Nikolas Roche is 10 years old from Chelsea, London and his song ‘Things Don’t Always Go Your Way’ was selected as a top 40 song in The Song Academy Young Songwriter 2020 competition 8-12 year UK/Ireland category.  We caught up with Nikolas recently to talk about all things songwriting!

What inspired you to write your song?  One day just before Song Academy, I met my friend and we went to play in our school playground but it was raining. That made me think later that ’Things don’t always go your way’ which became the title of my song

What got you into writing songs?  I was originally inspired by my brother. I also liked singing and improvisation and also I found that writing songs gave me an easy way to express my feelings. When I am writing a song I feel free, and not afraid to give away how I feel. When I finish I like having written my own song.

What is your favourite part of the songwriting process?  I love coming up with the main idea and starting the song, like figuring out the melody and figuring out my first few lyrics. I always feel I have completed something at that point and it makes me want to continue the process.

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

How do you usually start a song? How do you find that spark?Usually I think about things that happened that day or recently – a month or a week ago. Or sometimes problems I have or positive things that have happened.

Who would be your dream artist/writer/band to collaborate with?I can name a lot but my favourite artists would be: Imagine Dragons, Da Baby, Travis Scott, The Weeknd

What made you enter #SAYS20? How did you hear about it? I’m participating in Song Academy Chelsea

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? Here are some tips: 1) Don’t be afraid to start the song writing – its great fun! 2) Try Song Academy because no-one judges you there and you are allowed to express yourself. 3) Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, 4) There is nothing wrong about your song: it’s YOUR song!

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? My brother Alex Roche

What do you like about the Song Academy Young Songwriter competition?  I like the fact that it gives us a chance to showcase our skills and that we have an audience who will listen to our songs.

 

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Elijah Tolefe is 13 years old from Windsor and his song ‘Weekend’ 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 Elijah recently to talk about all things songwriting!

What inspired you to write your song?  I was inspired to write my song one weekend, while thinking about all the things I would’ve liked to do during the weekend that I wouldn’t have been able to do. I was talking to some of my friends and while they were listing stuff that we should’ve done together, I started writing it down, and came up with the lyrics for the song.

What got you into writing songs?  I’ve always been into music, especially instrumental music as oppose to vocal. Naturally, because I liked music so much, started writing Electronic songs when I was about 9.

What is your favourite part of the songwriting process?  Favourite part of the songwriting process has to be the final mix, when I end up changing half of the instrumental and rewriting most of the song. Although stressful, my songs tend to really come together at this point.

Describe your setup that you used to write your #SAYS20 entry, was it just a pen and paper or a fully kitted out studio?  When creating Weekend, I wrote the first few lines on a laptop, before moving to my mini home studio to write the majority of the song.

How do you usually start a song? How do you find that spark? Although I wrote the lyrics for this song first, I tend to put together the beats first, because I find that so much easier. I also like to improvise on the piano, so I can work out interesting chord progressions.

Who would be your dream artist/writer/band to collaborate with?I would love to collaborate with Chance the rapper, JayZ, Stormzy and Ed Sheeran. I would also like to mix with Timberland and Calvin Harris.

What made you enter #SAYS20? How did you hear about it?  Last year I entered in the 8-12 category, and placed in the top ten. I entered again this year as I enjoyed the process last year and I am happy to have my music listened to. I heard about last year’s competition from my previous school.

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 would say, have fun with it, relax, create and don’t get too invested in the result.

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 a lot of the songs I heard, my personal favourites are, “Little Alchemy“ (everything about it was engaging,), and “Other Love”, I especially enjoy the instrumental sounds.

What do you like about the Song Academy Young Songwriter competition?  I like the that the Song Academy brings together songwriters, singers, rappers, and musicians of a certain age in the UK, and Internationally. It’s given me confidence to share my passion for music and also highlights the fact I share this passion with so many other people.

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

 

Zachary Zbar is 12 years old from Chelsea, London and his song ‘Protection’ 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 Zachary recently to talk about all things songwriting!

What inspired you to write your song?  This piece was actually more of a reflection on many things that I have been thinking about in context of what our world is like, and what I feel like and want to be like in it going forward as an individual. I think many people have been noticing that the world has been spinning a bit too fast, some things and people going a bit mad, registering changes around us, some of which are either out of our control, as well as issues we have been simply turning a blind eye to. I think it’s safe to say that the world is currently undergoing a very big reality check. I wrote the song long before the COVID-19 crises has unraveled, but can’t help to think how much more acutely I feel now  about everything I said in my lyrics, hoping that, once we have overcome these strange, uncertain times, which will change the world and all of us no doubt, “I will build walls – as high as my devoted imagination, full of passion and innovation.” Build. Back. Better.

What got you into writing songs?  When I was about 5 years old I became very fond of Michael Jackson’s work. I knew many of his songs by heart and sang them all the time. His album “Thriller” inspired me to write my first song, “Immortal”, and influenced much of my music journey all together. I even had a few of MJ’s iconic outfit copies, and used them too! I wore a mean black leather jacket when I performed “Immortal” to my friends at my 6th birthday (I had a red Thriller replica one at home too), and danced in the isle wearing a white suit and hat with a sky blue shirt when I went to see “Thriller Live” at the Lyric theatre. Amazingly, the performers noticed me and after the show invited me backstage to meet them and take a photo! I then did another dance gig at my 7th birthday, when an MJ impersonator performed for us (great gift from my dad!) – I got on stage and danced with him – complete with the moonwalk and throwing my hat off the stage and all. Those are very fond memories for me. I have evolved much as a songwriter since then of course, and my songs through the years tend to reflect what I’ve been going through in life, and also what music trends have influenced me at any point in time. And those influences have been changing quite dramatically at times!

What is your favourite part of the songwriting process?  The favourite part is, of course, when the song comes together at the end and is ready to be performed! It’s a very satisfying feeling to merge various bits – emotions, words, and music – into something that helps me express myself as a person and an artist.

Describe your setup that you used to write your #SAYS20 entry, was it just a pen and paper or a fully kitted out studio?  This particular piece has an interesting story indeed. I was waiting for a taxi at the reception of one of the boarding schools outside of London that I’d potentially attend next academic year. I had a brand new little notebook and a pencil with me – and the words just came to me. I wrote the bulk of the poem in about 15 minutes, and when I came home I finished it in another 10 minutes. So I literally wrote it in one go, putting together a spoken word piece in the rhythm that felt right to me, and I haven’t changed anything since. I toyed with a couple of attempts to make it sound more like classic rap, or introduce a tune into it, but that implied changing some of the lyrics, and for now I went back to my original version. I would like at one point though to explore if any of the other “candidates” may work in parallel, as alternative versions/separate covers.

How do you usually start a song? How do you find that spark?  It’s an interesting question. Historically I’d start by thinking of some things that made an impression on me or affected me in some way recently, come up with some lyrics, and then start thinking about the musical part. More recently, however, as I’ve self taught myself to play piano and guitar a bit, I find myself first expressing emotions in a melody, and then the lyrics tend to just come. I’d sit down at a piano, or with a guitar, and let my feelings and fingers do the work.

Who would be your dream artist/writer/band to collaborate with?From the inspirations I’ve had as I’ve gotten older I’d have to say Kanye West. I find his old work, such as, for instance, his “College Dropout” album particularly cool. But his overall journey as an artist has been very inspiring indeed!

What made you enter #SAYS20? How did you hear about it?  I’ve been working with Song Academy ever since I started writing songs when I was little. The work they do to support creative young people in expressing themselves and growing as songwriters and performers is tremendous. There really aren’t many “exits” kids and teenagers have for our creativity and emotions nowadays, spending very long days at school, the rest of the time filled with even more work, making us feel quite “boxed in” a lot of the time. I’ve heard about the competition from Song Academy in 2017 and have been entering ever since to share the creative side of me with the world. My songs and being able to share them is what has indeed been my “exit”.

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?  Be yourself.

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 quite enjoyed listening to Long As You’re Mine by Hetty Falzon. Many of the entries are pretty great, it would be super to meet as many of the finalists as possible and others too (I’m sure judges had real hard time choosing the finalists) and explore collaboration opportunities.  I’d also like to collaborate with my friend Alex from Song Academy’s elite program.

What do you like about the Song Academy Young Songwriter competition?  This competition allows all the young songwriters out there to express themselves on a much larger scale, step out of their comfort zone and show the world what they’ve got. Importantly, the competition also brings young songwriters together as a wonderfully diverse creative community, giving us a chance to see how others express themselves and what they have to say. I think the way I feel about this competition is particularly pertinent to the current situation with COVID-19, as the entire world and all the people in it are in fact stepping out of their comfort zones, and pulling together as a community much so than in the past, it seems.

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

Max Elliott is 18 years old from Hampton and his song ‘Waiting For You’ 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 Max recently to talk about all things songwriting!

What inspired you to write your song?  I often have pretty vivid dreams at night and I woke up one morning half-convinced that what I’d dreamt was real… it took me a while to realise that it wasn’t – but that moment of realisation sparked the song as I came to terms with the mundanity of reality again.

What got you into writing songs?  I began writing songs after I started to get bored of playing other people’s. Years ago I had a YouTube channel where I’d cover what was in the charts, but I found it really restricting, and quickly got addicted to the freedom of writing my own music.

What is your favourite part of the songwriting process?  Personally I love writing parts for different instruments. Once I’ve got the basic chords and melody down I find it very satisfying recording lead guitars, piano, bass, keys, really getting creative with harmony and rhythm.

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 with just pen and paper (although I usually use notes on my phone). When I recorded it, I had some production help from my friend, Sam Seccombe, who’s got a small studio setup in his bedroom.

How do you usually start a song? How do you find that spark?  For me writing a song is never planned – if I sit down with the intention of writing nothing ever happens!  I find the songwriting process is really spontaneous; the spark will often just emerge from a melody in my head, which I quickly record into my voice memos before I forget it, before turning it into something more substantial.

Who would be your dream artist/writer/band to collaborate with?D’Angelo – his album ‘Voodoo’ is my all-time favourite.

What made you enter #SAYS20? How did you hear about it?  I’ve been entering since I was about 13, when I was looking to get my songs heard and out into the world.

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?  Write loads of songs and then pick the one you’re most happy with! The first song you write is rarely the best. And don’t be disheartened if you don’t make the cut… there’s always next year!

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?  Loads of great entries to pick from but Room6’s song is my fav – really cool vibe.

What do you like about the Song Academy Young Songwriter competition?  I love the fact that Song Academy really encourages the art of writing the song itself… in today’s music industry there’s so much emphasis on production, performance, image and so on, and the quality of the music itself is often overlooked, so it’s great to see songwriters taking centre stage.

 

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

 

Isaac Kennedy is 17 years old from Manchester and his song ‘Hardly Know You’ 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 Isaac recently to talk about all things songwriting!

What inspired you to write your song?  I was fascinated by the idea of meeting someone for the first time and instantly having a connection in a way which feels like you’ve have known them forever. Therefore, I tried to portray this emotion through my song in where I am searching for the answer.

What got you into writing songs?  I started playing guitar and singing from a young and by the age of 10 I was learning cover after cover and busking. After a few years of this I was looking for the next step as a musician and started exploring my own musical ideas. From this I have wrote many songs of many different genres to help me discover how I best see myself as an artist.

What is your favourite part of the songwriting process?  My favourite part of my songwriting process is, in fact, before I even start writing the song. The rush of excitement I get when I find inspiration for a concept or idea for a song is why I love writing so much and I find once this happens, the song will naturally come out.

Describe the setup that was used to write your SAYS20 entry; was it just pen and paper or a full kitted out studio?  My setup for writing my song was my acoustic guitar and my phone for the lyrics. When I came to record the song, I used my laptop with logic pro x and my electric guitar, bass and microphone. All in my bedroom.

How do you usually start a song?  I always begin writing a song with a picture of an end product in my head, this could be a concept for the arrangement, idea for the lyrics etc. However sometimes the song could come out completely different at the end.

Who would be your dream artist/writer/band to collaborate with?My dream artist to collaborate with would have to be the band Easy Life. This is because I love the way they blend jazzy chords and guitar riffs, with rnb style drumbeats and melodies.

What made you enter #SAYS20? How did you hear about it?  I entered SAYS20 because I have put songs in for 3 years now and I think it is a great way to gain feedback from established songwriters in the industry which I can take away to keep improving my own work.

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 think entering is a great idea for anybody wanting to get better and more experienced at song writing as you are putting your songs out there for people to listen to, gaining feedback from professionals, and listening to other songwriters music which may inspire some of your own work.

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?  My 2 personal favourites from SAYS20 are James Bakian – Can’t think straight, and Leona Mae – Deserve my Love.

What do you like about the Song Academy Young Songwriter competition?  I like that competition gives a chance for younger and less established artists to show their songs to professionals in the industry.

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

 

Nikaa is 18 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 Nikaa recently to talk about all things songwriting!

What inspired you to write your song?  The inspiration behind ‘Homegrown’ was that I wanted a song that was relatable to a target audience. A song that expressed the way myself and Santana G had grown up in London in different parts of the capital, writing about daily life and our surroundings.

What got you into song writing?  From a young age I have always loved making up my own stories whether that be fictional on non-fiction. I found writing thing down and making up my own storying is what made me get into song writing as it has always been a way to express my feeling and moods.  My goal for every song that I write is to make it relatable to people worldwide as lyrical structure is a big thing in my songs.

What is your favourite part of the song writing process?  For me I enjoy experimenting with different ideas, whether that is a memory, a situation when I was hurt in some way etc. With these ideas I then experiment with different beats and styles and see which concept I am relating more to and go from there. Even though I come across challenges along the way and can be annoying, I feel that if a song was too easy to write it would not grab the audience in the way that was intended all along.

Describe the setup that was used to write your SAYS20 entry; was it just pen and paper or a full kitted out studio?  Both myself and Santana G co-wrote the song together we were in a group session in a recording studio working on a completely different song. We knew that we wanted to work together but we didn’t know what concept the song was going to follow, the beat, how relatable it would be to our target audience etc. We then thought about it for a while, where I initiated the idea of writing a song about London, which expresses how we grew up in different parts. It took us about 6 weeks to finish the song, writing it wherever an idea came to us, whether that is on the train or in our rooms or simply meeting up and going to the studio. We constantly kept an archive of voice notes and send them to each other before recording. When we had all the writing completed we then recorded the finish product in a studio.

How do you usually start a song? How do you find that spark?  For me I normally start a song with how I am feeling that day. If I am feeling particularly happy I would normally make a beat and singer along to that, writing down anything and everything that come into mind. I would then picking out the factors I like the most building up a scenario that I can relate to and that I know I will enjoy writing about.

Who would be your dream artist/writer/ band to collaborate with?In terms of artist and writers, I would love to have the opportunity to work with Jake Gosling as his work is brilliant and especially his input on Ed Sheeran’s + album really made that album memorable as not only did the album produce many hit records but the lyrical aspect and the meanings behind every word was just out of this world

What made you enter SAYS20? How did you hear about it? I wanted a place where I could perform and express my music to a much larger audience and industry people. Also where I could receive good constructive industry criticism that I would take on board and learn from in order to progress as an artist. I heard about the competition via a friend who had previously entered last year.

What would you say to someone age 8-18 who is thinking about entering the Song Academy Young Songwriter competition next year?  My advice to young writers like myself who are thinking of entering next year is to just go for it as opportunities like this only come around once a year and if you wait too long to enter and you’re constantly putting it off you will never reach your end goal. The worst thing that will happen is that you won’t get through to the final, but persistence and concentration and the willingness to pursue even if things don’t go your way is what makes or breaks an artist.

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 Max Elliot’s voice and song. His uniqueness and crisp voice is something special and I am looking forward to hearing more from him in the future.

What do you like about the Song Academy Young Songwriter competition?  I like how the competition brings together such inspirational artist worldwide with potential future collaborations. Also the fact that it provides a platform for unsigned artists like me, giving the chance to express music in front of a vast audience and industry professionals.

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

 

Emily Murphy is 10 years old from Liverpool and her song ‘Across The Universe’ was selected as a top 40 song in The Song Academy Young Songwriter 2020 competition 8-12 year UK/Ireland category.  We caught up with Emily recently to talk about all things songwriting!

What inspired you to write your song?  I was thinking of my friendship with my best friend, Sophie, when I wrote this and I was also thinking about how scary new places can be until you make a friend.

What got you into writing songs?  I currently have guitar lessons and I like experimenting with the chords and that creates new tunes in my head. I then just keep improving them until I am happy with it.

What is your favourite part of the songwriting process?  The part of the process I like most is when you get stuck on a rhyming word for ages and the satisfaction when you get the right word and it all just clicks into place.

Describe your setup that you used to write your #SAYS20 entry, was it just a pen and paper or a fully kitted out studio?  The song was initially just in my head until my mum suggested writing it down and we recorded it on her phone.

How do you usually start a song? How do you find that spark?  I usually start with the chorus and then work on the verses.

Who would be your dream artist/writer/band to collaborate with?I would love to collaborate with Paloma Faith – she writes powerful songs and I like singing them to myself!

What made you enter #SAYS20? How did you hear about it? I heard about #SAYS20 from my music teacher at school – we had a song writing competition at school.

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 would say to someone thinking of entering “just go for it; no song is out of place in the competition.”

What do you like about the Song Academy Young Songwriter competition?  I like the fact that #SAYS20 is done online because if you had to sing/perform in front of judges it would make some people too nervous and therefore means people are more confident to enter.

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

Hugh Cochrane is 10 years old from Chelsea, London and his song ‘Joker’ was selected as a top 40 song in The Song Academy Young Songwriter 2020 competition 8-12 year UK/Ireland category.  We caught up with Hugh recently to talk about all things songwriting!

What inspired you to write your song?  I am a joker. That is my personality

What got you into writing songs? I got into writing songs because my best friend Nikolas was doing it at Song Academy.

What is your favourite part of the songwriting process? Coming up with the idea is my favourite part.

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

How do you usually start a song? How do you find that spark? I brainstorm different ideas and then take the one that feels closest to my heart.

Who would be your dream artist/writer/band to collaborate with?Dua Lipa

What made you enter #SAYS20? How did you hear about it?  My mum entered me in.

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?  Write about something that is close to your heart and listen to your teachers and take their advice.

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?  With my best friend Nikolas Roche

What do you like about the Song Academy Young Songwriter competition? Being able to have my song heard by other people.

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

Jasmin Fairhall is 18 years old from Canterbury and her song ‘Deserters’ 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 Jasmin recently to talk about all things songwriting!

What inspired you to write your song?  This song in particular is quite important to me as I wrote it about my younger sister. She’s 15 and is really struggling to figure out who she is as she is at that age where you’re no longer a child, but you’re not considered an adult. A lot of her friends are also changing and beginning to grow apart and she feels very alone and upset, but she won’t open up or admit it to us. Instead she acts out and becomes a bit self destructive, but it all stems from her insecurities. When I wrote this I hoped that the words in this song would resonate with her and make her feel less alone, as everyone feels lost at times. I just wanted to show her that I also understand how she feels.

What got you into writing songs?  Well it’s hard to say the exact thing that got me into writing music but I remember writing my first song in year 6! It definitely was not the best song in the world, but it is one of the most important songs to me as it is the one that inspired me to carry on writing them.

What is your favourite part of the songwriting process?  I love writing songs, I love to channel the emotions that I’m feeling at the time. My favourite thing about writing songs is that I am able to turn a bad situation into something good and positive. I mostly write my songs about things I’ve been through and situations that have evoked strong emotions, so if something bad happens or something upsets me I can release my emotions through music and change something bad into something I love. That’s the most important thing to me.

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 started writing this song on a piano at school during one of my free periods. It was a day where I was particularly worried about my sister. I went into a practice room and started playing around with some chords on the piano and improvising a tune over the top of it. I literally started to write the lyrics on the notes app on my phone, as that’s all I had on me. I didn’t have a keyboard or any recording equipment at home at this time, so I would go back in my free periods to finished it off. When I recorded it I also did it all at school using one of their mics to record into my friends computer and then I recorded over myself for the harmony – as I didn’t have the best equipment in the recording there’s also a squeaky pedal sound. Normally this sort of sound would be edited out but oddly I quite like the raw-ness and character it gives it.

How do you usually start a song? How do you find that spark?  This may sound a little depressing but I often feel the ‘spark’ when I feel most emotional. When I’m sad or happy I just start playing around with the piano and then just stumble upon some chords that resonate with how I’m feeling and then on a good day the words flow quite easily, I always go back and change a few things but I love having songs that are quite raw and meaningful to me if that makes sense:)

Who would be your dream artist/writer/band to collaborate with? This is actually a very difficult question because I’d actually love to collaborate with someone completely different to me and my style because I think that’s quite important in order to expand your songwriting style, I actually love artists such as Nothing But Thieves and Muse but to perform with I think I would love to work with Billie Eilish, or Finneas in fact, as I love their style and I am also quite fond of Birdy and Regina Spector. (I know that doesn’t really narrow it down but I love all of these artists)

What made you enter #SAYS20? How did you hear about it?  My music teacher actually emailed me about it as he knew songwriting is something I love doing:)

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?  This may sound quite cringey but all I would say is write in the style closest to your heart (okay yeah that does sound very cringey), but I think it’s very important to be you. So many people try to replicate and idolise other people but I think it’s important to not compare yourself to their music and focus on your own and your style, of course you should be inspired by other artists and can borrow ideas but make sure you stay true to you and your style :) oh and also don’t listen to anyone who says you can’t do it, or that music is ‘not a real subject’ because music is universal and everyone loves music in some way shape or form and someone has to write the songs, why can’t it be you?

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?  Well actually, I have to say I’ve really enjoyed listening to the different songs and styles of music. Especially as they are all young too:) I particularly like these songs, although I know I haven’t narrowed it down enough!

  • Abby Allen’s ‘you and I’
  • Rachel Burnett ‘Call me baby’
  • Blaze ‘Romantically dead’
  • Leona may  ‘deserve my love’
  • Amelia Acheson ‘flyaway’

What do you like about the Song Academy Young Songwriter competition? I think it’s a lovely opportunity for young people to share their songs and listen to one another’s. One issue of being at school and songwriting is that too many things get in the way and it’s hard to be able to promote your music and focus on it when having things such as GCSE and A levels. I think this is good because many people are quite proud of their songs but are not given an easy way to showcase them and normally they get almost brushed under the carpet until you do get the time (if that makes sense). I also think it’s a good opportunity to hear feedback on your music :)))) so thank you!

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

 

Ivy Byng is 8 years old from North Kensington, London and her song ‘Spring Is Here’ was selected as a top 40 song in The Song Academy Young Songwriter 2020 competition 8-12 year UK/Ireland category.  We caught up with Ivy recently to talk about all things songwriting!

What inspired you to write your song? Spring coming and how much I love new life blossoming.

What got you into writing songs? How much I love both singing and writing.

What is your favourite part of the songwriting process? Finding rhymes for my couplets.

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 it out on paper.

How do you usually start a song? How do you find that spark? I start by thinking about what I want my song to be about and then I find sentences about that topic and try to rhyme them.

Who would be your dream artist/writer/band to collaborate with? David Bowie !

What made you enter #SAYS20? How did you hear about it? I participated in a Song Academy holiday songwriting workshop last December

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 fun and try your best to create a song fit for YOU…

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? My big brother, Nathaniel

What do you like about the Song Academy Young Songwriter competition? I love listening to everyone’s different songs and listening to the type of people they are.

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