TRIGGER WARNING: domestic violence and abuse

It’s kinda hard to believe that Dick Dastardly (real name Dean Thomas), a staple player in Cardiff’s Hiphop scene for the last 18 years, only released his debut solo EP in 2021 via Bard Picasso. His follow up track ‘Give Me Love’ was aptly released on Valentines Day this year, with a video featuring Lady AB (Annabelle Johnson) and shot by Charlie JPEG.

Produced by Raph Stormwalker, the track includes a sample of a woman’s voice ‘Give me Love so that I can kill’… which provides the anchor for Dastardly’s lyrics, which he describes as ‘an anti-love song within a love song’. The track is about abuse – both physical and mental, portrayed in the video through using S&M imagery and tightly shot in an attic space, giving the video a claustrophobic feel. When writing to the track, Dean wanted to capture the desperate feeling of wanting to be loved, but also a dark undertone which was reflected in the music. He had pictured the video throughout the writing process and enlisted Charlie JPEG to co-direct, film and edit what Charlie says was the hardest shoot he has done to date.

Because of the subject matter, the three artists, while not professionals in dealing with trauma, had to ensure that they approached the shoot in a trauma informed way. Pushing personal boundaries portraying something that sits uncomfortably close to home, they were conscious to create an environment where they could fully support one another throughout the process. Capturing the content in an honest and open way, whilst also protecting themselves was a tough job, but one which most definitely brought them closer together. Music can be a healing process, but a process which brings up things that are often buried extremely deeply and supporting one another through this is an important part of collaborating with others on creative projects.

The close relationship that Dean and Annabelle have in real life is what makes this video possible. They were able to explore the blurred lines between abuse and kink, sexualisation and normal, through Annabelle’s portrayal of a fantastical character sucking the soul from the other person in an abusive relationship. The tricky question of how to visualise trauma creatively is one that Annabelle was able to bring to life through approaching the project in a playful way. She was able to find a balance in the love/hate nature of the character she was playing through using humour within the darker content of the track and visuals, with the sci-fi element of the whip giving an extra layer to the overall fantasy.

Once the video was shot and edited, there began the problematic process of promotion. Facebook’s ban on sex and nudity, and the choice of the thumbnail image with the ball-gag, mean that the promo was removed from the platform, making it difficult to get the video seen. Charlie JPEG’s private story about the project was also flagged. A whole other conversation could be had around algorithms dictating how we express ourselves through music videos, but also how the choices we make in our content can affect others and how this can be approached. Annabelle being aware of the possibility of children seeing the video was something to be carefully thought about because as we all know, once something is out there it can be seen by anyone. Representing sexually empowered material, with a realisation that the intention behind the project is bigger than any one person, combined with the potential for the video to impact positively on somebody, means that Lady AB is proud they had the strength to give it a go.

Watch ‘Give Me Love’ on youtube:

Dick Dastardly Give Me Love

Catch Lady AB at Fractal, 20th May in Bristol

Lady AB and Dick Dastardly both feature on Dirty Alex’s recent single ‘Built to last’ 

Purchase Great Ape Fist by Dick Dastardly: Great Ape Fist | Dick Dastardly (
Look out for his new project ‘8 Billion People in the World & I’m Stuck Here With You’, due out this summer, as well as an EP with well-respected producer DJ Alkemy and a spoken word EP.

As well as networking and taking bookings for shows outside of Wales, Charlie J is editing together footage filmed on a recent trip to Australia. He’s also working on an album so keep your eyes peeled for that!


Red & Bluea five-track project by Unity ~ Released 19th August 2022

Review by Infinite Sounds

~ choose your myth and act accordingly ~
Words by Jane Oriel & Doc Blackdawho

Diving Deeper was Unity’s first release in 2021. Now comes her new work, Red & Blue. The project is an expression of the struggles we all face, and Unity’s ways of coping with the complexities. 

Watch RED & BLUE video

Watch ‘making of’ RED & BLUE video

Watch RUNNING video





The lead track Red & Blue (featuring Wolfgang Von Vanderghast and produced by Billy Phono) explores contradictions; those internal and external battles and how everything is interwoven. There are questions:

Who are we?  – Descendants of apes and living on a giant rock that spins around an even bigger ball of fire. 

What are we?  – At birth, we inherit a bunch of 2D labels that can’t possibly fit our 5D being. 

But when those labels and expectations are stripped away, who are we? Could we become anyone in any moment? When you live by the roll of the dice and acknowledge the myriad personalities existing beneath the surface, who is the true you? Choose your myth and act accordingly!

High Street Bullshit (produced by Rollo)  

In neglected city areas of Swansea, graffiti writers overcome conflict to work together instead of against each other in a system that wasn’t designed to be inclusive. 

Faith Makers (Featuring Missy G. Produced and mixed by Leone Vuetivavalagi.)

There is so much sadness in the world it can be overwhelming, but beneath it all we are human – we all have access to empathy and smiles and rainbow coloured wisdom.  

Dead Boy Walking (Featuring Skunkadelic. Produced by DW Smith. Additional vocals by Stabitha.)

Unity would hear teachers talking when she worked in Primary Schools. They’d tell tragic stories of parents there who held their children back by neglect and/or intent so they could claim disability benefits. Children were coming to school unable to speak or use the toilet because they hadn’t learned at home but had just been given a screen.

Running (Produced by Unity. Additional vocals by Stabitha. Cuts by DJ Veto.)

Are you running to, or are you running from? You need to bravely face yourself first before you can face the world head on.


Lead track, Red & Blue is released by Bard Picasso Records, 19th August, with the full 5 track Red & Blue project available the same day via Bandcamp – Unity. Available to stream from 9th September.

All five track on the Red & Blue project were mastered by Jamie Winchester, who also mixed all tracks except Faith Makers


Diving Deeper (2022) Bard Picasso

Garden of my soul (2021) 

Progress is a process (2020) Later Records

Saint BernadetteLast weekend I painted a mural of the amazing Cardiff singer/songwriter Saint Bernadette. Turns out the timing was pretty fortuitous because on Saturday I had the pleasure of performing alongside Saint Bernadette and some fellow Ladies of Rage (LOR) members, as part of Trishna Jaikara’s DJ set for the BBC6 Music Festival.

When the festival was announced I was very late to get on the hype-wagon… nowhere in my head was this going to be a space where I would perform, or have that performance played on the radio! The main conversation in our house was about how mean it was to bring these amazing artists to Cardiff but not to let under 18’s go to any of the gigs…

Immersed Fringe Festival (Tramshed)

I was grateful to be included on the Immersed fringe festival line-up as a visual artist. Because I was painting I didn’t catch much music, but I did see Monique B kicking off proceedings. Accompanied by her Baby Queens bandmates Cara Elise and Leroy Rahman, with some solid collabs with Reuel Elijah, Monique’s beautiful vocals and easy crowd interaction cement her as a solo artist who I look forward to seeing again.

I was gutted to have missed Miss Faithee, who smashed her set for the LOR IWD celebrations last month. This woman has an amazing stage presence and strong, catchy tracks – there is simply no reason for her name not to have been in large font alongside the other Immersed headliners.

The only other artist I did manage to catch was my Bard Picasso label-mate the Honest Poet. I’ve seen him a few times and his performances always blow me away – lush vocals, deep lyrics and an honest, poetic, heartfelt delivery.

Big up to Bard Picasso for securing a last-minute takeover and offering half of it to Ladies of Rage. Bard Picasso aspire to have gender equality on their future line-ups, and Immersed was the beginning of this. The bar area takeover was an intimate affair, where we were blessed to have two legends from Cardiff’s Hiphop scene hosting. Dregz is probably Cardiff’s most experienced Master of Ceremonies, and Cara Elise’s band Baby Queens were one of my first inspirations in the Cardiff scene. I was lucky enough last week to hear Dregz speaking on a panel discussion about black music in Wales hosted by Dionne Bennett – an overdue conversation, and one that needs to continue.

BBC6 Music Festival

Another discussion panel that Dionne was on, as chair of LOR, in conversation with Afrodeutsche. Myself, Trishna Jaikara, and Teifi joined Dionne to speak about LOR and parts of the conversation were played back on Afrodeutsche’s show with Huw Stephens (2:09). Trishna Jaikara followed up the discussion with a DJ set with live tracks, some of which was AIRED LIVE! (0:54)

Afrodeutsche panel

The festival has definately shone a light on the Cardiff music scene – Missy G was interviewed by Mary Anne Hobbs (0:36), and I also heard Leighton Wall speaking about the Welsh Ballroom community. It was great to hear DJ Jaffa on Huw Stephens’ show (2:13), dropping some Hiphop history and playing tracks including Juice Menace, who I’m so glad I caught at Porters. Alex Jones has been absolutely smashing it at her events role for Porters, creating a lively, exciting melting pot of Cardiff’s musicians and students. In true Hiphop fashion, Juice brought on a couple of unknown artists for her set, and I am very excited to see more of Mercy Rose in particular.

A coupla gigs that would have broken me if I had tried to cram in, were The Shutdown Show’s Moon gig with Eadyth and Izzy Rabey headlining, and Sound Progression’s Fringe takeover at CultVR where I was hoping to catch a young rapper called Truth – look out for him…

I have to give props to Minty who I’m pretty sure went to every single event over the festival! He was also interviewed on Politics Wales, BBC One Wales! Please take a few minutes to have an explore of his online gig guide map, which is a stunning piece of digital art, and will only serve to enhance and grow our blossoming music scene.

I rounded off the week with a long overdue night out with my husband, where I discovered Jam Supernova – HYPE!!! Much love to BBC6Music for bringing such an eclectic mix of music and people to our city – I met people who I was surprised to hear had travelled from Liverpool and as far up as Edinburgh, how lush to show our city off in this way. Onwards and upwards – let’s keep building together!!

Catch me painting:

Her Mark launch event: April 9th, Spit & Sawdust (also catch Missy G, Mercy Rose & Teifi here!)
(7) Her Mark launch event | Facebook

Bring The Paint, Leicester: 28-29th May
HOME | bringthepaint

Cheltenham Paint Festival: 30-31st July
Home | Cheltenham PaintFest (

My solo exhibition runs at the HeARTh Gallery, Llandough Hospital until April 18th.

And performing:

Supporting Lazy Habits: 22nd April, Tramshed, Cardiff
(4) Lazy Habits – Vermillion Sands Album Tour | Facebook

Supporting The Scribes: 29th April, Le Pub, Newport
(4) The Scribes / Blue City CDF / Unity – Newport | Facebook

Focus Wales: May 7th, 4pm, 7Bar, Wrexham
FOCUS Wales 2022 » Unity

Ci Annwn (Bard Picasso): 11th June, Moon Club, Cardiff


Baby Queens at Focus Wales: May 6th, 7pm, Penny Black Room2, Focus Wales, Wrexham
FOCUS Wales 2022 » Baby Queens

Monique B at Focus Wales: May 6th, 11.40pm, Penny Black Room1, Focus Wales, Wrexham
FOCUS Wales 2022 » Monique B

Honest Poet at Focus Wales: May 6th, 8.45pm, Old No7, & May 6th 11.20pm, Penny Black Room1
FOCUS Wales 2022 » The Honest Poet

Bard Picasso Presents: Barred#1: May 14th, Moon Club
(7) Bard Picasso Presents: Barred#1 | Facebook


I’m excited to share with you details of my first solo exhibition!

From 2nd March until 18th April you can view my work at the HeARTh Gallery at Llandough Hospital.

The Plaza exhibition space is through the main entrance, straight down the corridor and through two sets of double doors. It’s the small exhibition space to the side of the main gallery, open 9am-8pm.

exhibition flier~In 2017, Unity began creating work around ‘nature’ words that had been removed from the Oxford Junior Dictionary, replaced with ‘technology’ words. Words for things that are commonly seen by children – bluebell, ivy, acorn… what happens in the future if our children don’t have language for the natural world? This developed into a cross-artform installation ‘Landmarks‘.

In 2018 Unity created artwork used by RSPB Cymru to lobby Welsh Government during policy creation. Some of the work in this exhibition is a follow on from these pieces.

Self-taught, with a background in ‘break’ dance and DJ-ing, Unity is known for her murals (you can see one in the courtyard just outside the Plaza), and more recently as a lyricist and founding member of Ladies of Rage. Invited to sit on discussion panels for ‘Festival of Voice’ (Cardiff), University of Bristol, and as far afield as Hong Kong, she is ‘thinking very progressively about the application of graffiti as a means of community engagement’.

Unity aims to challenge public perceptions of ‘tagging’ and graffiti by presenting it in newly accessible ways, remaining true to the community-based culture. She grew up in Mid-Wales and now lives just outside Cardiff. Unity set up Cardiff’s Millennium Walkway legal graffiti wall and currently has a petition to get Cardiff Council to come through on their promise of creating more legal spaces to paint in the city:

Petition · Create legal painting option on construction site hoardings ·




exhibition flier


Cardiff Council made a promise five years ago and there has been no movement on it – please sign the petition to get them to come through on the tickbox to give permission for artists to paint on hoardings around building sites in Cardiff:



photo credit: @cardiffstreetart

In 2017 during discussions about the use of the Millenium Boardwalk behind the Stadium for painting, Cardiff Council offered to put a tick-box on the form that construction companies use to apply to erect hoarding in the city. The tick box would give permission for artists to paint the hoarding, paying for their own paint, and carrying out the work for free, in their own time.

5 years later, and this still hasn’t happened. This petition is to request that Cardiff Council up-hold their promise.


Painting murals is a social activity, good for physical and mental wellbeing. If artists have permission to paint, the artwork pays for itself, and provides residents with a constantly changing canvas rather than a plain, blank wall.

This petition is co-authored by Unify, who have been working hard in Cardiff Bay to commission artwork to inspire their local community. Creators of the ‘My City, My Shirt’ campaign, Unify aims to showcase the multiculturalism of Cardiff, and in particular, minority communities. They have been granted permission to paint hoardings opposite the police station in Cardiff Bay, and have been working with local artists to create pieces here.

By providing legal places for artists to develop their craft, Cardiff Council have the opportunity to contribute towards a truly inclusive, creative Cardiff.

My debut album is OUT NOW!


Watch the video for the first single ‘Boundaries’ 

Watch the video for ‘Dinner on the Table’ 

Read about the ‘Dinner on the Table’ video