Welsh singer songwriter Martyn Joseph had the honour of being nominated at the AIM Independent Music Awards at The Brewery in London this week – in the closely contested category of Hardest Working Band or Artist. he was nominated alongside Darren Hayman, Kamasi Washington, Run The Jewels and Shaodow. On the night the award went to Darren Hayman, but across the whole event Joseph was the only representative of the folk and roots scene.
What a worthy flag bearer Martyn was though, having played over 140 shows and Festivals across the UK, Canada, USA & Europe in the last year including his own event PipeFest. He’s released two albums (Sanctuary and Sanctuary Acoustic) and taken part in the English Folk Dance & Song Society (EFDSS) Sweet Liberties project, as well as developing his own UK based charity, Let Yourself Trust, which has been supporting grassroots projects in Palestine, Guatemala, Uganda, Canada & the UK.
It is also a safe bet that few other nominees have shown themselves to be such driven humanitarians as Joseph. In the past 12 months he has travelled to Palestine with volunteers to help rebuild a demolished family home and to Guatemala, leading a 25-strong team in the building of a music centre for a Children’s Village. Last year also saw him playing a show in Swansea homeless shelter Zac’s Place with Bob Harris OBE (patron of LYT) to celebrate raising £16,000 for their work in the first half of 2015. At the start of 2016 he presented a Let Yourself Trust cheque for £18,000 to the charity Advantage Africa and last September he ran his first 10k race to raise further funds.