so we have a long way to go. I also still feel that I should look and sound a certain way because that’s what the industry supports. Growing up I listened to mostly male musicians and hated the female musicians that were in the charts. I thought that there was only space for sexualised pop stars if you were a woman in the industry, so I didn't want to be a singer-songwriter until I went to uni and met female artists that I admired. I want to see more diversity of race, ages and backgrounds because even as a young white woman I find it intimidating. I can’t imagine how much more of a struggle it is for women of colour, trans, mature and so on. We have to encourage more women to find their place in music so that we can facilitate better equality.'