The wonderful voice you hear on this album belongs to an 11 year old first year pupil at Ysgol Gyfun Llangefni on the isle of Anglesey. Rhys Meilyr has emerged over the last few years as one of the brightest young singing stars in this country where singing is very much a part of the culture. He has competed from a very early age at local eisteddfodau, and at the 2010 Glyn Ebwy National Eisteddfod he reached an unique pinnacle by achieving a hat-trick – first on the solo, first on the folk song solo and first on the cerdd dant solo under 12 years old.
His attractively sonorous voice is Rhys’ main asset, a strange mix of innocence and maturity, breathing new life into the songs he sings, bringing a fresh and different voice to the scene which makes one sit up and take notice. But his audience appeal also has a lot to do with his natural and unassuming personality, as well as his sweet and innocent look.
His success has led to invitations to sing at some of Wales’ most prestigious venues, including Cardiff’s Millenium Centre, and was also invited twice to sing at the Welsh Festival at Eurodisney, Paris. He has made several apperances on TV in Wales, and his voice is heard regularly on S4C children’s programmes as the Welsh voice of the famous cartoon character Noddy. As well as singing, Rhys also loves, and plays football and is a keen supporter of Manchester United, and any spare time he has (when not playing or watching football!) is spent with his friends playing on the Xbox or listening to his favourite band, JLS, and eating his favourite meals – curry and Sunday lunch – but not together!
The varied repertoire on Rhys Meilyr’s 16 track debut album are songs that he clearly loves singing, showing how unique and adaptable his voice is – from the heavenly Pie Jesu (a duet with his singing coach, Sharon Evans) and Panis Angelicus and Welsh carol O Seren Wen to the simplicity of Ben; Annie’s Song; and At the End of the Day. There is also the emotionally charged Cariad Mam (a fitting tribute to the special bond between mother and child) a lively rendition of one of Wales’ most famous hymns, Calon Lân, on the popular Maori tune, Pokarekare ana, and two other songs by one of Rhys’ favourite Welsh composers, Robat Arwyn Y Pedwar Tymor (the four seasons) and Bendigedig (Benedictus another duet with singing coach Sharon Evans).
Rhys Meilyr has the potential to be a star of the future, long after his voice changes, perhaps following on in the footsteps of another young Angelsey boy singer who has made a worldwide name for himself … Aled Jones.