Sixties singer Mary Hopkin's daughter's debut release

Jessica Lee Morgan
Image caption Jessica Lee Morgan comes from a musical family

She was the teenager who sang the 1960s anthem Those Were The Days, but now it is her daughter's turn to launch her solo career.

Jessica Lee Morgan, daughter of Pontardawe's Mary Hopkin, is launching her debut album in Cardiff.

But it will still be a family affair, with mum and dad, American record producer Tony Visconti, and older brother Morgan all helping out.

Jessica, now 34, said her musical parents was "a blessing and a curse".

She said she had fought against a musical career, working instead in areas of social policy as a facilitator, after gaining a masters degree.

However, she admitted finally getting her self-release album, I Am Not, out there was a way of "clearing out the cupboard".

"It really is a self portrait," said the artist.

"It is the songs I have been writing for the past 15 years."

She said her mother, who still has a base in Wales, had been closely involved in the more acoustic numbers while her father, who lives in New York, had been involved in the more electronics mixes.

Hopkin, now 60, was spotted on the ITV talent show Opportunity Knocks by model Twiggy who recommended her to Paul McCartney.

The rest is, as they say, history.

The folk singer from the Swansea Valley became one of the first artists to record on The Beatles' Apple record label - her 1968 album Post Card was produced by Sir Paul.

She also came second as the UK entrant in the 1970 Eurovision with 'Knock Knock, Who's There?'.

But she has been keen to throw off the label of that "sugary" kind of music, says daughter Morgan, and has recently collaborated with son Morgan, who has returned to the UK from the US, on a new album 'You Look Familiar'.

"What she is doing now is her music although journalists want to keep going back to the old days," said Morgan.

Image caption Mary Hopkin co-wrote one of the tracks and sings backing vocals

"Mum has co-written one of the tracks on my album too and sings backing vocals on others.

"She loves working in studio and on videos, but I can't tempt her to perform live on stage any more."

American Visconti meanwhile was famous for producing musical superstars including David Bowie, T Rex and Thin Lizzy.

Morgan said her father was still busy, having worked with Bowie on his last couple of albums and has also teamed up with the Kaiser Chiefs.

For her, finally producing her debut album has been a family affair and "like clearing out the cupboard".

"Some of these tracks hae been round for such a long time, I now feel like I can get them out of my head, and start again on something new," said Morgan.

'Emotional journey'

"The album has been 15 years in the making and it is only right that I used the talents of my family to get if finally finished and out of there."

Also performing is her partner Chris Thomas, whom she met when she came to university in Cardiff in the 1990s, and her friend Simon Adams.

Morgan and Thomas have their own recording studio in Splott in the city which has produced local groups but has she said since changed direction.

Following Friday's gig at Cardiff's The Gate arts centre, there are other dates lined up in London and Manchester, and Morgan is looking towards making more music.

"We've gone through an emotional journey and this feels like coming out of the darkness," she said.

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