Libertino Showcase with Gruff Owen at the University of South Wales

Words Gareth Rees

Image by Meg Monk

The University of South Wales hosted an event in the Atrium Cardiff Campus on the 10th of November 2021. It was a showcase with award winning record label Libertino to celebrate the University’s partnership with them. The MA Songwriting & Production Programme is new to the campus and the label owner Gruff Owen brings his experience to the course.

The event had talks and live music featuring 2019 welsh music prize winners Adwaith, Bandicoot and Clwb Fuzz. It was held in the impressive theatre on campus and was livestreamed to people online, there was a good attendance of at least 50 at the event.

When speaking about the course, Gruff Owen said: “The MA Songwriting & production programme at the University of South Wales not only enhances & fine tunes the students’ songwriting talent & production skills it also gives them a full understanding of the nuances of the music industry in 2021. This wider understanding of the ever evolving & shifting industry alongside a progressive & exciting musical ciriculum is creating artists who are bold in their creativity & are industry aware whilst forging a sustainable career. As a forward thinking & community focused label Libertino is excited to be a part of the students’ creative & academic journey. We will deliver bespoke workshops & masterclasses & are very proud to endorse the ‘MA Songwriting and Production’ degree through the ‘Libertino Graduate Award for Excellence’”

The showcase was put together by music course leader Lucy Squire and started with a brief introduction formed from the question: “What was your reasoning behind starting the label?’ Gruff said “It’s all about grass roots music and giving an opportunity to unique bands to make it in the industry. We have some great artists, and we really want to expand upon the breakthrough work we are doing” Libertino has grown extensively over the past few years and today it is host to more than 20 artists from different locations and backgrounds. It is host to some of the best new talent including Clwb Fuzz, Sister Wives and Bandicoot.

After the introduction, award winning Welsh language band Adwaith performed some of their songs beautifully, the stage was lit atmospherically, and the intimacy was perfect.

Following on from that, Gruff gave some more brilliant insight into the music industry and his top tips on how to stand out from the crowd in a competitive market. The passion for music was on show from everyone, it is what people live for.

One of the best new Welsh bands Bandicoot followed shortly after with a three-song performance that captivated, they are a prime example of the success the Liberetino record label.

It was a pleasure to hear from all the special guests and host, it really highlighted the amazing music scene in Cardiff and beyond. The Q and A session after was full of insight. The audience got a chance to ask about whatever they wanted, and the panel responded with professionalism. In the evening after the talk, the action moved to the Zen bar, it featured performances from Basic State, Slummz and Terrapins. These bands are all staring off and demonstrated their passion for music. It was a packed crowd and included a buffet for everyone there. A very worthwhile event to attend, everyone there was brilliant. Hopefully the course will get applicants, it is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Slideshow images by Meg Monk and Reece Harrison-Strati

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