If you're being honest, Sweet Baboo is probably not the first name that springs to your mind when you think of Welsh Musicians, however, hopefully that might just be about to change. Now on Moshi Moshi records, there seems to be a new energy to this act, what with an extensive tour lined up, a string of high profile festivals dates such as Green Man and Latitude and plans to release a new album Ships later this month, it is fair to say that Sweet Baboo is going to be one of the names to watch in 2013.

Stephen Black, the man behind Sweet Baboo is no stranger to the music business, he has been writing music and releasing albums for over 10 years now, but has remained relatively under the radar of most mainstream music fans. When asked to describe his music he uses phrases such as "Welsh pop" and for his new album he rather drolly labels it "brass heavy Welsh pop." None of the previous accolades that have been thrown his way over the years are of any further help to defining his sound, ranging as far and wide as country to folk to psychedelic idiosyncratic pop. So I can only recommend that if you need a little more explanation to his style then just listen to his music and make your own mind up.

Black is clearly a talented musician, he was nominated for the first ever Welsh Music Prize in 2011 which led to him receiving exposure and airplay on both Radio 1 and 6 Music, an experience that he clearly enjoyed "I think if I would have known as a teenager that my music would be played on Radio 1 or 6 Music then I would have done a little wee, so I hope that I never take it for granted." Black describes Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens, one of the founders of the Welsh Music Prize, as being "very supportive of Sweet Baboo" and goes on to say that "in today's internet obsessed environment, you can see an instant difference – views, listens, likes and what not always significantly increase when our music is played on the radio and that's all you can hope for really."

Hailing from North Wales might be considered a disadvantage by some for those wishing to pursue a career in the music industry, it is not an area of the UK that is renowned for its music venues and recording studios. However, Black refutes this claim by saying that "all the best music comes from provincial places." He also states that he gains inspiration form the Welsh countryside and coast. He might be on to something too because apart from the Welsh Music Prize nomination he has also won Radio 6 Music's Rebel Playlist prize, which involved having his music played on the hour every hour by the station. "I've been true to myself and stuck to my guns," says Black. A policy that is clearly winning him respect, airplay and fans along the way.

Interestingly Black claims that he is finding "it harder and harder to write songs" the older he gets, he goes on to state that "his creative peak was about seven years ago" and nowadays "there are too many distractions: ebay, hoovering, Great British Menu for example." But listening to his newer material, it's hard to believe that his songwriting well is drying up, instead it would be fairer to say that he is showing signs of comfortable maturity which is leading to a natural change in direction and subject. "At the moment, I'm trying to write positive songs. No 'my baby left me' or 'I'm all alone tonight.' Something which Black admits is "quite a challenge." He goes on to explain that "yesterday I wrote a song about the joys of owning a motorhome, it's a love song to my girlfriend, we'll see if that ever sees the light of day." In a strange sort of way, I really hope that it does.

Sweet Baboo recently spent time touring in America, something he said hasn't "influenced the sound" of his new record, as most of the songs from Ships were written before he went away. However he does freely admit that "the experience of getting to play music every day and travel and be with friends and likeminded people must have influenced him." Travelling across America he says that he "met some great people, independent promoters and other bands" but he says that the scene in the states is pretty similar to anywhere else in the world, with two exceptions: firstly that the drives were very long and secondly that he got to eat Mexican food every day.

All in all, Sweet Baboo are bloody good and deserve more airplay, more fans, more gigs and more attention. If you are lucky enough to get the chance to see them play this year, then do, because you won't regret it.


Ships is out now on Moshi Moshi. Listen to it below.