SAYS17 Winners Revealed

#SAYS17 #MentalHealth

Star Judges Select Winning Young Songwriters In International Songwriting Competition

Winners, finalists & highly commended to perform @WestfieldLondon, Sunday 4th June, 2 – 5pm

The winners of the hotly contested Song Academy Young Songwriter 2017 competition have now been revealed and will perform live in front of family, friends and the general public at Westfield London on Sunday 4th June, from 2pm to 5pm. A star-studded panel of music industry experts has spent many hours listening to hundreds of original entries.

This year’s panel of prominent music industry judges includes: successful singer songwriters Tom Odell (*see quote below), Rumer, Imogen Heap, Conor Maynard, James Walsh, Grammy award and Ivor Novello-winning songwriters/producers Eg White & Tim Laws, Nigel Elderton, Nigel Wright, Jo Garofalo (Founder of Voice In A Million) and Nicky Cox (editor of First News). A number of the judges will be at Westfield on 4th June to watch their favourites perform live.

Sophie DeMasi, aged 16 from Hammersmith, London wins the 13-18 year category with her original song ‘Enough For Me’ about not letting others push you around and pursuing what you love. Judges comments included ‘I really like this song’ Imogen Heap; ‘A strong rhythm & the chorus is great!’ Tom Odell; ‘I like the simplicity of the lyrics. Sophie’s sincerity shines through!’ Rumer. On winning Sophie said ‘It’s amazing to be recognised by such respected judges and crazy to think a song I wrote and produced in my room is being acknowledged to this extent. There was a very high standard set by the other entries so winning is an honour. Thank you to Song Academy for giving me this opportunity”. The runner ups are Callum James with ‘Cardboard Spaceship’ and Ed Smith with ‘Walls & Bridges’.

The winner of the 8-12 category is Zachary Zbar aged 9 from Chelsea London with his song ‘My Light’ about a difficult friendship with a school friend and making up. Judges comments include; ‘Lovely soaring melody, emotional and hopeful lyrics, and very mature!’ Rumer; ‘Great raw talent’ James Walsh. The Runner ups are Niamh Jones with ‘My Friend’ and Zoe Tredgett with ‘Dreams’.

Taylor Gayle aged 12 from Nashville, USA won the international category with her original song ‘Sophia’s Song’ about the lost of a parent at a young age. Judges comments included: ‘Very moving’ Tom Odell; ‘A beautiful & emotional song’ Rumer; ‘Incredibly strong lyrically’ Nicky Cox; ‘Poignant lyrics & strong melodies’ Nigel Elderton.

Photos and write ups on what inspired our 2017 winners & finalists to write their songs are on our Blog. Analysis of all entrants’ song themes and lyrics demonstrates that song writing is a hugely valuable outlet for young people to express their feelings and concerns and build a strong mental health.

This year’s competition attracted 532 high quality entries from across the world (entries from across England, Scotland, Wales & Ireland as well as France, America, Canada, Mexico, Belgium, UAE, India, China, Greece, Hungary, Denmark, France & Mexico); the judges commented on an exceptional standard of lyric writing as well as musical composition.

The annual Song Academy Young Songwriter competition has gone from strength to strength since it began in 2011 and is now the leading song writing competition for young people aged 7 to 18 across the UK and Ireland. It’s a springboard for the next generation of creative stars to get noticed by key players in the music industry, build confidence, have their voices heard and shine in the limelight.

Tom Odell, singer songwriter said “When I was 13 years old I started writing songs, and over the following years I became more and more obsessed with it.  But the thing that always kept me awake at night was how to get them out there for people to hear them. This is why I think the Song Academy Young Songwriter competition is a great way to inspire and help through this process, and its something I wish had been around when I was starting out.”

Director of PRS for Music, Myles Keller said “This wonderful competition empowers young songwriters, enabling them to showcase their talent and offering them a ‘one of a kind’ opportunity to gain crucial feedback from some of the very best British songwriters. In the early stages of a career, this kind of help is like gold dust and really enables industry newcomers to build strong, sustainable careers. Music is integral to our nation’s identity and it is crucial that we nurture the next generation of songwriters now to ensure a creative future. PRS for Music is absolutely delighted to support such a positive and exciting competition.”

Hear the latest news on the Young Songwriter 2017 showcase and star guests to be attending via the Song Academy Twitter feed @SongacademyUK.

SAYS17 Winner, Taylor Gayle aged 12 from Nashville, USA

Congratulations to Taylor, SAYS17 Winner of our international category with her original song ‘Sophia’s Song’.  Here’s a bit about Taylor and her songwriting.

What inspired you to write ‘Sophia’s Song’? This song is about my God-sister, Sophia. When Sophia was 5 months old her father passed away unexpectedly. Her mother is my Godmother and my mother’s best friend, so I have always called her my God-sister. This song is what I think it must be like growing up without a Daddy, so I wrote this song for her.

How long have you been writing songs?  I have been writing songs my whole life starting with recreating nursery rhymes into my own songs but writing songs that I thought people might want to listen to, for about 2 ½ years.

How did you get into songwriting?  I got into songwriting because I am a singer and love to perform. I love singing great cover songs by other artist but the next natural step was to write my own songs to share my music as an artist. I think songwriting helps you define who you are as an artist better than just singing cover songs. So when I was 10 I started writing regularly and have not stopped since!

What does songwriting allow you to explore and achieve?  Since I am a younger singer songwriter, songwriting allows me to create stories that I haven’t lived in my life, in addition to writing about my limited life experiences. I can watch TV, observe life, listen to stories and they somehow in my head merge with melodies and songs come out. The most rewarding thing is when you meet someone after a show and they let you know your music touches them or they totally related to the song you wrote/sang or they tell you they felt like you were singing just to them. Songwriting has really helped me grow as an artist and I love it.

What’s your favourite part of the songwriting process?  Finishing a song and really liking what you wrote.

What’s the most difficult part of the creative process of songwriting for you?  That’s easy, starting a new song. There are so many ways to start a song and I always have so many ideas in my head that it can be hard to just decide to start one of your ideas and begin. The other difficult part is the insomnia that can happen if you have a song stuck in your head that you just have to finish before being able to go to sleep.

Do you start with lyrics or melodies/chords?  All of the above, it just depends on the song. Sometimes I write the chorus first, other times the first verse or the melody shows up first. Other songs I have been playing around with a new chord progression and then the words show up in my head and I start to write a song that way.  Then there are the times that I have a line stuck in my head  that I just love and that is what starts a new song. It really depends on the song, basically it is never the same.

What do you like about Song Academy and our Young Songwriter competition?   I was really excited to be able to enter an international competition that focuses on people under 18. Since I am 12, I am often not old enough to enter competitions or do a lot of things I want to do with my music because I am “too young”. So thank you for letting international entries this year and focusing on kids!

Who are your three favourite artists/songs?  Picking only 3 is really hard. Aretha Franklin is my idol and has been since I started singing so I have to say her. Ed Sheeran is a songwriting genius and so talented as a singer, so he has to be on the list too. Lately I have been really inspired by Melanie Martinez, so that’s my third. I wish you would have asked for 10, that would have been a lot easier!

15 years from now you will be…  Hopefully a world-renowned artist. I am definitely going to be a professional singer/songwriter and I dream big!  I would love to tour the world and fill large stadiums with people that are moved by my music. I want to write meaningful songs that touch people or make their day a little better. I would also like to have other major artists cut my songs. I know not all the songs I write are for me as an artist and it is really cool when you hear someone sing a song you wrote.

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not writing songs?  The obvious answer is singing for me but outside of music I love to cook and draw, , so really anything creative. I am also an adventure junkie, I love ziplining, roller coasters, playing laser tag etc.

Have a listen to all our top ten SAYS17 finalists


Our SAYS17 winners will be announced on the 8th May at 12pm on our Twitter channel.

Come & watch the top young songwriters from across the UK and Ireland perform @WestfieldLondon, Southern Terrace in the Young Songwriter 2017 competition live showcase on Sunday 4th June, 2-5pm. Around 50 performers including winners, finalists & highly commended entrants, aged 8-18 will perform! #savethedate #newgeneration #talent #youngsongwriters #freeevent

Full line-up to be announced shortly.

SAYS17 Finalist, Karrington Donald aged 18 from Houston USA

Congratulations to Karrington, SAYS17 Finalist with her original song ‘Summer Dream’.  Here’s a bit about Karrington and her songwriting.

What inspired you to write ‘Summer Dream’?  There are times when I look at myself and think that all the obstacles in my everyday life can suffocate my positive way of thinking. I also hate the pressure that society puts on young people to look or act a certain way and stamp that as “perfect”. This song is my own commentary on persevering through those times of being down and looking at the bright side of things. “Summer Dream” is a metaphor for the realm of thinking where all things are possible and all types of uniqueness and personalities are accepted and appreciated by the individual that possess any traits that are supposedly undesired or not good enough, and is also a place where a person can feel special and not be bothered by the excess negativity that the world has to offer. I hope this song can make people feel accepted, happy, and motivated to get through a hard day so they can reach their very own “Summer Dream!”

How long have you been writing songs? I have been writing songs since I was 14, so about 4 years

How did you get into songwriting? I started playing guitar at age 11 and for years I played cover songs. After awhile I began writing my own material because I felt somewhat bored with only doing cover songs. I has fun playing cover songs, but wanted express my own personal feeling through my own arrangements

What does songwriting allow you to explore and achieve? Songwriting allows me to express me feelings and imaginations. I am able to venture into another world when I am singing and playing the guitar to the songs that I write. There is no other activity that I have experienced that enables me to explore not only my self but also my perspective of the world around me. I hope to provide my listeners with the same dream-like experience while also connecting with my listeners on a personal level. I want people to not just listen to my lyrics, but “feel” my lyrics.

What’s your favourite part of the songwriting process? My favorite part about the songwriting process is those moments when I am playing a chords and I start singing what ever comes to my mind. Usually in the beginning what I sing is not cohesive, but the beauty behind that is the process of making the song from literally nothing. Also, i enjoy having to continuously search for the most meaningful words in order to get my message. Though at times I can not find the right words, it is extremely rewarding to see the finished product in contrast to how the origins of thew song.

What is the most difficult part of the creative process of songwriting for you? The most difficult part about the songwriting process for me is overcoming writer’s block. When I can’t think of the right word/music combination that I envision in my mind, I tend to get very frustrated and doubtful.

Do you start with lyrics or melodies/chords? 95% of the time I start a song with chords. This allows me to hear possible melodies to fit the “attitude” of the song. It is more difficult for me to come up with chords from lyrics alone because believe approach songs as the music being the foundation and the lyrics being the cherry on top!

What do you like about Song Academy and our Young Songwriter Competition? I love the fact that the Song Academy strives to keep music alive within young people through the development of songwriting. This also allows for better songs to enjoy in the future. I like that the competition promotes the songs entries to the public in order for the great young talents to be shared with the world.

What are your 3 favourite artists/ songs? My three favorite artists are Lianne La Havas, John Mayer, and Lauryn Hill

15 years from now you will be… I hope to be performing my songs as an artist, writing , and producing for other artists in the music industry.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing songs? I love to play basketball!

Have a listen to all our top ten SAYS17 finalists


Our SAYS17 winners will be announced on the 8th May at 12pm on our Twitter channel.

Come & watch the top young songwriters from across the UK and Ireland perform @WestfieldLondon, Southern Terrace in the Young Songwriter 2017 competition live showcase on Sunday 4th June, 2-5pm. Around 50 performers including winners, finalists & highly commended entrants, aged 8-18 will perform! #savethedate #newgeneration #talent #youngsongwriters #freeevent

Full line-up to be announced shortly.

SAYS17 Finalist, Kevin Jones aged 16 from Indianapolis, USA

Congratulations to Kevin Jones, SAYS17 Finalist with his original song ‘Time To Go’.  Here’s a bit about Kevin and his songwriting.

What inspired you to write ‘Time To Go’? This song is inspired by the real-life events that are persuading me to consider moving to Los Angeles for my music career.

How long have you been writing songs?  I’ve been writing songs for about 7 years now.

How did you get into songwriting?  It was just something I enjoyed doing when I was younger, but I gained a real love for it when I started listening to more genres of music.

What does songwriting allow you to explore and achieve?  I get to express my thoughts and feelings through an art form that speaks to a lot of people.

What’s your favourite part of the songwriting process?  It’s great when you’re first inspired to write something and find the right chords/melodies to correctly express what’s on your mind.

What’s the most difficult part of the creative process of songwriting for you?  Sometimes it can be difficult to decide on the lyrics. I like to make sure my lyrics flow well with the chords and melodies while still rhyming and sending my message across.

Do you start with lyrics or melodies/chords?  Usually it starts with chords on the piano, but sometimes I have a lyric in my head or a catchy melody that I want to try out. It just depends on what comes to me first.

What do you like about Song Academy and our Young Songwriter competition?  It gives young kids a great opportunity to expand on their craft and lets them compare their writing to other kids from around the world.

Who are your three favourite artists/songs?  They change all the time but I enjoy artists like Tom Odell, Twenty One Pilots, and Electric Light Orchestra.

15 years from now you will be…  I’m not quite sure what I’ll be doing 15 years down the road, but I love making music and plan to make it into a full time career, whether that means being a touring musician, a songwriter, or a producer.

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not writing songs?  I have a pretty busy schedule, but I enjoy making videos for my YouTube channel, writing stories, listening to music, and occasionally playing video games when I have some free time.

Have a listen to all our top ten SAYS17 finalists


Our SAYS17 winners will be announced on the 8th May at 12pm on our Twitter channel.

Come & watch the top young songwriters from across the UK and Ireland perform @WestfieldLondon, Southern Terrace in the Young Songwriter 2017 competition live showcase on Sunday 4th June, 2-5pm. Around 50 performers including winners, finalists & highly commended entrants, aged 8-18 will perform! #savethedate #newgeneration #talent #youngsongwriters #freeevent

Full line-up to be announced shortly.

SAYS17 Finalist, Alexandros Roche aged 11 from Chelsea, London

Congratulations to Alex, SAYS17 Finalist with his original song ‘Light It Up’.  Here’s a bit about Alex and his songwriting.

How long have you been writing songs? I have been writing songs for 3-4 years

How did you get into songwriting? I loved listening to music and I always liked the idea of writing songs but I was too shy to do it by myself; Song Academy encouraged me to actually do it

What does songwriting allow you to explore and achieve? Songwriting actually helps me to express myself and show how I feel through being musical which is something i love

What’s your favourite part of the songwriting process? Favourite part is coming up with the melody

What’s the most difficult part of the creative process of songwriting for you? Most difficult part is thinking of a topic

Do you start with lyrics or melodies/chords? I start with lyrics first

What do you like about Song Academy and our Young Songwriter competition?  I like how I can have a big moment when I can present the song I have worked on and how I meet a lot of people and hear their songs.

Who are your three favourite artists/songs?  Thats what I like by Bruno Mars, New Man by Ed Sheeran, Symphony by Clean Bandit & Zara Larson

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not writing songs? ….Singing in the O2 Arena. Playing football and drums

Have a listen to all our top ten SAYS17 finalists


Our SAYS17 winners will be announced on the 8th May at 12pm on our Twitter channel.

Come & watch the top young songwriters from across the UK and Ireland perform @WestfieldLondon, Southern Terrace in the Young Songwriter 2017 competition live showcase on Sunday 4th June, 2-5pm. Around 50 performers including winners, finalists & highly commended entrants, aged 8-18 will perform! #savethedate #newgeneration #talent #youngsongwriters #freeevent

Full line-up to be announced shortly.

SAYS17 Runner Up, Zoe aged 10 from Fulham, London

Congratulations to Zoe, SAYS17 Runner Up with her original song ‘Dreams’.  Here’s a bit about Zoe and her songwriting.

 

What inspired you to write ‘Dreams’?  I daydream a lot. And when I daydream I get a lot of ideas and think about a lot of things. ‘Dreams’ is a song about how I dream, not what I dream.

How long have you been writing songs? I have been formally writing songs for 2 years.

How did you get into songwriting?  I received a piano at 5 years old when a friend from school was moving house and she couldn’t take her piano with her. From that day onward I played music by ear and sang other artists songs. When my mum discovered Song Academy, I joined the club to learn how to write songs which I now also compose.

What does songwriting allow you to explore and achieve? Songwriting allows me to express my feelings about the world around me. I think about what connects us all and what experiences we may all share.

What’s your favourite part of the songwriting process? The music is what I love most of the songwriting process.

What’s the most difficult part of the creative process of songwriting for you? The most difficult part of the creative process is finding words that make sense within the context of music that I have composed and moves me.

Do you start with lyrics or melodies/chords? I begin with the music/chords on my piano.

What do you like about Song Academy and our Young Songwriter competition? The best part of song academy is to learn how to express my music in words. The Young Songwriter competition is such an honour and acknowledgement that I am becoming a better songwriter.

Who are your three favourite artists/songs? Adele – all her songs ; Julie Bergan; Sampha – Like the Piano

15 years from now you will be…  A singer, composer and songwriter

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not writing songs? creating textile art, gymnastics and horseback riding.

Have a listen to all our top ten SAYS17 finalists


Our SAYS17 winners will be announced on the 8th May at 12pm on our Twitter channel.

Come & watch the top young songwriters from across the UK and Ireland perform @WestfieldLondon, Southern Terrace in the Young Songwriter 2017 competition live showcase on Sunday 4th June, 2-5pm. Around 50 performers including winners, finalists & highly commended entrants, aged 8-18 will perform! #savethedate #newgeneration #talent #youngsongwriters #freeevent

Full line-up to be announced shortly.

SAYS17 Finalist, Sophie Elise aged 12 from Abingdon, Oxon nr Oxford

Congratulations to Sophie Elise, SAYS17 Finalist with her original song ‘Deja Vu’.  Here’s a bit about Sophie Elise and her songwriting.

How long have you been writing songs? For 2yrs

How did you get into songwriting? Scouted at an open mic uk competition for a singer/songwriter development programme.

What does songwriting allow you to explore and achieve? Express how I am feeling and make others feel like they are not alone and also help them through their own challenges.

What’s your favourite part of the songwriting process? Creating the lyrics in the song because it’s challenging and personal.                                      

What’s the most difficult part of the creative process of songwriting for you? Middle eight as it has to be different to the rest of the song but still work together. Also it is harder to make the point of the song clear in the middle eight because it is more condensed.

Do you start with lyrics or melodies/chords? I write notes for lyrics and play around on my piano.                                                                        

What do you like about Song Academy and our Young Songwriter competition?  It’s a good way to get your original song heard by professionals and listen to other people’s songs.

Who are your three favourite artists/songs?  Conor Maynard, Sia and Adele.

15 years from now you will be… Continuing to write more songs and be performing at big venues with my own albums out. Being a successful singer/songwriter.        

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not writing songs? Sing cover songs and upload to YouTube.

Have a listen to all our top ten SAYS17 finalists


Our SAYS17 winners will be announced on the 8th May at 12pm on our Twitter channel.

Come & watch the top young songwriters from across the UK and Ireland perform @WestfieldLondon, Southern Terrace in the Young Songwriter 2017 competition live showcase on Sunday 4th June, 2-5pm. Around 50 performers including winners, finalists & highly commended entrants, aged 8-18 will perform! #savethedate #newgeneration #talent #youngsongwriters #freeevent

Full line-up to be announced shortly.

SAYS17 Winner, Zachary aged 9 from Fulham, London

Congratulations to Zachary, SAYS17 winner of our 8-12 year category with his original song ‘My Light’.  Here’s a bit about Zachary and his songwriting.

What inspired you to write ‘My Light’?  I had a difficult friendship with a boy in my class and we’ve now made up.  I wanted to show everyone that you can make a difference and be the light that makes best friends possible.

How long have you been writing songs? About 4 years.

How did you get into songwriting? I got a lot more inspired by and involved with music after my dad told me about Michael Jackson’s life and played the Billy Jean video for me several years ago.

What does songwriting allow you to explore and achieve? It allows me to express my feelings, even in difficult moments, especially when it is hard to deal with them.

What’s your favourite part of the songwriting process? Singing the songs I wrote!

What’s the most difficult part of the creative process of songwriting for you? Making my song perfect.

Do you start with lyrics or melodies/chords? I first think about the theme and the lyrics.

What do you like about Song Academy and our Young Songwriter competition?  Song Academy and the competition allow children to explore their singing voices and their inner voices alike.

Who are your three favourite artists/songs?  Michael Jackson, Eminem & Bruno Mars

15 years from now you will be… A singer or a footballer.

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not writing songs? Playing football.

Have a listen to all our top ten SAYS17 finalists


Our SAYS17 winners will be announced on the 8th May at 12pm on our Twitter channel.

Come & watch the top young songwriters from across the UK and Ireland perform @WestfieldLondon, Southern Terrace in the Young Songwriter 2017 competition live showcase on Sunday 4th June, 2-5pm. Around 50 performers including winners, finalists & highly commended entrants, aged 8-18 will perform! #savethedate #newgeneration #talent #youngsongwriters #freeevent

Full line-up to be announced shortly.

SAYS17 Finalist, Chelsea Becker aged 12 from Aldenham, Herts

Congratulations to Chelsea, SAYS17 Finalist with her original song ‘For You’.  Here’s a bit about Chelsea and her songwriting.

How long have you been writing songs? I have been writing songs properly since I was 10 years old.  I usually write my songs with the piano and make lyrics about experiences and dreams.

How did you get into songwriting? I have always been really interested in how the songs played on the radio were made and written.  It fascinated me, and I really wanted to do it and become a songwriter myself.  Another reason was that I was going through some tough times at school and I could never escape them.  I am a musician (a composer, oboist and pianist) and I used this as a getaway from these hard situations.  I would write lyrics about them and sing them with the piano.  My first proper song was called Apology and then from there I started writing many more.

What does songwriting allow you to explore and achieve? Songwriting allows me to express myself.  I have so many different feelings inside of me and I want to get them out.  Sometimes I would struggle telling people what I really feel and so I put that emotion into songs.  It also allows me to explore my creativity and my musicality.  I do go to a music school but I mainly study ‘classical’ instruments.  I like listening to the way the chords sound with the lyrics and how songs can move so many people in different ways.  It is an amazing thing for people to listen to my songs and really feel what I felt at that time.

What’s your favourite part of the songwriting process? My favourite part of the process is the music.  I love arranging the chord progressions for different instruments and listening to how my songs sound when they are finished.  I also love experimenting with the different layers in the music and how the chords combined with guitar and synths would sound amazing.

What’s the most difficult part of the creative process of songwriting for you? The most difficult part would probably be actually arranging the song.  I can sit at the piano and sing my lyrics but when it comes to thinking about what chords come in the bridge or what instruments I actually want to play this particular part, it’s hard.  It’s hard because i’m not a drummer or a professional guitar player, even if I can play some chords.  I can’t play all the instruments at the same time.  Having just the piano is nice but sometimes it’s good for something more too.

Do you start with lyrics or melodies/chords? It varies because sometimes I will have a good lyric idea and write them first.  After that I would put the chords to them, whereas most of the time I will sit at the piano and think of a good chordal structure and then put the lyrics, based on the message I want to give out, to the chords.

What do you like about Song Academy and our Young Songwriter Competition? I like that it allows songwriters to have a real chance in making it.  I have a dream of becoming a songwriter and this competition inspires people like me to think that they might actually be able to do it because you give us a chance.  It doesn’t matter if your rich or poor, or 18 or 8, it is a fair competition and I really like that aspect, in that we can express ourselves and you don’t judge.

Who are your three favourite artists/songs? My three favourite artists are Sia, Alessia Cara and Lorde.  However I do like some of Adele’s songs such as: When we were young and someone like you.  I have always loved Sia because she is different.  Her voice stands out in the crowd and her songs are beautiful and have such strong messages.  Alessia Cara writes good songs because I like her lyrics and the way the songs always flow.  Lorde is different again but her songs have defined messages and are interesting to listen to.

15 years from now you will be… 15 years from now I will be 28 years old.  I will definitely be some sort of musician.  I would love to be a songwriter and perform my songs.  I would also like to be a free lance oboist and a composer alongside that.  Another one of my dreams is to compose for a film.  Before I do all this I would like to go to Juilliard School in NY to study music and drama at the same time.  Then hopefully after that do another degree in music and one in Physics.  My number one dream is to be a songwriter and perform my songs and get my message out to people.  It would mean the absolute world to me.

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not writing songs? To practise.  This involves composing, oboe and piano.

Have a listen to all our top ten SAYS17 finalists


Our SAYS17 winners will be announced on the 8th May at 12pm on our Twitter channel.

Come & watch the top young songwriters from across the UK and Ireland perform @WestfieldLondon, Southern Terrace in the Young Songwriter 2017 competition live showcase on Sunday 4th June, 2-5pm. Around 50 performers including winners, finalists & highly commended entrants, aged 8-18 will perform! #savethedate #newgeneration #talent #youngsongwriters #freeevent

Full line-up to be announced shortly.

SAYS17 Finalist, Rosa Purdy aged 10 from Holcombe, Bury nr Manchester

Congratulations to Rosa, SAYS17 Finalist with her original song ‘Gold’.  Here’s a bit about Rosa and her songwriting.

How long have you been writing songs? I was about 6 years old when I wrote my first song, it was about my class in school!!!

How did you get into songwriting? I’ve always loved singing other people’s songs and decided to have a go myself. I also learn the piano and it makes it more interesting if I sing along too.

What does songwriting allow you to explore and achieve? I explore and achieve several things if I’m honest. From letting my emotions out to trying to build up my vocal chords. It really varies.

What’s your favourite part of the songwriting process? I love performing them. To know that it is my very own song makes me feel proud of myself. It makes me feel proud of what I have achieved and sharing it with other family members and friends makes it 10 times better!!

What’s the most difficult part of the creative process of songwriting for you? Putting the whole song together as one. It takes time and patience, you can’t rush it otherwise it won’t fit all together.

Do you start with lyrics or melodies/chords? I start with my chords. It’s important to get the tune into your head so you can fit the lyrics in with them.

What do you like about Song Academy and our Young Songwriter competition? I like how it’s just young songwriters not older ones as well. It gives you a chance to shine and you know that you’re not against anyone who is ten years older than you. That’s what I like about it!

Who are your three favourite artists/songs? My three favourite artists/songs are: Dido, Sand In My Shoes, Ariana Grande, Dangerous Woman, Anne Marie, Ciao Adios

15 years from now you will be… I will hopefully be a famous pop star! The whole world will know my name!!!

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not writing songs? I love doing lots of sports! I love running and netball because you’re out in the fresh air not thinking about anything that can worry or stress you out!

Have a listen to all our top ten SAYS17 finalists


Our SAYS17 winners will be announced on the 8th May at 12pm on our Twitter channel.

Come & watch the top young songwriters from across the UK and Ireland perform @WestfieldLondon, Southern Terrace in the Young Songwriter 2017 competition live showcase on Sunday 4th June, 2-5pm. Around 50 performers including winners, finalists & highly commended entrants, aged 8-18 will perform! #savethedate #newgeneration #talent #youngsongwriters #freeevent

Full line-up to be announced shortly.