Why play Welsh music on Radio Wales?
Wales Music Day this coming Monday (1 March) sees Radio Wales delve headfirst into the world of new Welsh music. Curated to a large degree by DJ Adam Walton and his production team, the day will involve a range of artists from across a few genres, from the country-tinged soft rock of Paper Aeroplanes to the harder stylings of Kids In Glass Houses.
It promises to be something of an exciting day for us here at BBC Wales Music because we'll be blogging throughout the day as guests come and go, and we'll also be videoing some of the in-studio performances.
For Radio Wales itself it's going to be a journey into the unknown as speech programmes and news programmes are going to be playing Welsh music and discussing the music scene and industry with such people as Bethan Elfyn and Stuart Cable.
Wales, unlike France, New Zealand or Canada, doesn't have any legal requirement for domestic radio to play a certain percentage of indigenous music (although there has been some discussion of the issue in the past), but support of local music by media of all types can really stimulate an area's cultural and even economic health.
Some accuse support for 'Welsh' music of being inconsequential flag-waving, but there's a bigger picture for local, regional and national music scenes. More acts in an area doing well, attracting interest, means more fans, more gig-goers, more venues, more revenue and hence more opportunities for the next generation.
The health of music scenes ebb and flow but having written about music in Wales for the best part of 15 years I've seen that the scene is more exciting when a clutch of acts appear in the wake of a success. At this very moment Lostprophets are on tour with Kids In Glass Houses, and their support for The Blackout is well known.
Mutual support between bands is essential for a local scene, but media support can play its part too. If the likes of Paper Aeroplanes, Kids In Glass Houses, OK and Georgia Ruth Williams can be played on Radio Wales amongst Paolo Nutini and Take That then it's one small part of the jigsaw that makes a healthy domestic music industry.