Flintshire's Kelly Lee Owens wins the 11th annual music prize and receives first ever prize fund of £10,000.

Electronic musician and producer Kelly Lee Owens has won £10,000 at this year’s Welsh Music Prize for her album Inner Song.

A panel of music industry experts selected the winner from a shortlist of 12 albums, showcasing the range of creative talent in and around Wales.

Although the 33-year-old, from Bagillt, Flintshire, in North Wales, was unable to attend the event due to being on tour, Owens was speechless when accepting the £10,000 prize from radio presenter Huw Stephens via Zoom.

Owens said: “It feels amazing. As a Welsh artist to be recognised by your country, ultimately for me, is the greatest honour. I’m so passionate about Wales and I want everyone to know where I’m from.

“I remember last time when I was nominated, my nana Jeanette came down and since then she has passed away and she’d be so thrilled, I’m sorry I’m emotional - but she’s on the album and she’d be so chuffed. Thank you so much.

When asked what she would do with the £10,000 prize money, thanks to funding from Welsh Government, through Creative Wales, Owens replied: “Wales has had a tough time, like everywhere with the coronavirus, so I’d love to give some of it to some charities based in Wales.”

The awards – started by radio presenter Huw Stephens and music consultant John Rostron – was back in-person for the 11th annual awards ceremony and was held at The Gate, in Cardiff – and featured a performance by Juice Menace to a crowd of handpicked guests.

Huw Stephens, the Welsh Music Prize’s co-founder, said: “We are thrilled for Kelly Lee Owens. The judges were all astounded by this album. Kelly Lee Owens has been so critically acclaimed for this record, and we are so happy that she is the 2021 Welsh Music Prize winner.

“We are also thrilled that Creative Wales are giving the £10,000 prize money – this is typical of the warm, supportive music scene in Wales.

“Music from Wales is diverse, and of astounding quality.”

Speaking of their support of the Welsh Music Prize and the inaugural prize fund, Deputy Director of Creative Wales, Gerwyn Evans, said: “Creative Wales is proud to support the Welsh Music Prize for the third year running. It’s a fantastic opportunity to showcase the diversity of genres and artists making such exciting music in Wales today. 

“The Welsh Music Prize is a celebration and recognition of excellence and creativity in Welsh music – and I’d like to congratulate Kelly Lee Owens on being named as the winner and I’m confident that the prize fund will contribute to future success.”

For more information about the Welsh Music Prize go to welshmusicprize.com