GRADAIM NÓS is back! The best new music in the Irish language will be celebrated at a special awards ceremony in Belfast’s Black Box this Friday.

More than 20 artists have been nominated across seven categories and represent an impressive range of genres from rock, rap and reggae to ambient, sean-nós and tradtronica.

Launched by culture magazine NÓS in 2015, Gradaim NÓS are the only awards to focus on artists who create and perform in Irish. Previous winners include Kneecap, Kíla, IMLÉ, Seo Linn and Síle Denvir.

“The variety of bands, singers and creators on the shortlist for Gradaim NÓS 2024 illustrates the vibrancy of the current Irish language music scene,” said Tomaí Ó Conghaile, NÓS founder.

“Music is at the heart of the culture of our language and it is very important to recognise and celebrate those who add to Irish language life in this way. The awards have taken place in Dublin until now so we’re really looking forward to bringing them to Belfast in February.”

This year will be the first time the award for ‘Newcomer of the Year’ will be presented in honour of Rónán Mac Aodha Bhuí, a pioneering Irish language RTÉ broadcaster who passed away in September last year.

Rónán was both a friend and hero to Irish language musicians – he inspired up-and-coming artists and also presented Gradaim NÓS over the years. It is very fitting that an award will be presented in his memory.

As well as the awards themselves some of those nominated on the shortlist will perform during the night: IMLÉ, Grooveline, Huartan, Múlú agus Torby.