Young Songwriter 2017 Competition – opens this week!

For the 6th year, we’re looking for the top young songwriters aged 8-18 across the UK & Ireland, with a new category for international young songwriters.

Aged 8-18? Written your own original song? Want to write your first song? Have you what it takes to write a hit song? Want your songs to be listened to by key players in the music industry, including Tom Odell, Imogen Heap, Conor Maynard, Rumer, Eg White, Fraser T Smith, Lyn Goddard and Jamie Theakston!

You can enter up to 5 individual songs and 5 group songs. Closing date is 2nd April 2017. All lyrics and music must be the entrant’s own original work.  The competition is separately judged for the 8-12 and 13-18 age categories.

We’re looking for raw songwriting talent. Audio recordings don’t need to be professionally recorded as they will be judged on their originality, lyrics, melody, composition and potential to be a smash hit! Written song feedback from an industry expert is available before entering.  Get ready to enter.  Submit a short entry form and upload your song directly on the form or via Soundcloud – it’s super easy and quick!

Winners will record their winning song at a top recording studio in London, have a professional music video and photos, win a Scarlett2i2 Studio, Farida Guitar & 4 tickets to Beautiful – The Carole King Musical in London and perform at our Young Songwriter 2017 live showcase in London and in the Voice In A Million Show at Wembley Arena!

Get ready and be part of the largest community of young songwriters!

Young Songwriter 2017 Competition Entry Form

Good luck!

The Song Academy Team

Highlights of 2016

It’s been an incredible year! Have a listen to our top 20 songs of our young songwriter members in 2016.  Congratulations to our young songwriters and a big thank you to the fantastic Song Academy team.

If you’re a songwriter aged 8-18 check out our Young Songwriter 2017 competition, open for entries on 1st Feb 2017.

If you’re interested in our after school clubs & holiday workshops have a look at what we offer talented young songwriters.

If you’re a music teacher looking to enrich your music programme please have a look at our songwriting programmes for schools.

If you’d like a Song Academy songwriting birthday party get in touch.

We’ve had a brilliant year helping young people write smash hits and express themselves.

Have a wonderful Christmas!

The Song Academy Team

Christmas Holiday workshops now open for bookings!

Write a Christmas smash hit with our professional songwriters!

Where?  West London & Winchester

WEST LONDON at The Holy Trinity Church, Brook Green, Hammersmith, W6 7BL

Monday 19 (2-6pm) & Tuesday 20 December (2-5pm)

WINCHESTER at The Railway Inn, 3 St Pauls Hill, Winchester, SO22 5AE

Tuesday 13 (1-4pm) for 8-11 year olds

Wednesday 14 December (1-4pm) for 12-16 year olds

Who?  Two groups: 8-11 year olds and 12-16 year olds

Join our dynamic & spontaneous songwriting & singing workshops over the Christmas holidays.  Our vibrant groups of young songwriters collaborate on writing & producing an original song with our hit songwriters across two afternoons with a performance at the end.

We develop participants creative lyric writing skills, improvisation of melodies, harmonies and rhythm skills, and composition of instrumental parts/riffs and solos. Participants choose the style of music – rock, country, jazz, pop, rhythm & blues, hip hop, urban, latin, electronic, folk or a new mixture! Those that play an instrument can bring it along and those that don’t can focus on creating the vocal harmonies.

£95 for two afternoons (7 hours) with a performance at 4:45pm on the second afternoon for friends & family

£35 for the one afternoon (3 hour) workshops in Winchester, with a performance at 3.45pm.

To enquire/book – click here for the online booking form.

or email contact@songacademy.co.uk or text/call 07710 023743.

“Lets their musical and creative side run free” – Jo, Mother

“It’s awesome creating a song from scratch with professional songwriters!” – Amy, 14 years old

“Inspirational” Charlotte, Mother

 

Young Songwriter 2016 album released

YOUNG SONGWRITER 2016 ALBUM RELEASED TODAY

* Album release showcasing the top young songwriters across the UK and Ireland

* Judges included Tom Odell, Eg White, Guy Fletcher & Jamie Theakston

We’re delighted to announce the release of the Song Academy Young Songwriter 2016 Compilation Album on Spotify, iTunes and other distributors through AWAL (Artists Without A Label). The album includes 26 tracks from the winners and selected finalists & highly commended of the 2016 Young Songwriter competition, which attracted outstanding young talent from 7-18 year olds across the UK and Ireland.

This album not only gives young songwriters a unique platform to get noticed by a larger audience and educate them in the digital world of e-commerce and the dynamics of the music industry, but it also provides them with their own revenue source.

Buy our Young Songwriter 2016 album on iTunes.

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.  Thank you to our sponsors PRS for Music, Yamaha, Dawsons Music, Farida and Access To Music for supporting our Young Songwriter 2016 competition.

This year’s prestigious judging panel, including Tom Odell, Rumer, Eg White, Guy Fletcher and Jamie Theakston, whittled down hundreds of entrants to choose a winner and two runners up from both of the competition categories, covering 7 to 12-year-olds and 13 to 18-year-olds.

Tom-OdellThe judges had nothing but praise for Song Academy. 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.”

Rumer photoRumer, singer songwriter said: “I was very impressed with these children’s songs and was taken aback by their originality and their beautiful, unselfconscious approach to storytelling. I was very humbled by a lot of their words.”

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.”

Rowena Atkins, Founder of Song Academy, says: “Here at Song Academy, we are aiming to give young people a voice, help them to express themselves and celebrate their individuality. We give them the opportunity to unleash their creativity and inspire them with what’s possible. By connecting them to a vibrant community of their peers who all love writing original songs, as well as exposing their songs to key players in the Music Industry, we help to build young people’s confidence and self-belief.”

GET READY for our 2017 Young Songwriter competition and take a look at our excellent song feedback service.

Young Songwriter 2016 Showcase Highlights Video

We had an incredible afternoon at Westfield London in June this year showcasing the top young songwriting talent from across the UK and Ireland.  36 young songwriters performed their original songs to a big crowd.  Plus it was fabulous to have a special performance from the amazing singer songwriter Rumer.

We were part of the Hammersmith & Fulham ArtsFest programme with Westfield London celebrating the Queen’s 50th anniversary.  The British weather was spectacular with torrential downpours right at the end of our showcase!

Please have a look at our Young Songwriter 2016 showcase highlights video.

Congratulations to Gus Harrower, winner of our 13-18 year old category who has gus-low-resbeen chosen to perform his winning song ‘Wanderin’ Man’ at the  Voice In A Million 2018 show at Wembley Arena.

Get ready for the Song Academy Young Songwriter 2017 competition, open for entries on 1st February 2017!  You can make sure your songs are the best they can be by taking advantage of our expert song feedback service.

 

Young Songwriters Record Winning Songs With Top Producer

…And Warm Up For Star-Studded Westfield Showcase on Sunday 12th June

Last week, the two overall victors of the Young Songwriter 2016 competition, Gus Harrower and Sam Hancock recorded their winning compositions with top producer Paul Stanborough. Paul has worked, alongside the highly respected Guy Chambers, with some of the most prominent names in the industry, from Kylie Minogue to Robbie Williams, Britney Spears to Tinie Tempah, and has a passion for championing and developing up ‘n’ coming talent. We were impressed with Gus and Sam’s musical talents – playing lead guitar, bass guitar, keyboards, drums & beatboxing!

Gus, 17 years old from Edinburgh recording his winning song ‘Wanderin’ Man’

Sam, 11 years old from Manchester recording his winning song ‘Superhuman’

Come and watch Rumer and the top young songwriters across the UK & Ireland perform @WestfieldLondon on Sunday 12th June, 2-5pm
Acclaimed singer-songwriter and Brit Award nominee and million-selling artist Rumer has confirmed that she will perform on 12 June at Westfield, London, alongside top young songwriters aged 8 to 18 from across the UK and Ireland. Rumer, who is supported by leading music industry figures including Burt Bacharach, Elton John and Jools Holland, and has appeared at a host of prestigious locations including the White House in Washington DC, will perform ‘Reach Out’ with her husband, musical director Rob Shirakbari. Co-headliner Cassidy Janson, who is currently starring in the West End as Carole King in the smash hit Beautiful The Musical, will perform one of Carole’s hit songs.

The Westfield event will showcase the winners, runners-up and highly commended entrants of the Song Academy 2016 Young Songwriter competition. Many of the competition judges will be in attendance, including top producer Paul Stanborough, who’s worked alongside the highly respected Guy Chambers, with some of the most prominent names in the industry, from Kylie Minogue to Robbie Williams, Britney Spears to Tinie Tempah.

Check out full line-up. Free Event @WestfieldLondon, Southern Terrace stage (near Jamie’s Italian), Sunday 12 June, 2 to 5pm.
Plus, there is Westfield organised street party lunch at our stage to celebrate the Queen’s 90th Birthday from 12-2pm.

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Rumer To Perform With UK’s Top Young Songwriters At Free London Event

FROM THE WHITE HOUSE TO WESTFIELD… MILLION-SELLING ARTIST RUMER TO PERFORM WITH UK’S TOP YOUNG SONGWRITERS AT FREE LONDON EVENT

Acclaimed singer-songwriter and Brit Award nominee, Rumer has confirmed that she will perform on 12 June at Westfield, London, alongside top young songwriters aged 8 to 18 from across the UK and Ireland. Rumer, who is supported by leading music industry figures including Burt Bacharach, Elton John and Jools Holland, and has appeared at a host of prestigious locations including the White House in Rumer photoWashington DC, will perform ‘Reach Out’ with her husband, musical director Rob Shirakbari.

Co-headliner Cassidy Janson, who is currently starring in the West End as Carole King in the smash hit Beautiful The Musical, will perform one of Carole’s hit songs. The Westfield event will showcase the winners, runners-up and highly commended entrants of the Song Academy 2016 Young Songwriter competition.cassidy-janson-298x298

Many of the competition judges will be in attendance, including top producer Paul Stanborough, who’s worked alongside the highly respected Guy Chambers, with some of the most prominent names in the industry, from Kylie Minogue to Robbie Williams, Britney Spears to Tinie Tempah. Check out the full line-up.  Free Event @WestfieldLondon, Southern Terrace stage (near Jamie’s Italian), Sunday 12 June, 2 to 5pm.

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Young Songwriter 2016 Live Showcase at Westfield London

Join Winners of The Young Songwriter Competition

At Live Performance In Westfield Shopping Centre

Winners, finalists & highly commended to perform at Westfield London, 12 June, 2–5pm

This week, an impressive line-up of music industry experts has come together to select the winners of this year’s Song Academy Young Songwriter competition, who will perform alongside runners up and highly commended songwriters at the Westfield Shopping Centre in London on 12th June, between 2pm and 5pm in the Hammersmith & Fulham ArtsFest 2016.HF ArtsFest Partner Logo

The star-studded judging panel*, which includes Tom Odell, Rumer, Eg White, Lou Rhodes and Jamie Theakston, whittled down hundreds of entrants to choose a winner and two runners up from both of the competition categories, covering 7 to 12-year-olds and 13 to 18-year-olds. The overall winners are 11-year-old Sam Hannock from Sale, Manchester with his song, Superhuman and Gus Harrower, 17, from Edinburgh with Wanderin’ Man.

gus photo

Sam Hancock photoSam, who says that Superhuman is about the feelings we experience when we achieve something amazing, wrote the song to inspire people. His lyrics include: We’re superheroes dressed in normal clothes. We’re fighting the dark, we are the heroes. We’ll go past all the planets at super sonic speeds. We are superhuman protectors of the galaxy.

Sam says: “I love the feeling of nailing something – getting something right. When you accomplish something that you have been looking forward to, it makes you feel great, as though you can tackle anything. I know I am young, but sometimes the smallest voices can say the best things”.

Singer songwriter, Tom Odell, said of Superhuman: “There is a great natural flow to this song. It feels effortless but always keeps your attention. There is a very innocent, dream-like feel to the lyric, which keeps you listening”, while Rumer said: “An empowering message. Talented boy!”

Gus Harrower’s song, Wanderin’ Man is a song about love. Gus says: “I was inspired by the movie Into The Wild and the story of Christopher McCandless. He was a man who left his life behind him to go literally ‘into the wild’ and start anew. The story inspired me because here was a man who chose his own path and wasn’t forced by others to do any differently.”

Award-winning songwriter/producer, Guy Fletcher, was particularly impressed with Gus, saying Wanderin’ Man was a “great song with an exciting chorus. Good sense of lyric and timing and well performed.” Singer songwriter, James Walsh described it as “Newton Faulkner with a bit of Jack Johnson’s playfulness” and Tom Odell called it “uplifting”.

Prizewinners Gus and Sam have both won a session at a London recording studio where they will be able to record their songs alongside the top producer Paul Stanborough.

The winners will be joined on 12th June at Westfield by the other competition finalists, including runners-up in the 7-12 year category, Erin Jordan, 11, from Warrington, Cheshire and Ameya Kohli, 12 from Ascot in Berkshire, together with 13-18 year category runners-up, Roman Lewis, 15 from Chelsea, London, and Emi McDade, 18, from Highnam in Gloucestershire. Check out the full running order for 12th June.

Other prizes include a Yamaha Reface Concept keyboard, a Farida guitar and four tickets to Beautiful, the Carole King musical in London.

Rowena Atkins, Founder of Song Academy, says that, five years on, Young Songwriter is now the UK’s biggest songwriting competition for young people: “The competition is a perfect 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.”

She continues: “Here at Song Academy, we are aiming to give young people a voice, help them to express themselves and celebrate their individuality. We give them the opportunity to unleash their creativity and inspire them with what’s possible. By connecting them to a vibrant community of their peers who all love writing original songs, as well as exposing their songs to key players in the Music Industry, we help to build young people’s confidence and self-belief.”

Hear the latest news on the Young Songwriter 2016 showcase on 12th June and the star guests planning to attend, via the Song Academy Twitter feed @SongacademyUK.

– Ends –

For further media information, photography, videos, interviews, etc., contact Rowena Atkins, Founder of Song Academy, Rowena@songacademy.co.uk 07710 023743.

Note to Editors*

Below is a list of the Judges of the Song Academy Young Songwriter Competition 2016, some of whom will be at Westfield on 12th June to hear their favourite finalists perform live:

Nicky Cox, editor of First News

Guy Fletcher OBE, award-winning songwriter/producer and Chairman of PRS for Music

Robert and Jo Garofalo, founders of Voice In A Million

Tim Laws, award-winning songwriter/producer

Barry Mason, award-winning songwriter/producer

Tom Odell, singer/songwriter

Lou Rhodes, singer songwriter and author

Rumer, singer/songwriter

Paul Stanborough, award-winning songwriter/producer

Jamie Theakston, TV and radio presenter

James Walsh, singer/songwriter

Eg White, award-winning songwriter/producer

Nigel Wright, award-winning songwriter/producer

 

Sound bites from Yamaha Artists

Here are some great tips from Yamaha Artists on some ways of developing your songwriting and recording  talents.  Yamaha sponsors our Young Songwriter 2016 competition.  Hurry to get your entries in – the entry deadline is this Saturday 9th April (at midnight)!

Clare CooganNAME:  Planet. Circle. Star.
OCCUPATION:  Teacher / Producer / Performer
YAMAHA PRODUCT: Reface / MOTIF XF
YAMAHA ARTIST SOUNDBITE:
Don’t be afraid to share your work with others. There’s no point giving yourself a hard time if you’re not sure where to take your song next – ask a friend to listen to your work. A second pair of ears can put a whole new perspective on a track and can often fill in that missing piece and take your song to the next stage. It can give you new confidence in your writing and you never know what will come from sharing your work – new collaborations, ideas and opportunities. Sharing your work in its early stages can be nerve wracking, but go for it, you gain so much!

 

emilydolandavisNAME: Emily Dolan Davis

OCCUPATION: Professional Drummer

YAMAHA PRODUCT: 9000

YAMAHA ARTIST SOUNDBITE:

Whatever instrument you play, make sure you record yourself and listen back. For me it was scary at first, and I realised the difference between how I thought I sounded, and the reality. The more I did it, the smaller that difference became, and it enabled me to progress so much more than ever before.

 

Ben KennedyNAME: Ben Kennedy

OCCUPATION: Drummer, currently out with ‘Foxes’

YAMAHA PRODUCT: Yamaha Beach Custom Absolute Drum Kit

YAMAHA ARTIST SOUNDBITE:

Before starting any session/gig, make sure you are comfortable with the set up. It is important to feel relaxed at the kit whilst rehearsing/recording or playing a live gig. Tuning the drums right and making sure heights/angles are adequate, will bring the best out your playing. When possible, bring your cymbals and snare drums. More options means you can create the best sound possible on the day.

 

DomNAME: Dom Sigalas

OCCUPATION: Producer / Composer

YAMAHA PRODUCT:Reface / MONTAGE / MOTIF

YAMAHA ARTIST SOUNDBITE:

Drum programming- Use your fingers, not your mouse.

Throughout your music career it is extremely likely that you will have to use a drum part in one of your songs. If you don’t have a drummer at hand learn how to play the drums on a keyboard. You don’t have to be a virtuoso.

The secret is to learn the GM (General Midi) mapping. The elements are almost always on the same keys (Kick- C1, Snare-D1 etc) so all you have to do is practice!

It really pays of because your programmed drums will be more natural and have an element of performance rather than being sterile and robotic. I almost never program acoustic drums with a mouse.

Finger drumming is a skill that once you get the hang of it will serve you for life!

Here’s one example of what you can do:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtQJHQGfqjA

#SAYS16 The Competition So Far… (7-12 category)

The SAYS 16 competition is well underway and entries are flying in. Here are some highlights from the 7-12 category.

Entrants have written about everything from rugby to maths. Facing up to bullies is a recurring theme (such as in Praveen’s song, Try). As the performers of  Leaving Here  sing, “By writing these songs, we found where we belong”; in songwriting, young people have found a way to channel their feelings.

Her Name – Pixie McCann  Pixie sings bluesy inflected melodies in her song about young love and rejection, written for her friend who suffered heartbreak at the school disco.  “Don’t be angry with yourself, emotions bottled on the shelf.

Afraid of the Dark – Max Eastland Park Max’s uplifting and encouraging song is about getting over your fears. “I turn at a flicker of light, each shadow picks a fight”

Daisy Chains – S Kohl Daisy Chains is an upbeat jazzy number. The song is about her experience of making friends as someone with Aspergers syndrome and “Daisy Chains” is a metaphor for friendship.

Bad Dream – Lulu Hogan Lulu wrote her song for her best friend, after she moved across the Atlantic from Boston to London. “I sit down and see your face painted in the clouds”

Music – Safa Khan  Safa wrote her song about what music means to her, and took inspiration from Coldplay for a catchy singalong chorus.

There is still time to enter the Young Songwriter Competition – submit your entry before April 9th.