We’re super excited that Kevin Jones has joined our Young Ambassadors Board!  Kevin is a talented songwriter and musician who won The Young Songwriter 2018 competition.   We caught up with Kevin about how he got into songwriting, his advice for aspiring young songwriters and so much more.

What got you into music? Did you immediately start writing it or were you a fan for a bit first? I’ve always been into music, since I was a little kid. I think the idea of writing my own song was something I wanted to do, but didn’t really realize that I had the ability to do until I was around 10 years old. I really started writing a lot more in middle school after being inspired by British artists like The Beatles, ELO, and Tom Odell.

What is your favourite part of the songwriting process? Hard to choose a favorite part because they all kind of work together, but I’d say creating the melody. I love progressions that support a unique, yet beautiful melody. I consider melody to be the most important piece and if you have a great melody, then your song can just flow around it.

How do you usually start a song? How do you find that spark?  There are a lot of ways, but I usually start by messing with chord progressions on the piano. Sometimes I have ideas based off my own experiences that I feel like would make for a good song, but usually the music comes first. Several songs of mine recently have been started just with a drum loop though. I add instrumental layers to it until it creates a mood that I feel would convey something meaningful.

What achievement are you most proud of?  Opening for Tom Odell at Thalia Hall in Chicago

Which of your songs do you think is your best work and why?  Out of what I’ve released, it’s between Clara and Barista Girl. I love the simplicity and relatability of Clara while Barista Girl was quite intricate and I’m proud of the work I put into it.

Who would be your dream artist/writer/band to collaborate with? Jeff Lynne, Tom Odell, or Vulfpeck

Do you feel like you’ve mastered your craft or are you still learning? If you’re still learning, what’s your next milestone?  I don’t think anything is ever really mastered, you’re always learning something new. Right now I’m trying to learn how to write more genres for various artists that I’ve been collaborating with.

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?  Just go and make something! Don’t let anything cause you to doubt your ability. And have fun doing it! Make something you enjoy. If you run into a roadblock, don’t be discouraged. Take a break from the song if you need to and return with fresh ears. Listen to lots and lots of music!

Favourites round! Don’t think about it, just say what first comes to mind. Who/what is your favourite:

Artist? Theo Katzman

Songwriter? Tom Odell

Song? ‘What Did You Mean (When You Said Love)’

Album? Invitation to Her’s

Chord? Dbmaj7

Gig you’ve been to? ELO at the Hollywood Bowl

Lyric? “Love is a beautiful thing

And on your hand I see that there’s a ring

And I would understand if I had put that ring upon your hand

But it was not me, it seems

How could that be a thing of beauty?”

Genre? Shoegaze

Catchphrase? “That is NOT my job!”

Fruit? Strawberry

What’s your instrument of choice? Is there an instrument you would like to learn? Piano is my main instrument. Would love to become a better drummer

Do you have any hidden talents or party tricks? Cartoon voices

What are you non-musical hobbies? A little bit of video games and spending time with my girlfriend haha

What do you think matters most to 8-18 year olds? Being loved and finding good friendships

What do you like about Song Academy? How much effort they put into teaching kids about songwriting! People don’t realize how healthy songwriting is as an art form to practice. I love seeing kids learn to write music, I really wish we had more things like it over here in the states.

Aged 8-18? Written your own original songs?
Then enter The Young Songwriter 2020 competition before the 31st March 2020!

We’re thrilled that Cassa Jackson has joined our Young Ambassadors Board! Cassa is a twenty two year-old London based singer-songwriter signed to Marshall Arts booking agency (Pink, Elton John).  In 2019 she supported Jocelyn Brown three nights running at the Camden Jazz Cafe and ‘The Jacksons’ on their 50th anniversary tour in Spain.  We caught up with Cassa about how she got into songwriting, her advice for aspiring young songwriters and so much more.

What got you into music? Did you immediately start writing it or were you a fan for a bit first?  I’ve always absolutely loved music and used to love the lyrics in songs and would write the lyrics to my favourite songs down in a little notebook! I got into writing music at school. I had a friend who wanted to be a DJ and we wrote lots of songs together for fun and then one day we decided to enter it into Songacademy and that’s when I realised people actually liked the songs I wrote and that I wanted to be a singer-songwriter.

What is your favourite part of the songwriting process?  I love how a simple idea comes to life and how with each verse your initial vision comes together to create something amazing that people can sing along to!

How do you usually start a song? How do you find that spark?  I always start with the lyrics which is quite unusual I think but I always want my songs to really mean something. Normally I write songs for myself as a cathartic experience which helps me get things off my mind and gives me an outlet for what I’m feeling – free therapy, it’s brilliant!

What achievement are you most proud of?  I’m most proud of supporting ‘The Jacksons’ on their 50th anniversary tour in Spain. They’re such legends of music and so supportive to young artists like myself. The best moment was when Tito Jackson told me I was a brilliant songwriter, I couldn’t believe it!

Which of your songs do you think is your best work and why?  I think ‘Wild West’ is my best work in terms of lyrical songwriting – it’s a song about social media and the destructive effect it has on people. It’s a lament for the girl I used to be before I had the pressure of social media.   However, my song ‘New Horizons’ is arguably one of my best because it’s so uplifting and makes people sing along instantly, which is a sign of a good song!

Who would be your dream artist/writer/band to collaborate with?  Julia Michaels, she’s incredible and ever since I heard her song ‘Issues’ and heard how honest and raw she is and how clever she is with her phrasing it’s always been a dream of mine to work with her.

Do you feel like you’ve mastered your craft or are you still learning? If you’re still learning, what’s your next milestone?  Definitely not, I’m learning with every song I write and that’s the beauty of songwriting. I’ve come a very long way from my first song and yet I’m excited to keep perfecting my craft and find songs that will last the test of time.

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?  It sometimes help to write a poem first as that gets to into the practice of expressing your thoughts onto paper and then just listen to as much music as you can and you’ll start to realise what type of music you like and what you want to make yourself.

Favourites round! Don’t think about it, just say what first comes to mind. Who/what is your favourite:

Artist? Dua Lipa

Songwriter? Julia Michaels

Song? If I ain’t got you

Album? Songs about Jane (Maroon 5)

Chord? B major

Gig you’ve been to? Adele at the 02

Lyric? It’s been a year now, think I’ve figured out how, how to live without you without it ripping my heart out

Genre? Pop

Catchphrase? Nobody puts baby in the corner.

Fruit? Banana or watermelon

What’s your instrument of choice? Is there an instrument you would like to learn?
Piano. I’d love to learn guitar or something more rogue like Trumpet maybe.

Do you have any hidden talents or party tricks?  I can speak french and Spanish!

What are you non-musical hobbies?  I love playing tennis, a sociable competitive sport.

What do you think matters most to 8-18 year olds?  What matters most is probably friends at school and being loved. Having fun should be what matters most and enjoying everyday life.

What do you like about Song Academy?  I am Song Academy’s biggest fan, genuinely, it gives young people the opportunity and confidence in themselves to showcase their talents. But the main thing I love is the focus on songwriting, there’s so many singing talent shows out there but songwriting is what really makes people stand out – lots of people can sing, but songwriting takes that extra bit thought and passion.

Aged 8-18? Written your own original songs?
Then enter The Young Songwriter 2020 competition before the 31st March 2020!

We’re delighted that Katie Kittermaster has joined our Young Ambassadors Board! Katie is a super talented singer/songwriter from Kent who’s opened for some amazing artists including Olly Murs, Jools Holland and Ronan Keating and has toured with Keith Duffy, Brian Mcfadden and Lucy Spraggan!  We caught up with Katie about how she started songwriting and so much more.

What got you into music? Did you immediately start writing it or were you a fan for a bit first?   Sounds corny but I think I have always knew that I wanted to sing. My earliest memory was at a school nativity play when I was 4 and I sang a solo in a fairy outfit! I sang throughout my childhood and had sporadic lessons here and there (as we moved around quite a lot during school days). We moved to Dubai for 3 years and it was there that I had the opportunity to perform publicly. I was asked to sing on national TV (it was organised through the school I was attending) – it was like the UK’s version of This Morning. I sang Skinny Love by Birdy. From this I was approached by the organisers of Global Gift Gala, hosted by Eva Longoria and Ricky Martin, to open their event in Dubai. That was the moment I knew that this is what I wanted to do! I was 14 at the time.  I wrote my first song when I had my heart broken (probably an exaggeration!) at 15. Until then I had not been able to even start to write – I had no idea how to begin. I am dyslexic and cannot really read music, I’ve taught myself to play the guitar and the piano. I use both instruments to write but would like to improve (may be now we are all self – isolating, I can dedicate some time to practice).

What is your favourite part of the songwriting process?  It’s not something I have thought about before but recently I have been collaborating with other writers and producers and I have really enjoyed that; it’s definitely something I am keen to do more of. If I was to pinpoint one moment of the process that gives me the most pleasure is the first time I play my new song once I have finished it.

How do you usually start a song? How do you find that spark?  I take inspiration from the things going on in my life, things I see, people I meet. For me, there is no set process (unless I am writing with others and therefore we are writing on demand!). I write alone most of the time. I haven’t had so much time recently as I have been pretty much on tour since I left school. However, with the COVID19 situation that we have found ourselves in, I have had a lot more time to be creative. I don’t think there is a magic formula to writing, but if I have an idea or hook I am very happy to lock myself away until I have finished. I love to write and my favourite songs haven’t taken much time at all – T-shirt, which was one of my early songs took me about 10 minutes to write.

What achievement are you most proud of?  That’s a hard one. I feel very lucky to have been touring since school, initially with Brian MacFadden and Keith Duffy (Boyzlife) and then with Lucy Spraggan. I was on my 2nd tour with Boyzlife when the COVID19 virus hit. Singing to 2K+ people a night with the boys and singing on stage with them was incredible. But I think my proudest moment (and it may seem small to others) was selling out my first headline show. I was worried that nobody would come but it sold out in a few days!!!! Sadly it is now postponed until further notice.

Which of your songs do you think is your best work and why?  Although I wrote it when I was 15, I still think T-shirt is one of my best songs. So many people say that they can relate to it. I feel my writing is developling and maturing I guess but lyrics are the most important thing to me. I want to be a storyteller. I have written over 30 songs but have only released 5 as I have been so busy touring. The time will come soon I hope.

Who would be your dream artist/writer/band to collaborate with?  Cliche perhaps but 100% Ed Sheeran.

Do you feel like you’ve mastered your craft or are you still learning? If you’re still learning, what’s your next milestone?  I am definitely still learning. Each time I have a writing session, I learn from others and about myself, I have performed over 100 times since I left school and this has taught me so much – not just about performing and stagecraft but also about writing and what songs work live. Sometimes you may believe that you have a great song if you get the chance to perform it over and over then you can change it up to make it even better. I am not the sort of person to set milestones; that could be an error. But I just want to keep performing live, I want to collaborate more and I am hoping to have a headline tour in 2021.

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?  Try and write something every day. However small.  Keep a notebook/phone with you as if you are like me you will think of a hook/line/lyric at the weirdest times.  Gig as much as possible so that you can test out your songs.  Believe in yourself, grow a thick skin and keep going.

Favourites round! Don’t think about it, just say what first comes to mind. Who/what is your favourite:

Artist? Maisie Peters

Songwriter?  Ed Sheeran

Song?  Naive (Kooks)

Album?  Harry Styles – Fine Line

Chord?  C Flat Minor

Gig you’ve been to?  Reading Festival

Lyric?  You feel like home to me

Genre?  Indie/Pop

Catchphrase?  Cut off your split ends and I’m not just talking about your hair

Fruit? Raspberry

What’s your instrument of choice? Is there an instrument you would like to learn?  Guitar – Guitar!

What are you non-musical hobbies?
Friends, baking, skiing

What do you think matters most to 8-18 year olds?  Wellbeing – Happiness – Friendship/relationships – Grades

What do you like about Song Academy?
Love that Song Academy supports unsigned artists and young artists and encourages them to experiment with their creativity.

Aged 8-18? Written your own original songs?
Then enter The Young Songwriter 2020 competition before the 31st March 2020!

We’re super excited that Gus Harrower has joined our Young Ambassadors Board.  Gus is a brilliant singer songwriter from Scotland and won The Young Songwriter 2016 competition and has gone on from strength to strength.

What got you into music? Did you immediately start writing it or were you a fan for a bit first? I used to be involved with musical theatre so I was always into performing and was especially interested in the music side. I’ve also been playing piano from an early age but didn’t start actually writing music until I was around 13/14. I had my first gig but was going to be performing a set full of covers so wanted an original song in there too.

What is your favourite part of the songwriting process? I can take ages to write a song. Ideas that I had months ago will reappear in my voice memos or pop back into my head at random times but my favourite part of the writing process is when you can see a song, or these ideas become a bigger thing. Its like when you’re baking a cake and you start with the mixture but it doesn’t really look like a cake until it’s baked and all it needs is decorated. If that even makes sense.

How do you usually start a song? How do you find that spark? It can start in different ways. Sometimes it starts with a lyric (with or without music) or sometimes with a chord structure. It can really depend. I’ll occasionally start a song with a title too, that can be fun. For me, I don’t think I know a song is good until it’s all finished and I can hear it in it’s entirety.

What achievement are you most proud of? I’m proud of getting recognised for my songwriting. Of course, winning the Song Academy Young Songwriter competition back in 2016 was incredible and getting to perform my song at Wembley Arena was mental and something I won’t forget. Recently, I was a finalist in BBC Radio Scotlands singer/songwriter award which was also a fantastic experience.

Which of your songs do you think is your best work and why? Ooh this is a tough one. One of my favourite songs of mine is one called ‘Where We Were’ and I just think lyrically its the strongest. I released that on a self-produced EP a couple of years ago alongside a track called ‘Rosie’ which again is a song close to my heart.

Who would be your dream artist/writer/band to collaborate with? Gary Barlow

Do you feel like you’ve mastered your craft or are you still learning? If you’re still learning, what’s your next milestone? I’m always learning! Even by listening to new music, going to see a gig etc. all of that plays into what you write and if I was to say ‘I have mastered it’ I’d be so wrong. And I’d hope someone would tell me that!

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? Songwriting is just like writing a poem or a story. There’s no right way to do it so don’t be scared to dive in and get started. And to be people already writing, I think the most important thing is to be honest, to yourself and to the music. For a while I tried to force music onto a page and I didn’t get anywhere with it.

Favourites round! Don’t think about it, just say what first comes to mind. Who/what is your favourite:

Artist? Bon Iver

Songwriter? Justin Currie

Song? Vincent by Don McLean.

Album? 22, A Million

Chord? Anything with a major 7th and added 9th.

Gig you’ve been to? Take That

Lyric? “Tell her something in my heart.  Needs her more than even clowns need the laughter of the crowd” from Tell Her This by Del Amitri

Genre? Pop

Catchphrase? “S’all Good man”

Fruit? Apples

What’s your instrument of choice? Is there an instrument you would like to learn? I want to learn the drums.

Do you have any hidden talents or party tricks? I can make a snake with my hands. Not that impressive.

What are you non-musical hobbies? I like watching films, playing video games, and I went bouldering once so I’ll class that as a hobby!

What do you think matters most to 8-18 year olds? Being happy, creative and confident.

What do you like about Song Academy? It’s a unique platform to showcase young songwriters and gives them a chance to meet and collaborate with other musicians.

Aged 8-18? Written your own original songs?
Then enter The Young Songwriter 2020 competition before the 31st March 2020!

We’re thrilled that Miriam Nyarko has joined our Young Ambassadors Board!  She’s not only a fabulous singer/songwriter but also an impressive actress and dancer.  We got to talk to her about how she got into music, her tips for aspiring young songwriters, and so much more.

What got you into music? Did you immediately start writing it or were you a fan for a bit first?  I started singing in church at around 4 years old it wasn’t till 7 I starting getting lessons and then at 11/12 I started to get an interest in writing song (that weren’t very good) LOL x

What is your favourite part of the songwriting process?  Releasing thoughts in my head and just seeing what I can create. It’s freedom of … song ;)

How do you usually start a song? How do you find that spark?  It differs a lot of the time!! Depending on the vibe of the song or my inspiration a lot of the time I’ll find my melody and then just freestyle ; singing to my music or write based on current circumstances and peace it together. Chorus MOSTLY comes first !!

What achievement are you most proud of?  Performing an original at the Royal Albert Hall has to be one of my favourite moments!

Which of your songs do you think is your best work and why?  Either the song I wrote for my friend who passed away because I had a lot of emotion to feed off and it made the situation easier to deal with. Or my single that I released this year call ‘Step By Step’.

Who would be your dream artist/writer/band to collaborate with?  That’s a hard question because I have so many. But probably. Tori Kelly, John Legend or H.E.R.

Do you feel like you’ve mastered your craft or are you still learning? If you’re still learning, what’s your next milestone?  I feel like you can get to a place where you’re content with how you write and a way that always works but I don’t think you ever stop learning. I definitely have a lot more to learn and I definitely wanna release more music.

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 wait for the perfect topic or perfect melody, the only way you can get better is if you start! Never stop writing because sometimes you’ll have a brilliant idea and other times you might have writers block which is okay. Be inspired by the things around you and stay true to your style!

Favourites round! Don’t think about it, just say what first comes to mind. Who/what is your favourite:

Artist? Tori Kelly

Songwriter?  Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Ed Sheeran, Elton John, So many!!

Song?  I can’t choose!!

Album?  Inspired by true events – Tori Kelly

Chord?  F sharp minor … no explanation

Gig you’ve been to?  Does Beyoncé’s tour count as a gig?

Lyric?  Again I cannot choose.

Genre?  RnB

Catchphrase?  Everything Happens For A Reason

Fruit?  Fun fact I am allergic to A LOT of fruit.  But I eat grapes !!

What’s your instrument of choice? Is there an instrument you would like to learn?  Piano is my go to. And I’m currently learning guitar so I guess I want to continue learning that.

Do you have any hidden talents or party tricks?  My ankle is double jointed … it’s hard to explain.

What are you non-musical hobbies?  I’m also an actress for the bbc and I love to dance!

What do you think matters most to 8-18 year olds?  I think that varies because everybody’s lives and circumstances are different but I feel like it’s very easy to care about what people think about you in this generation and well … you just shouldn’t.

What do you like about Song Academy?  How it’s inspires kids to be themselves and opens many doors and opportunities for young songwriters.

Aged 8-18? Written your own original songs?
Then enter The Young Songwriter 2020 competition before the 31st March 2020!

 

We’re delighted that Jenk Oz has joined our Young Ambassadors Board!  Jenk is an entrepreneur, speaker, actor, musician, DJ and founder of Thred Media.  Jenk talks to us about how he got started as a musician, his advice for young people interested in songwriting and so much more.

What got you into music?  I started taking piano lessons at school once a week when I was 5 years old, it seemed like everyone was picking up an instrument, so I thought why not give it a go.  Over time, I started picking up other instruments so I could play a certain type of instrument based on the songs I was interested in learning. Alto sax suited more jazz type songs, guitar was well suited to pop and the drums was my rock outlet!

What is your favourite part of the songwriting process?  To date, I have not written that many songs but when I started, it was all about the rhymes and the rap. I wanted to be the Fresh Prince of Belair!

What achievement are you most proud of?  Grade 8 Piano and professional DJ gigs

Who would be your dream artist/writer/band to collaborate with?  Drake and Calvin Harris

Do you feel like you’ve mastered your craft or are you still learning? If you’re still learning, what’s your next milestone?  Piano Diploma

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?  The faster you take the words/melodies out of your head and write them down, the faster you can free up space for the next round of creative thoughts!

Favourites round! Don’t think about it, just say what first comes to mind. Who/what is your favourite:

Artist?  Queen and Loyle Carner

Songwriter?  Dave

Song?  Hell N Back and Death Bed

Album?  Scorpion

Chord?  B flat 11 chord in Bohemian Rhapsody- best song ever written

Gig you’ve been to?  As crazy as it sounds, I’ve been to 100+ shows, nothing beats LIVE

Lyric?  Anything in the song Gold Digger- Kanye

Genre?  Hip Hop

What’s your instrument of choice? Is there an instrument you would like to learn?  Piano

Do you have any hidden talents or party tricks?  Whip cream catch

What are your non-musical hobbies?  DJing, acting and Rugby

What do you think matters most to 8-18 year olds?  Their phones

What do you like about Song Academy?  Gives young people a chance to express their feelings through song, it’s an outlet 24/7 no matter what is happening around them.

Aged 8-18? Written your own original songs?
Then enter The Young Songwriter 2020 competition before the 31st March 2020!

The Young Songwriter 2019 live showcase + 10th anniversary celebration of Song Academy
Saturday 22nd June, 7pm – 9:30pm
at The Tabernacle in Notting Hill, London

Don’t miss out on seeing the stars of tomorrow performing in an intimate setting. This exciting showcase will celebrate the creative talents of The Young Songwriter 2019 competition finalists, whilst demonstrating the power of songwriting as a means of building confidence and connecting the youth of tomorrow’s music scene. Performers will include winners of The Young Songwriter Competition 2019 (UK & Ireland), selected finalists and Song Academy alumni who are making waves in the industry.

Special guest performers include Janet Devlin! We are delighted that the showcase will be compered by three young creative stars – Jenk Oz, Sebastian Croft and Miriam Nyarko.

Book your tickets now before they sell out! Email contact@songacademy.co.uk.  Available tickets cost £10.

Full line-up to be announced shortly!

 

With the 10th anniversary of Song Academy this year, we’ve looked back over the last 10 years to see which Song Academy alumni of our songwriting clubs/workshops and The Young Songwriter competition, who are making waves in the Music industry and are on the rise!

In order from left to right…

MULLALLY. Mullally was a Young Songwriter 2015 finalist.  He has been called the “The new master of an edgy soulful sound.” Mullally aged 21, began his musical venture from the age of just 16, where he played the guitar, wrote and recorded music in a band with his 3 best friends before going solo at the age of 18. From Great Yarmouth Mullally moved to London and spent some time in LA to work with some of the most talented producers, songwriters and artists including Anne Marie, Rudimental, Fred Ball (Rihanna, Jay Z, Beyoncé), DarkChild (Michael Jackson, Rihanna, Sam Smith), Danny Parker (Shawn Mendes, Nick Jonas), Jason Evigan (Maroon 5,Bebe Rexha) Cool & Dre (DJ Khaled, Beyoncé, Jay Z), Two Inch Punch (Sam Smith, Rag n Bone Man) Amy Wadge (Ed Sheeran), Jamie Scott (Justin Bieber, Rag N Bone Man, Major Lazer) Harmony Samuels (Ariana Grande, Chris Brown, Ella Mai), Eg White (Adele, Florence + Machine).

Mullally has performed at sold out headline shows in both L.A. & London, festival performances & support slots for some of the UK’s most revered artists including Jess Glynne, Anne-Marie, Rag n Bone Man, Clean Bandit and Sean Paul.

NATALIE SHAY.  Natalie has been a Young Songwriter finalists for 3 years in a row.  Aged 19 year old she is a multi award-winning, indie pop/rock artist from North London. Deemed as one of London’s hottest emerging talents, Shay is launching herself into the forefront of the industry, with recent critical acclaim. Natalie’s talents have found herself performing to sold-out audiences at some of London’s most iconic and renown venues, including The Roundhouse, Ronnie Scotts and Brooklyn Bowl, O2. Natalie’s new single ‘This Feeling’ landed Shay at a stunning number 4 on the iTunes singer/songwriter charts.

ROMAN LEWIS. Roman was one of the first members of the Song Academy songwriting clubs and has been a Young Songwriter 2019 finalist for a couple of years. Roman was one of the eleven Song Academy songwriters who wrote ‘Right To Be Loved’ to raise awareness of the large number of vulnerable children in care and the difference that adoption and fostering makes in the world, for both child and parent.  In a world inundated with singer-songwriters, Roman Lewis, at just 18 years-old, figured out how to do something very few of them do – be himself. His feverish youth, animated delivery, and unambiguous passion shines through on every verse, and his songwriting, sometimes inspired by 18th Century poetry, is rich beyond his years.

Roman’s debut project “Heartbreak (for now)” is quickly gaining traction all over the world, and for good reason. He is tapped into the mindset of the new generation because it’s his own. No doubt that within a few years Roman will be at the helm of a brand new generation of singer-songwriters capturing the hearts of anyone with two ears and a soul.

KATIE KITTERMASTER.  Katie was runner up in The Young Songwriter 2018 competition. Katie’s songwriting is based on her personal experiences, which resonate strongly with her peers. Her vocals are haunting and distinctive.   Katie lived in Dubai for 3 years where she was lucky enough to perform for Ricky Martin, 50 Cent and Eva Longoria. She also opened the charity event at the British Embassy for the high profile charity ‘Help For Heroes’.

‘Can You Hear Me?’ is Katie’s debut single. She gained her first BBC airplay with BBC 3 Counties on the Mike Naylor show. She has also had an incredible amount of local radio play, which bodes very well for the future.

Katie will be going on tour with Brian McFadden and Keith Duffy of Boyzlife in September.

OSCAR LANG.  Oscar attended Song Academy songwriting clubs for several years and has been highly commended in many Young Songwriter competitions. Now 19 years old, he began writing music in 2011 at age 11, but only properly started writing as ‘pig’ in 2016. Since then, he has released two self-produced albums, Teenage Hurt and Silk, on Spotify. Oscar has a great group of creative friends, from artists (including Beabadoobee), film makers and musicians around him to spark ideas and collaborate on making music.

MALORY TORR.  Malory was runner up in The Young Songwriter 2013 competition. After recently opening for George Ezra at a Kingston gig, 19 year old London singer/songwriter Malory Torr has an exciting career ahead of her. Malory has a rare sound  (often described as ‘quirky and unusual with interesting lyrics’), using a combination of ukulele, guitar and banjo to create her indie/pop originals. She has gigged for several years appearing at the O2’s Indigo Stage, Soho Pizza Express, The Pheasantry Chelsea, Half Moon in Putney, Troubadour, Proud Camden and many more. In the summer of 2013 Malory was featured as ‘Uncharted Territory’ artist of the week by Richard Madeley on Terry Wogan’s show on BBCRadio2. The chosen song was ‘Birds and the Bees’. In addition her track ‘Heart of Gold’ was played on Dermot O’Leary’s show on BBCRadio2 in August.

ARCHIE FAULKS.  Archie won The Young Songwriter 2013 competition.  He first rose to prominence under the moniker Tenterhook in 2014. As Tenterhook he enjoyed tearaway success over the course of two EPs, which spawned radio hits that led him to be featured as Zane Lowe’s Next Hype on Radio 1, while also receiving support from BBC 6Music and Radio X. He became a worldwide No.1 on Hype Machine, clocked up millions of plays on Spotify and completed a number of tours across the UK and Europe playing with the likes of Asgeir and Rhodes.

Europe got a sneak peak of the new Archie Faulks sound earlier this year when he played a number of shows with Isaac Gracie that went down a storm. ‘It Rains’ is Archie’s debut single.

‘LAST ONE HOME’.  The Band Last One Home were a Young Songwriter 2017 finalist.  Last One Home are the stage-shaking, up-and-coming, pop rock band consisting of songwriter and singer-guitarist Tom Westlake, bassist Harry Lowndes and drummer Phil Horler.

The band have hit 2019 full-on with major success, making it to the top 20 shortlist of the DrakeYolanDa Award out of hundreds of applicants from across the UK. This newly prestigious award scheme resulted in a performance in front of judges Gareth Malone, Matt Cardle, YolanDa Brown, Ben Earle and Roisin O’Connor.

​Last One Home’s latest single ‘You Don’t Have To Hold On’ was released in February and gained vast amounts of popularity, immediately being added to the ‘Indie Radar’ and ‘This Noise Rocks’ playlists on Spotify! It has since been added to This Feeling’s ‘Best New Bands’ playlist!  The band’s success so far has led them to support internationally famous bands such as ‘Crazy Town’, ‘Courage My Love’ and ‘Halflives’ on their UK tours.

KEVIN JONES.  Kevin won The Young Songwriter 2018 competition, international category.  He’s a 19-year-old indie rock artist and producer from Indianapolis with a uniquely charming catalogue of music, from the melodically driven ‘Limelight’ EP to his newest single ‘Barista Girl’. His classic yet eclectic songwriting style has gained acclaim from the indie community and beyond.

‘Kevin & the Anti-socials’ is an indie rock/pop band fronted by Kevin and formed in Indianapolis. Their contagious melodies and classic pop sensibilities make for a fresh, youthful take on the mesmeric sounds of the 60s & 70s. All while in tune with the jazz-infused footsteps of Mac DeMarco and boy pablo. Featuring the talents of Grace Mann (drums), Michael Kaster (bass), & Brandon Kaster (keys), they’re certainly a new group to keep an eye on.

In September 2018, he opened for British indie artist Tom Odell in Los Angeles at the Moroccan Lounge, for the first concert of Odell’s 2018-19 ‘Jubilee Road’ tour.

GABRIEL DRYSS.  Gabriel was one of the first members of Song Academy songwriting clubs and been highly commended in several Young Songwriter competitions.  Gabriel joined ‘Kids United’ with Unicef when he was 12 and toured the world.  He got to the finals of The Voice 2019.  Gabriel is a singer, songwriter, actor and dancer.

TABITHA JADE.  Tabitha was a Young Songwriter 2018 finalist and winner of the best vocalist award.  This rapidly emerging Artist currently studying at Paul McCartneys LIPA, has scooped a multitude of awards including; National Songwriting 2015 (Sony and Universal), nominated BOB Unsigned Music Awards Best Female 2017, Best Live Act 2018 Liverpool Lifestyle Awards, Winner of Best Female Urban (Radio Online) 2017, and Winner of OpenMicUK 2018. In Liverpool she’s one of the coveted LIMF Academy Top 20 & One To Watch , confirming her as one of the UK’s top Teens.

The vibe is Soulful, having grown up listening to: RnB; HipHop, Dance, Reggae, Jazz and Pop. Live fronting the band on main stages is where Tabitha has received critical acclaim.  She’s spent the last few years gigging Nationally, touring across the UK’s major northern and southern City Arena’s and Festivals.

TAYLOR GAYLE.  Very few teenage music artists earn and discover the kind of success already experienced by Taylor Gayle. The pop and soul singer-songwriter has performed at some of the nation’s most popular venues, including New York City’s Apollo Theater, and Nashville’s Bluebird Café and Tin Pan South. Taylor has also received wide recognition for her songwriting, She won the 2017 Song Academy’s International Young Songwriter Category and was a finalist in the Smoky Mountain Songwriting Festival Songwriting Competition. She won the 2017 Your Music Out Loud in the USA Youth Achievement Award and has been a finalist in the John Lennon Songwriting Competition, and the Unsigned Only Competitions.

REBECCA CLEMENTS. Rebecca was runner up in The Young Songwriter 2013 competition.  Now working with Iain Archer, the producer behind Gabrielle Aplin and Jake Bugg, Rebecca is making a name for herself as one of the UK’s most exciting new songwriters.

Hailing from Bristol, her music has raised comparisons with the likes of Adele and The Kids Are Solid Gold alumni Daughter, and gained props from The Line of Best Fit.

SOPHIE DEMASI.  Sophie won The Young Songwriter 2017 competition.  She’s a singer/songwriter/producer from West London whose music has been described as having a pop structure with a hip hop beat and layered, harmonized vocals.

SAATCHI SEN.  Saachi is an Indie-Pop act with a Jazz twist, playing exciting, eclectic, original music. Featuring keys, kit, brass and bass, with high energy vocals, the band has played to packed out audiences at venues like the iconic Borderline, Camden Assembly, Upstairs at the Garage and the Cambridge Junction. They also achieved finalist status in the Isle of Wight Festival’s New Blood competition as one of 8 out of over 2000 entrant acts, as well as the Cambridge Band Competition, broadcast on Cambridge TV and radio. Lead singer Saachi Sen’s songwriting has gained high level recognition, receiving PRS for Music’s Lynsey de Paul prize and featuring on compilation albums from Roundhouse and EMI’s 30/30 project and The Song Academy Young Songwriter. Saachi is a Roundhouse Resident Artist for 2017-18. Every Saachi gig is a chance to hear something new, fresh and unexpected.

The band has released their singles ‘Anaesthetise’ and ‘I Need Real Love’ on Spotify and other popular music platforms, as well as their first music video ‘Redcoat’.

ROSIE SULLIVAN.  The talented 18-year-old from the Isle of Lewis has had a busy career already since winning The Young Songwriter 2015 competition.  Since then Rosie has released two E.P.’s. She released her debut E.P. “Wonderland” in 2016 and in October 2018 released her new E.P. “Space”. She has performed regularly including slots at Belladrum and Thornhill festivals and won fans and admirers from all over the world. In October 2017, went on her first tour with two other artists from Edinburgh and Glasgow. Partners with Creative Scotland, ‘Hit the Road’ is a three day tour experience, playing at each artists home town.

GUS HARROWER. Gus won The Young Songwriter 2016 competition.  He is widely regarded as one of Scotland’s most innovative young musicians. Since the release of his debut EP in 2015, he has become a regular feature of the Edinburgh music scene and has made a name for himself, performing in a range of venues across the country; from Sneaky Pete’s in Edinburgh, to Glasgows 02, and most notably, a packed out Wembley Arena. He kick-started 2018 with his sophomore EP, Where We Were, venturing into a darker, more politicised approach to songwriting.

The success of his latest EP has landed him a nomination alongside breakthrough artists Lewis Capaldi and Callum Beattie in the Scottish Alternative Music Awards. While his experience touring with Hit The Road was one of many catalysts for his mature development between his two EP’s.  Having recently drawn comparisons to Bon Iver and Jack Garrett, his ability to write and perform infectious anthems has been recognised on BBC Radio Scotland as Janice Forsyth’s song of the week.

EMI MCDADE. Emi was runner up in The Young Songwriter 2015 and 2016 competitions. She has performed on stages such as BBC Introducing, Ronnie Scott’s, Guildhall, Sofar Sounds, Thekla, The Bedford, and many others, headlining the Acoustic Stage of Dot to Dot Festival, as well as supporting artists such as JP Cooper, Mike Dignam, Tom Crouch, Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker, and performed alongside artists such as Jasmine Thompson. With recent singles, Emi has received extensive radio play throughout the UK, Australia, and America (as well as regular play on BBC and BBC Introducing), sold out her first headline shows, and became a featured artist on Noel Edmund’s new radio ‘Positively Talented’.

CASSA JACKSON. Cassa is a twenty year old London based singer-songwriter with a soulful edge. She was a Young Songwriter finalist in 2016.  Her debut single ‘PRISONER’ and is available on all music platforms and the eerie music video on cassajacksonVEVO. She wrote her first EP working alongside Jessica Sharman (Song Academy songwriting leader who was influential in the Ward Thomas’ number one album on iTunes ‘Cartwheels’. In 2017, highlights for her included performing as a guest solo artist at Wembley Arena for the ‘Voice In A Million’ charity event and performing a set at ‘Colour Day Festival’ in Athens to a crowd of 40,000 with a renowned Greek DJ. She now regularly gigs in London at places such as ‘The Bedford’ in Balham, ‘Sketch’ in Oxford Circus and ‘The Fiddler’s Elbow’ in Camden. Her genre is soul pop and she likens herself to artists such as Julia Michaels, Dua Lipa, Adele and KT Tunstall. She is currently working with the musical director of ‘Hamilton’ on some new sassy tracks.

RALPH TAYLOR.   Ralph was a Young Songwriter 2016 finalist.  The Suffolk-born musician is just 21 years old, but his aptitude for complex groovy beats, hook-laden arrangements, and deep pop sensibilities belies his youth. With refined productions, chic melodies, and a lax vocal delivery, the South London artist’s modern resonance is energizing and hip. Drawing sonic inspirations from the likes of Prince, Jamie Woon, and rising star Rex Orange County, Taylor shows off his affinity for crisp-pop and authentic lyrics.

MATILDA MANN. Matilda was a Young Songwriter 2018 finalist and has been a member of Song Academy songwriting clubs.  London-based, aged 19, she brings on stage a concentrate of melancholic, stripped-down ballads that showcase the young artist’s remarkable skill set and a sensibility for indie folk influences.

BRENDAN CLEARY.  Brendan was a Young Songwriter 2014 finalist.  Moving to London at the age of 18, Brendan has spent time honing his craft in both Ireland and the Lake District, where his home was always filled with the likes of The Beatles, The Eagles, Simon & Garfunkel and James Taylor, all of whom he cites as big inspirations for his musical style. Since moving to the capital, Brendan worked tirelessly to improve his stature as a music artist and songwriter; enrolling on to BIMM London’s Songwriting course, joining the infamous London gig circuit and enjoying regular airplay on BBC Introducing and local independent radio stations. One of his promoters in London has been quoted as saying: “He offers a wide variety of thoughtful and well-written original music that sparks emotion in the audience” as well as “Everything he does is believable and makes you really want to listen to what he is saying”.

Brendan has supported acts like David Gray, Paddy Casey and Brian Kennedy to name a few.  Brendan has also worked with songwriters from; Graham Henderson (Sinead O’Connor), Belen Arjona (Latin Grammy nominee) to F/H block and the TMS production team which reinforces his diversity as a Songwriter. He is currently working on new music but in the meantime he is discovering his talents as a top line writer for Tim Van Werd and Aidan Black to name a few!

Brendan now leads several Song Academy songwriting clubs in West London.

LOUIS COUPE.  Louis was a Young Songwriter 2013 finalist.   From his beginnings as the outcast in music class, Louis Coupe has forged his own path through a sheer passion for music. It was a surprise ticket to see Elton John that saw the then 12-year-old instantly obsessed with the music of the greats – The Beatles, The Stones, ELO, and Louis set about teaching himself any instrument he could find.

After years of honing his craft and earning his stripes touring the local circuit as well as any pub, boat, living room and arenas across the UK, Louis’s rebellious maverick attitude towards music really does leave any musical rulebook firmly at the door.  Contrasting his confident and dynamic live show, Louis’ writing encompasses a frank and cynical perspective on his life, from honest discussions on relationships and anxiety, to ironic conversations around the human existence, which shows a quiet, vulnerable side to the energetic front man. Taking influence from a huge range of music from the lo-fi vibes of Bon Iver and Jeff Buckley, to the eclectic sounds and melodies akin to the likes of Bowie and Father John Misty, Louis fashions together a diverse and experimental, yet classic sound, channeling all the egos and authenticity of his historical counterparts.

GILSKA WEERAKKODY.  Gilska was a member of Song Academy songwriting clubs for many years and has been a Young Songwriter finalist.  Gilska was one of the eleven Song Academy songwriters who wrote ‘Right To Be Loved’ to raise awareness of the large number of vulnerable children in care and the difference that adoption and fostering makes in the world, for both child and parent.  Gilska has performed with Voice in a Million for a couple of years and reached the Open Mic UK competition regional finals.  She is currently a vocal diploma student at the music school ACM.

Aurelia is 17 years old, from Wandsworth, London.  Her song ‘Stupid Squirrel’ made the Top 30 in The Young Songwriter 2019 competition 13-18 years UK & Ireland Category.  Congratulations!  Here’s a bit about Aurelia and her songwriting.

What inspired you to write your SAYS19 Top 30 song?  At the time of writing stupid squirrel I had been feeling very anxious from things that were happening in my personal life and had a lot of obstructive thoughts and feelings; this song was about the fragility and naivety of myself, as well as how I am in a way thankful for staying child like. Although it often makes things seem a million times more scary and overwhelming, it also makes small things much more exciting, I feel like it also helps with my creativity.

How long have you been writing songs?  I started singing as far back as I can remember, I began to write songs (albeit very very bad ones) when I got into secondary school. I started taking it more seriously in the past couple of years.

How did you get into songwriting?  Since I was very young I have always enjoyed writing poetry using different techniques, especially metaphors, poetry definitely helped me get into songwriting a whole bunch more. However I think the main thing that spurred me to write was when I started learning guitar by myself. I would just play simple chords and improvise a tune, not really taking it very seriously at the time, it just felt natural. I definitely started feeling the urge to actually make proper songs after I learned basic production skills after studying music at GCSE.

What does songwriting allow you to explore and achieve?  For as long as I can remember I have always struggled with expressing my feelings. I find it hard to pinpoint exactly what I’m feeling and why, and I find it even more difficult trying to explain my feelings to another person. When I write songs, I change my feelings into metaphors that seem to capture how I am feeling in that current moment, though those metaphors may not make sense to some people I know that it may for a few. I believe we shouldn’t narrow down complex feelings to one simple word or cause, as everyone feels things differently. For me, using metaphorical descriptions and stories help me to get across these feelings that I wouldn’t be able to explain otherwise. I also really love writing about issues that aren’t just about broken hearts, but about important issues we currently face as a society, such as mental health, or even things like climate change. I want to be able to help the world as well as people with the things I create.

What’s your favourite part of the songwriting process?  Definitely writing lyrics, it’s the part that I always have the most fun with and try to come up with experimental ways to represent feelings and themes!

What’s the most difficult part of the creative process of songwriting for you?  I have always found coming up with a melody difficult, as for me most of my favourite songs I have created have had a melody which came naturally with the lyrics. If the melody is unclear and doesn’t come easily with the lyrics I write I usually find it hard to continue writing that particular song.

Do you start with lyrics or melodies/chords?  For me this is really flexible and changes a lot depending on my mood. Sometimes I’ll get a tune in my head and start writing finding chords and lyrics from that melody and sometimes I start with a couple of lyrics that I wrote and liked.

What do you like about The Young Songwriter competition?  I loved the experience of being introduced to new sounds and being inspired by the amount of young people trying their hardest like I am. Being selected for the top 30 was also an amazing experience and has definitely increased my confidence about the songs that I create and has made me want to try even harder to pursue what I want to do. It kind of turned my dream into a goal, so as to say.

What are your three favourite artists/songs?  I find it really hard to narrow down favourites, especially when it comes to specific songs, but I think my main inspirations when it comes to creating music are Queen, Gorillaz and cavetown. Each of these artists have such unique sounds to their music, which is what I want to achieve within my own and are probably the most influential to my style at this current moment, especially Gorillaz and cavetown. I also really like artists such as Dodie, Rex Orange County, spookyghostboy, the list goes on.

Ten years from now you will be… Writing songs ! Hopefully ! It’s what I enjoy the most and I hope that I can keep creating tunes that bring happiness to people and target issues that I feel need exposure :)

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not writing songs?  Well I take art at college, so I very much enjoy doing art and character design, as well as watching too much anime and netflix. I also very much enjoy playing Splatoon with my friends whenever I get the time !

The top 3 songs will be announced on the 23rd May.  Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to hear the announcement first! #SAYS19 #songwriting #newmusic #expressyourself #beheard

The Young Songwriter 2019 showcase & 10th anniversary of Song Academy celebration will be on Saturday 22nd June at 7pm at The Tabernacle, Notting Hill, London.

Clara is 15 years old, from London.  Her song ‘Sanity’ made the Top 30 in The Young Songwriter 2019 competition 13-18 years UK & Ireland Category.  Congratulations!  Here’s a bit about Clara and her songwriting.

What inspired you to write your SAYS19 Top 30 song?  To be honest, I don’t really know.. It came out of nowhere. I think it’s about what was going on in my mind at that time.

How long have you been writing songs?  I’ve been surrounded by music all my life and started writing songs when I was about seven.

How did you get into songwriting?  My dad plays the ukulele (badly) but likes to collect them. He has a surplus of instruments so let me have one. From that point on I’ve collect and learned many string instruments. I play cello, double bass, guitar, bass-guitar and all the ukuleles. Writing songs with a ukulele comes easily. It started off with a couple of silly songs with a friend and has grown from there.

What does songwriting allow you to explore and achieve?  It helps me explore what it is to be human.

What’s your favourite part of the songwriting process?  I love the creative side of it – coming up with a melody that fits with the chords I’ve chosen. It’s like solving a puzzle.

What’s the most difficult part of the creative process of songwriting for you?  The biggest challenge is ensuring each song is unique but within my style.

Do you start with lyrics or melodies/chords?  I always start with chords because they are the foundation of the song, for me. Coming up with an interesting and unusual chord progression is always a good start.

What do you like about The Young Songwriter competition?  It gives young people, starting out, a chance to be heard and have their songs judged by professionals. It’s great to be taken seriously by people I don’t know and to have a platform to get my voice to lots of people. I really like the feedback and its thrilling to see the plays on Soundcloud go up, not personally knowing the people who are listening.

Who are your three favourite artists/songs?  At the moment it’s Bjork & Sibylle Baier,

10 years from now you will be…  I would hope to be making a living from making music.

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not writing songs?  I like making papier-mâché masks. I don’t know why. It just happens.

The top 10 finalists will be announced on the 3rd May.  Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to hear the announcement first! #SAYS19 #songwriting #newmusic #expressyourself #beheard

The Young Songwriter 2019 showcase & 10th anniversary of Song Academy celebration will be on Saturday 22nd June at 7pm at The Tabernacle, Notting Hill, London.