What got you into music? Did you immediately start writing or were you a fan for a bit first? I was a big fan of Ed Sheeran growing up and I think his music was what inspired me to properly write songs as I was so in awe of how he wrote lyrics. But I think I’ve been writing bits and pieces for as long as I can remember.
Where did your inspiration come from for the songs on your EP? I tend to find inspiration from things going on around me and stuff I’ve heard about however these songs were all pretty personal and I think that’s why I like them so much.
What’s your favourite part of the song writing process? Probably when the main scaffolding of the song comes together and I start singing it through. It’s always really exciting to have made something from a couple of random thoughts in your head.
How do you usually start a song? How do you find that spark? I find it a very subconscious process, I’ll often come up with lyric not really knowing what it means or anything, I just think it sounds nice, and then as the song goes on I’ll realise what I’m writing about.
How did you produce your songs? I pretty much recorded and produced the whole thing myself on logic.
Who would be your dream artist/writer/band to collaborate with? Definitely Cavetown, his lyrics are the coolest.
What would you say to someone aged 8-18 who is thinking about writing songs but hasn’t started yet? Or do you have any tips for 8-18 year old songwriters who are already writing? Don’t overthink it too much!
What do you like about Song Academy? I’ve met some really lovely people who’ve inspired me with my own writing. It’s cool to find people who also write songs and see each others progress.
Here’s our interview with Carina on her songwriting and where she finds inspiration.
What got you into music? Did you immediately start writing or were you a fan for a bit first? I was always a pretty quiet so I never used to be into music, but I’ve always loved to write: stories, poems etc. As I got older I grew more confident and I guess my love for writing evolved into lyrics and music production also. I find it so much easier to convey how I feel and my ideas through music rather than just prose.
Where did your inspiration come from for the songs on your EP? The bulk of the EP was made during the pandemic – and I’d look on my phone through all these videos and voice memos when life was normal (when I went to nyc and it was raining, friends talking at parties, etc.). It really inspired me to create something out of it, especially because it’s always been a goal of mine to release some music while I’m still a teenager. I think young people have interesting stories to tell, but often don’t get the opportunity to tell them, so I’ve always wanted to challenge that.
What’s your favourite part of the song writing process? The best thing about writing for me is that I struggle quite a bit with dissociative episodes, and it really helps. Dissociation can make you feel like you aren’t real and it becomes incredibly difficult to connect with anything, but writing can counteract that. When I make music, I’m taking something from inside my head and turning it into something that exists outside of myself. That process is very grounding for me and that’s why I do it so much.
How do you usually start a song? How do you find that spark? I guess it’s different every time, but I ususally get my initial ideas in pretty random places. I came up with the hook for ‘frontin’ when I was sitting in my school library which is funny because that does not match the vibe of the song at all. It always comes first with a little phrase that I find interesting though, like something that my friend will say in conversation or something I’ll see in an advert.
How did you produce your songs? It took me about 10,000 years. I’m not joking. Essentially my parents have always been very supportive of me doing this, so they helped me to get everything I needed which is amazing – however they are not musical so I had to learn everything mostly on my own, with some help of a very cool producer guy called Ian who my Mum found on the internet. All my songs are written, recorded and mixed in my bedroom by me alone, which means it takes time but it’s also very special to me as well. Ian masters them for me though, which is cool.
Who would be your dream artist/writer/band to collaborate with? See that’s an interesting question. There’s a bunch of artists who I take inspiration from for my music but I think my dream collaboration would be with someone who has a very different vibe to me, because it’d be amazing to do something outside of my comfort zone and that I couldn’t do on my own. Either this artist called Toro Y Moi who has this very unique chillwave indietronica sound that I’m obsessed with, or LAUSSE THE CAT who’s an anonymous rapper that came from Soundcloud. He makes soundscapes that tell stories, and they’re so effective.
What would you say to someone aged 8-18 who is thinking about writing songs but hasn’t started yet? Or do you have any tips for 8-18 year old songwriters who are already writing? There’s really not much more I can say than just be brave and do it. I was so scared to share my music for so long, so I understand what it’s like, but I am so so so beyond glad I did because it’s so rewarding. Being a young person can be difficult sometimes and having an outlet that’s entirely yours and that no one can control but you can be such an incredible thing. I’ve actually recently started to build a label and community with a bunch of my friends, because I believe young people shouldn’t have to be held back.
What do you like about Song Academy? Song Academy is so important to me because if I hadn’t have gotten involved here, I’d probably never have pursued music like I have. Just the simple act of performing and watching my peers there perform a song once a fortnight is so motivating. It made me improve so much, because instead of writing stuff solely for me to hear, it was for 4 or 5 people to hear now. That alone is so encouraging. I want to try to build that too eventually with my label.
Aged 8-18? Written your own original songs? Fancy writing your first song? Get ready to enter The Song Academy Young Songwriter 2021 competition from 1st Feb-31st Mar 2021!