Malvina Bhatia-Guerin is 17 years old from New York and her songs ‘Metamorphosis’ and ‘Real World’ were selected as top 40 songs in The Song Academy Young Songwriter 2020 competition International category.  We caught up with Malvina recently to talk about all things songwriting!

What inspired you to write your song?  I wrote “Metamorphosis” at a time when I felt like the world was moving too fast: it seemed like everyone around me was growing up and leaving me behind.  So far, my teenage years were nothing like the way they were depicted in movies, and I was scared that I was going to miss out on the stereotypical parts of growing up that I’d been taught to expect by the media.  Comparing myself to the people who appeared to have everything figured out only heightened that fear.

When I wrote “Real World,” I had just decided to major in music business in college.  While I was so excited to continue my music journey, I knew that finding a job in the industry is not a guarantee.  Was I making a mistake?  Would this eventually lead me to the kind of life I wanted?  How could I even know the king of life I wanted at 17?  My plans felt so flimsy and unsure and I wondered how other people didn’t seem to have the same fears as I did about their future.

What got you into writing songs?  I had always been fascinated by songwriting, and I used to watch interviews of my favorite musicians talking about it obsessively, but I never really thought about doing it myself until I was 13.  One day, out of the blue, an idea for a hook popped into my head, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it.  Finally, I grabbed my guitar and wrote the rest of the song in about 30 minutes.  I’ve been writing songs ever since!

What is your favourite part of the songwriting process?  I love the moments of sudden inspiration I get while writing where my ideas seem to be coming faster than I can sing them or write them down.  It doesn’t happen right away, or with every song, but there are sometimes inexplicable moments when something in my brain dislodges and I am able to see the idea fully-formed.  I also love playing the song back at the end of a writing session and the excitement that comes from having created something from nothing.

Describe your setup that you used to write your #SAYS20 entry, was it just a pen and paper or a fully kitted out studio?  I wrote both of the songs I submitted on guitar sitting on my bedroom floor.  I have a notebook that I use for writing down lyrics and chords, and I always keep a recording on my phone as I write so that I can go back and find a lyric or melody if I forget it.

How do you usually start a song? How do you find that spark?  I very rarely get ideas for melodies/lyrics out of the blue.  Usually, I have a vague thematic idea for a song I want to write, and I sit down and try to come up with a chord progression that matches the mood on guitar, piano, or ukulele.  Then, I start trying out different melodies and lyrics over it.  Other than that, I don’t have a very strict process.  The “spark” doesn’t come until later, if it does come at all.  This just goes to show that you don’t have to be born a good songwriter to become one!  Songwriting is something you can practice and get better at, even if fully-formed ideas don’t seem to come to you.

Who would be your dream artist/writer/band to collaborate with?  Taylor Swift!  She is such a talented songwriter, and I think I could learn a lot from her.

What made you enter #SAYS20? How did you hear about it?  I was looking for songwriting-related scholarships to apply to, and I stumbled upon this competition.  It seemed like a really cool opportunity and was open internationally, so I decided to enter.

What would you say to someone aged 8-18 who is thinking about entering the Song Academy Young Songwriter competition next year? Do you have any tips for them?  Don’t get too in your head about your songs!  I know how easy it is to be critical of your work, but sometimes wanting every little detail to be perfect can actually be a hindrance.  Art is meant to be messy and imperfect, so write from your heart and have fun with it!

What are your favourite other entries from this year’s competition? Who out of the other entrants (it doesn’t have to be a finalist!) would you like to collaborate with?  I really liked 10 by Jordyn, A Million Hours and Shimmering Blue by Sadie Mustoe, Cloud 9 by Nadia Ahadi, Kanye 2020, and Heights by Outline.  I would love to collaborate with Sadie Mustoe

What do you like about the Song Academy Young Songwriter competition?  I love that it’s directed towards kids!  I think encouraging kids to find productive ways of expressing themselves and making art is incredibly valuable.

 

Make sure you hear the latest Young Songwriter 2020 news first by following our social media channels – Instagram, Facebook  and Twitter.

 

Phoebe Austin is 15 years old from London and her song ‘In The Light’ was selected as a top 60 song in The Song Academy Young Songwriter 2020 competition 13-18 year UK/Ireland category.  We caught up with Phoebe recently to talk about all things songwriting!

What inspired you to write your song?  My song In The Light was inspired by a person in my life who was struggling… with the song I wanted to take  a sour memory and feeling and make it an uplifting melody. This song is hopeful and feels quite light. I first got inspiration whilst watching a film and I took the song from there.

What got you into song writing? I wrote my first song when I was nine. I always used to make up songs while I was doing everyday activities… I would just sing what I was doing… or I would make up lyrics on the spot. When I learned how to play guitar I started trying to write my own songs. I quickly found that writing songs would come fairly naturally to me and that it would help me process my emotions in a creative way. I’ve always worked on my song writing… taking inspiration from other artist and learning new techniques as I gain experience in the industry.

What is your favourite part of the song writing process?  My favourite part of the songwriting process is getting the first melody. I find it so liberating when I have lyrics or ideas or chords and everything starts to slot into place. A melody sets the tone and feel of a song…. So finding a good melody, for me, is the best part.

Describe the setup that was used to write your SAYS20 entry; was it just pen and paper or a full kitted out studio? I wrote my entry this year on my living room floor… I had my piano and my guitar… my voice memos running and a pen and paper. I think I wrote the bones of this song in around 30 minutes. I mainly wrote this song on guitar while jotting down lyrics randomly. And then when I had lots of lyrics and a melody I started to build the song.

How do you usually start a song? How do you find that spark?  I usually start writing a song by writing down lyrics or phrases with the same idea… or writing lots of metaphors on a piece of paper and then building a narrative around them… its like a mood board for me. I’ll often think of lyrics and melody’s randomly during the day or even in the middle of the night. If that happens I put it in my voice memos and write around it. I find starting with music to be a different experience… when I want to focus more on the vibe of a song I’ll start by finding my chords… however when I want to focus more on how a song is crafted lyrically I start with the message and the lyrics. For me, the spark can come from anywhere…but more often than not it comes from a strong emotion when I am listening to music or watching a film.

Who would be your dream artist/writer/ band to collaborate with?  There’s many people I wish I could collaborate with, but one of my main influences growing up was N-Dubz. As I grew up around Islington and Camden, they were probably one of the first people I saw who were making music from where I’m from. For this reason they are legendary to me and to have them reunite for a collab with me would be a dream come true.

What made you enter SAYS20? How did you hear about it?  I decided to enter  #SAYS20 this year when I saw an advert for it on social media. I thought it looked like an amazing competition with amazing opportunities to get my music heard… and to also hear music from other young artists.. and to find people to potentially collaborate with.

What are your favourite other entries from this year’s competition? Who out of the other entrants (it doesn’t have to be a finalist!) would you like to collaborate with? Two of my favourite entries this year have been Lottie Pearl- Jet black hair and Liv Turner-Love lies

What do you like about the Song Academy Young Songwriter competition? What I love about the competition is the opportunities it creates. It allows people to hear others music and allows artists to connect. It also gives an amazing platform to the young artists.

Make sure you hear the latest Young Songwriter 2020 news first by following our social media channels – Instagram, Facebook  and Twitter.

 

Santana Gayle is 17 years old from London and her song ‘Homegrown’ was selected as a top 60 song in The Song Academy Young Songwriter 2020 competition 13-18 year UK/Ireland category.  We caught up with Santana recently to talk about all things songwriting!

What inspired you to write your song?  The song is about our different perceptions of London as we grew up in different areas so the main inspiration would have to be London itself. I have an endless appreciation for where I’ve grown up despite all its imperfections.

What got you into song writing?  Growing up, my parents played lots of different types of music and unknowingly to them I was paying attention to the different beats and melodies. Being young and not knowing much about the song making process, I was just intrigued and always though “how did they put that melody with this beat together” or “I wonder how they thought of those lyrics”. When I first started writing it was short little poems to no music, but as I grew, I started writing to instrumentals of my favourite songs and eventually I got to where I am today.

What is your favourite part of the song writing process?  I think my favourite part of the song writing process is creating different countermelodies and adding extra layers to the baseline of a project. As a fan of music before anything, I love when you can listen to a song and notice something different in the vocal layers each time. Therefore I try to incorporate that into my songs whether it be for my own vocal or someone else’s.

Describe the setup that was used to write your SAYS20 entry; was it just pen and paper or a full kitted out studio?  For this project we were situated in a studio for the writing of the chorus and my first verse in where we used our phones, but for the writing of the remainder of the song we separately wrote at home. I use whatever is closest when inspiration hits whether it be pen, pencil, my laptop or my phone (its usually my phone).

How do you usually start a song? How do you find that spark?  I would love to say I write an amazing song a day, but that’s not entirely true. I feel my best content occurs when I’m in the right mood and mindset. When writing and putting emotion into something, it can be tiring and also triggering if writing about things that are sensitive or of high importance to you.  Once I’m in the right mindset, I usually start with searching for a beat that I enjoy and just hum flows and melodies until I catch something I think is good. Whilst doing this I’m usually recording on my phone so I don’t forget anything I may have said in the moment. If the amount of ideas isn’t endless by halfway through my writing process I will move on to a new beat/ idea because when I force myself to make something work, it doesn’t create the best outcome.

My creative spark tends to appear at random times of the day where I’ll think of a nice bar and immediately rush to write it down. I’ll find myself opening my notes at 4am just to write down 1 line that I dreamt about or in the middle of a class trying to find some spare paper before I forget the line.

Who would be your dream artist/writer/ band to collaborate with?  There’s many people I wish I could collaborate with, but one of my main influences growing up was N-Dubz. As I grew up around Islington and Camden, they were probably one of the first people I saw who were making music from where I’m from. For this reason they are legendary to me and to have them reunite for a collab with me would be a dream come true.

What made you enter SAYS20? How did you hear about it?  The co-artist of our entry told me about it and sent me the Instagram page. We had not long released Homegrown so we though “why not?”. We had a really good original song, so we decided to enter.

What would you say to someone age 8-18 who is thinking about entering the Song Academy Young Songwriter competition next year?  If you have full faith in your song, then you have nothing to lose by entering the competition. Even if not a finalist, you’ll have the opportunity to see the work of people of a similar age of you and even potentially collaborate with them through reaching out and networking.

What are your favourite other entries from this year’s competition? Who out of the other entrants (it doesn’t have to be a finalist!) would you like to collaborate with?  I think all the entries are great, but my absolute favourite was probably Miss Moresha. Her strong soulful voice reminds me of Jasmine Sullivan and the song “no one’s fool” itself is just very powerful and has a clear story.

What do you like about the Song Academy Young Songwriter competition?  I think it offers a great opportunity for young inspiring artist and also allows for a collaboration and more creation amongst the artists themselves if they decide to reach out to someone else who entered the competition.

Make sure you hear the latest Young Songwriter 2020 news first by following our social media channels – Instagram, Facebook  and Twitter.

 

Melina Blanco is 17 years old from London and her song ‘Wish You Could See’ was selected as a top 60 song in The Song Academy Young Songwriter 2020 competition 13-18 year UK/Ireland category.  We caught up with Melina recently to talk about all things songwriting!

What inspired you to write your song?  I wrote this song on the day that would’ve been my grandpa’s birthday. I was in his house in Argentina, surrounded by memories of him and people who loved him. I was emotional and instantly started writing the lines of the chorus in my notes, thinking about how I “wish he could see me” today. It just took off from there.

What got you into writing songs?  Growing up I was constantly making up songs, whenever and wherever I was. I started to take it more seriously when I learned more about chords and began to play more instruments. Over the years, songwriting has helped me express my feelings and thoughts through music and lyrics.

What is your favourite part of the songwriting process?  My favourite part of the songwriting process is the moment where I have at least a solid verse and chorus. I immediately get so excited to see how the lyrics and chords and melodies are working together. It’s like an adrenaline rush- to finally stop and look back proudly at what I’ve just made.

Describe your setup that you used to write your #SAYS20 entry, was it just a pen and paper or a fully kitted out studio?  I was sitting in my grandma’s kitchen while everyone else in the house was sleeping, with the guitar we keep in that house and my notes app opened on my phone. It took me a little under and an hour.

How do you usually start a song? How do you find that spark?  It really depends on the song, but lately, I’ve been starting with lyrics or general concepts for things I want to say in a song. I use my notes and voice memos apps a lot, so whenever I get a lyric idea or an idea for the chord progression, I record it.

Who would be your dream artist/writer/band to collaborate with?
I am greatly inspired by female alternative artists such as Marina or Lana Del Rey, so definitely one of the those two.

What made you enter #SAYS20? How did you hear about it?  I heard about it through taking lessons with the Song Academy for a few terms.

What would you say to someone aged 8-18 who is thinking about entering the Song Academy Young Songwriter competition next year? Do you have any tips for them?  The best thing to remember is to enjoy the process. Enjoy writing the song, recording it, and even submitting it. Of course, getting recognition for your hard work feels amazing, but focusing on the process instead of the results is the most fulfilling.

What are your favourite other entries from this year’s competition? Who out of the other entrants (it doesn’t have to be a finalist!) would you like to collaborate with?  I really like Fences by Stan Buckroyd, Where You At? by James Bakian and As Long As You’re Mine by Hetta Falzon. I’d love to collaborate with any of those three.

What do you like about the Song Academy Young Songwriter competition?  I like how everyone has a chance to submit a song, no matter how many years of experience or level of production. It’s also such a good way to connect with different artists and hear everyone’s different musical styles.

Make sure you hear the latest Young Songwriter 2020 news first by following our social media channels – Instagram, Facebook  and Twitter.

 

Rosie Trentham is 16 years old from London and her song ‘Road To Heaven’ was selected as a top 60 song in The Song Academy Young Songwriter 2020 competition 13-18 year UK/Ireland category.  We caught up with Rosie recently to talk about all things songwriting!

What inspired you to write this song?  I wanted to write a song about love but not in the conventional way that song writers normally do. This song is about an event in history where love conquers over evil. When Russian soldiers went into the former concentration camp of Treblinka in Poland in 1944, the area was completely deserted except for a peaceful farm and a field of lupins. When they looked more closely, they could see the terrible things that had happened there. This song started life as an instrumental piece that I’d written just for piano. The lyrics and violin part were added later.

What got you into writing songs?  About three years ago, I reached the final of a competition called ‘Open mic UK’ as a singer pianist. Each round, we only had one song to impress the judges and I realised it would help me significantly if I had written it myself. This gave me a lot motivation and made me very critical of what I was writing from the very start.

What is your favorite part of the songwriting process?  I really enjoy involving other people in producing a finished version of a song. Once you’ve finished the main frame and lyrics, it’s always interesting to see how other instrumentalists and performers can add different ideas to what you initially intended and can make the song much more compelling.

Describe the set up for writing your song?  Before recording the song, it existed mostly as chords and lyrics in my head and a string part written down roughly on paper.

How do you usually start a song?  I hardly ever practice the piano but I play the piano a lot. This means I spend a lot of time improvising and making up little tunes and riffs and sometimes, if I think they’re good enough, I’ll follow them into a song. Normally the riff will inspire an idea or thought which eventually turns into lyrics.

Who would be your dream artist/band to collaborate with?  Lin Manuel Miranda because everything he writes is brilliant.

What made you enter #SAYS20? How did you hear about it?  The previous winners of Song Academy have done really well, so it seems like a really good platform to be seen and heard.

What would you say to someone aged 8-18 who is thinking about entering the Song Academy Young Songwriter competition next year? Do you have any tips for them?  Enter the competition… what’s the worst that can happen?

What are your favourite other entries from this year’s competition? Who out of the other entrants (it doesn’t have to be a finalist!) would you like to collaborate with?   I would want to collaborate with someone who was a really good live performer. I’ve seen Max Elliot play at the Basement Door in Richmond a couple of times and he is a really talented vocalist and instrumentalist. It would be really fun to collaborate in a live performance.

What do you like about the Song Academy Young Songwriter competition?  Getting to hear other people’s songs.

Make sure you hear the latest Young Songwriter 2020 news first by following our social media channels – Instagram, Facebook  and Twitter.

 

Nathan Greenfield is 18 years old from Liverpool and his song ‘Sixties Hearse’ was selected as a top 60 song in The Song Academy Young Songwriter 2020 competition 13-18 year UK/Ireland category.  We caught up with Nathan recently to talk about all things songwriting!

What inspired you to write your song?  It was inspired from a messy situation I was in when I went to Leeds Fest last year, when I got back I pretty much wrote it straight away and it just all came out onto the page

What got you into writing songs?  As things in my life were happening and as I was growing older, I sort of just started writing songs as a therapy, I’m no good at writing diaries or stories but I found that I can when it comes to music, so it became very good for me to write down how I was feeling etc into a song

What is your favourite part of the songwriting process?  I love writing choruses, I always know when it’s a good chorus so finding the right lyrics and chords to use is satisfying when I get them right!

Describe your setup that you used to write your #SAYS20 entry, was it just a pen and paper or a fully kitted out studio?  I always write songs with pen and paper to start off but with this one I had made a demo which was quite different to the final version, I then took it to my band and they added the other instruments

How do you usually start a song? How do you find that spark?  It’s very spontaneous for me, I just get a feeling that a song is coming, and then I’ll write it. Usually it’ll be inspired by something that’s happened to me but other times I just write what comes out naturally and it makes more sense to me when I listen back to it.

Who would be your dream artist/writer/band to collaborate with?Noel Gallagher has always been my songwriting idol but something tells me he’s not the type to collaborate, so I would have to go with Alex Turner, his lyrics are brilliant and it would be great to get an insight into his process

What made you enter #SAYS20? How did you hear about it?  I saw it on Facebook and I thought it would be a great opportunity to get my music out there, I rarely enter these kinds of things but I could tell that this was the kinda thing I wanted to get involved in, with the help it would provide and the great judging panel. Even just them hearing the song would be brilliant.

What would you say to someone aged 8-18 who is thinking about entering the Song Academy Young Songwriter competition next year? Do you have any tips for them?  Have confidence in your song! It’s very easy to criticise yourself too much and I know some people might not enter if they do not think they’re good enough but they could be sat on the next hit

What are your favourite other entries from this year’s competition? Who out of the other entrants (it doesn’t have to be a finalist!) would you like to collaborate with?  I love Sam Wilkinson’s voice, reminds me of Jake Bugg and his song is brilliant!

What do you like about the Song Academy Young Songwriter competition?  I think that it provides a brilliant opportunity to uncover talent across the country and for young artists to get feedback on their music, which I know means a lot!

Make sure you hear the latest Young Songwriter 2020 news first by following our social media channels – Instagram, Facebook  and Twitter.

 

Georgie Ross-Clyne is 17 years old from Southampton and her song ‘Energy’ was selected as a top 60 song in The Song Academy Young Songwriter 2020 competition 13-18 year UK/Ireland category.  We caught up with Georgie recently to talk about all things songwriting!

What inspired you to write your song?  I was inspired to write my song because I was getting bullied at school at the time and song writing was one way of expressing how I was feeling.

What got you into writing songs?  I first got into writing songs when I had a project at school to write a song.  I enjoyed the experience and wanted to write more and start becoming like my inspirations.

What is your favourite part of the songwriting process?  My favourite part of the songwriting process is writing the chorus and having fun with singing the chorus once I’ve got it; as the song can go wherever I decide from there.

Describe your setup that you used to write your #SAYS20 entry, was it just a pen and paper or a fully kitted out studio?  My #SAYS20 setup was at the college studio with guitar microphones and a normal voice mic too.

How do you usually start a song? How do you find that spark? Normally when I write songs, they’re all about something personal to me, as I find it easier to express my emotions when something has actually happened.

Who would be your dream artist/writer/band to collaborate with?My dream artist to collaborate with would be either Beyoncé or Selena Gomez as they have been my idols since I was young.

What made you enter #SAYS20? How did you hear about it?  My college had been creating a college album which my song was on, they really liked my song and suggested I enter the competition which I then agreed to as thought it was a great idea.

What would you say to someone aged 8-18 who is thinking about entering the Song Academy Young Songwriter competition next year?  My tip for anyone entering the competition would just be to go for it, as you never know the outcome. If you only enter and nothing comes from it, at least you have the experience and a song which means something to you. and if you get as far as potentially winning, your song could be big and you have an amazing opportunity by the end of it.

What are your favourite other entries from this year’s competition? Who out of the other entrants (it doesn’t have to be a finalist!) would you like to collaborate with?  I like the song “As long as you’re mine” by Hetta Falzon as her voice is so angelic and her lyrics fit her song so well. Also the piano is played so well. If I had an opportunity to collaborate with her I would 100% go for it.

What do you like about the Song Academy Young Songwriter competition?  I like the fact that no matter what your song is about you can enter and there’s an amazing experience with just signing up.

Make sure you hear the latest Young Songwriter 2020 news first by following our social media channels – Instagram, Facebook  and Twitter.

 

Mia Bran is 14 years old from Edgware, London and her song ‘Little Alchemy’ was selected as a top 60 song in The Song Academy Young Songwriter 2020 competition 13-18 year UK/Ireland category.  We caught up with Mia recently to talk about all things songwriting!

What inspired you to write your song?  My song inspired by the feeling of being used by someone. It expresses my anger through the lyrics and the term ‘Little Alchemy’ is referring to as if I was an experiment to someone.

What got you into writing songs?  I’ve been writing songs all my life. Since I could speak I was always at a keyboard in my house writing lyrics, even if they didn’t make sense. It came natural to me when I was young and I enjoy it more than anything. I’m very grateful!

What is your favourite part of the songwriting process?  It depends! For example, if I get an idea for a song (whether it’s a melody, a lyric or a theme) I just start with that and the whole song forms. So it’s always the first ideas that I enjoy the most, because I find it so exciting.

Describe your setup that you used to write your #SAYS20 entry, was it just a pen and paper or a fully kitted out studio?  I wrote the song at my keyboard in my room with a pen and paper. It took me about two days, and when it was finished, I asked my dad if I could record it at his studio since everything is better quality.

How do you usually start a song? How do you find that spark?  It varies all the time. Sometimes I’m in the most random situation and I think of a lyric or an idea, it mostly happens in the middle of a conversation with someone! I can never force lyrics. I only write when I feel like I need to.

Who would be your dream artist/writer/band to collaborate with?There are so many! I would absolutely love to write with Billie Eilish. I’ve been a fan of her for years and her lyrics are so meaningful. I would also like to do a duet with Audrey Mika. I feel like our voices would go well together and I love her music!

What made you enter #SAYS20? How did you hear about it?  I’ve entered the competition a few years in a row now, and I think it’s so fun. It always makes my year! It has made me meet some amazing people who I’m still in touch with now. I heard about it on a leaflet in 2018 at The Rhythm Studio.

What would you say to someone aged 8-18 who is thinking about entering the Song Academy Young Songwriter competition next year?  Go for it! It’s such an amazing opportunity, it allows your music to be heard and all the people who are involved are so kind. Song Academy is an amazing platform for young songwriters and definitely one of the best. I highly recommend it.

Do you have any tips for them?  Just be authentic! Don’t try and change your writing or your music because you think other people will like it more. People want to hear your real abilities and especially how unique you are.

What are your favourite other entries from this year’s competition? Who out of the other entrants (it doesn’t have to be a finalist!) would you like to collaborate with?  I love Alex Carroll’s song “Paint Me in Colours”. Her voice is so beautiful and I’d love to collaborate with her. She’s also really sweet!

What do you like about the Song Academy Young Songwriter competition?  I like that it enables young people like me to have incredible opportunities and get our music heard. It allows people to create new friends and it’s overall such a fun experience!

 

Make sure you hear the latest Young Songwriter 2020 news first by following our social media channels – Instagram, Facebook  and Twitter.

 

Kitty Dodd-Noble is 17 years old from Dorking, Surrey and her song ‘Black Heart’ was selected as a top 10 song in The Song Academy Young Songwriter 2020 competition 13-18 year UK/Ireland category.  We caught up with Kitty recently to talk about all things songwriting!

What got you into writing songs?  I got into writing when I was about 9, I use it as a therapy more than anything else really. It is a really weird feeling comparing how I physically feel after writing a song and prior. It’s like an actual physical weight has been taken out of me and I feel better.

What is your favourite part of the songwriting process?  My favourite part would definitely be writing the lyrics. I really love poetry. I also think that when I have something in my head that I need to get out, by looking at different angles of what’s going on (which I do when writing lyrics).

Describe your setup that you used to write your #SAYS20 entry, was it just a pen and paper or a fully kitted out studio?  I have a small setup in my room with a couple ROKIT 6s, an AKG 414, a komplete control midi controller and a focusrite box. So all fairly simple but does the job. I’m doing music tech A level, so each time I do something I learn more. Always learning more!

How do you usually start a song? How do you find that spark?  It’s really hard to describe. It’s a sort of body sensation. I get a lot of adrenaline and get very excited. Without this feeling I do find it hard to write a track because it’s not really real. I don’t know, the songs that I try to write are never as good as the ones I feel.

Who would be your dream artist/writer/band to collaborate with?I really love Amy Winehouse. I think her lyrics are so beautiful. She wrote with such art and such truth. I think even if you have never felt what she talks about in her songs, you still feel it with her. This is what I want to evoke in my songs too.

What made you enter #SAYS20? How did you hear about it?  I’m at Hurtwood House and my teacher sent an email round. But also… I went to Sauveterre with Rowena’s daughter so that’s where I heard about it originally.

What would you say to someone aged 8-18 who is thinking about entering the Song Academy Young Songwriter competition next year? Do you have any tips for them?  I mean, why not? Got nothing to lose, you can only gain something. I think everything you do in music (and in life I guess) is a learning curve. There’s always more to learn. So if you get the opportunity then why not?

What are your favourite other entries from this year’s competition? Who out of the other entrants (it doesn’t have to be a finalist!) would you like to collaborate with?  I haven’t really managed to get round to listening to many but there was one by a girl called Mia. I liked her lyrics and general sound-craft. Thought the mix was nice too, but I’d like to listen to more.

What do you like about the Song Academy Young Songwriter competition?  I think it’s great. It gives young people a place to put their music up and get some professional feedback.

Make sure you hear the latest Young Songwriter 2020 news first by following our social media channels – Instagram, Facebook  and Twitter.

 

Riley Stevenson is 11 years old from Fulham, London and his song ‘Thriple Threat’ was selected as a top 10 song in The Song Academy Young Songwriter 2020 competition 8-12 year UK/Ireland category.  We caught up with Riley recently to talk about all things songwriting!

What inspired you to write your song?  ( Triple Threat ) I’ve always wanted to be a triple threat. ( The Man ) I like to think the man is a different side of me the more confident side

What got you into writing songs?  I loved singing so I wanted to try writing my emotions on paper

What is your favourite part of the songwriting process?  My favourite part of the songwriting progress is writing the chorus because it’s    normally catchy and more fun to write because it’s the main message.

Describe your setup that you used to write your #SAYS20 entry, was it just a pen and paper or a fully kitted out studio?  My Setup was just a pen and paper and a guitar.

How do you usually start a song? How do you find that spark?  I normally get started by thinking of the topic and then normally I have loads of ideas in my head about the melody and lyrics

Who would be your dream artist/writer/band to collaborate with?My dream artist to collaborate with would be Grace Vanderwaal I love the music she creates with her ukulele.

What made you enter #SAYS20? How did you hear about it?I wanted to hear what chance my songs had in a competition.

What would you say to someone aged 8-18 who is thinking about entering the Song Academy Young Songwriter competition next year? Do you have any tips for them?  Just go for it and give it a shot you never know.  Write on what you have a lot in common with.

What are your favourite other entries from this year’s competition? Who out of the other entrants (it doesn’t have to be a finalist!) would you like to collaborate with?A place to play by Skye bishop and don’t you worry by Lily Criddle

What do you like about the Song Academy Young Songwriter competition?  I like that you can express yourself and it’s for all ages.

 

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