It’s a great privilege that Miranda Cooper is on The Young Songwriter 2019 competition judging panel.  At one point Miranda’s songs spent more years on the UK chart than any other female songwriter in the UK and she has penned 4 number one hits – ‘Round Round’, ‘Hole in the Head’ for the Sugababes and ‘Sound of the Underground’ And ‘The Promise’ for Girls Aloud.

How old were you when you wrote your first song?  My Dad bought my sister and me a tiny Casio keyboard when I was about 8. We used to muck about on it and write little songs. We also used to write “symphonies” on the piano. The “Woodland symphony” which included the “Dance of the trout” was an early highlight!

What was your first song about?  The first song I remember from around that time had the memorable line “The sun was as big as a yellow balloon and all I ever knew was you”. I can still remember it now so maybe it was actually pretty hooky.

My first actual proper song was written on a backing track that Brian Higgins had given me. I’m not quite sure how I knew what to do but it just seemed to flow out of me!! It was called Cherry Red Scooter! It was pretty out there lyrically but it was enough for Brian to want to start collaborating.

Who inspired you to start songwriting?  To be honest I had no idea it was even a possible career choice when I was growing up. I trained as a dancer and did some TV presenting and ended up in female pop duo. But I really just felt like I was treading water until I was introduced to Brian Higgins, who had seen me dancing on the Eurovision Song Contest. He gave me a couple of backing tracks to write on and something just clicked. I felt like I’d finally found my “thing”.

What’s your favourite song you’ve ever written?  I have a soft spot for Call the Shots. I wrote the chorus in a hotel room in Paris, 2 years before the girls recorded it. We just didn’t feel they were ready for it at the time. We then wrote the verses in a hotel in LA and I finished the lyric by the pool at the Sunset Marquee hotel. So that song has some rather exotic memories.  I also loved The Promise. We had the piece of music for a while and just knew it was killer. We wrote it on a gorgeous summer’s day and it practically wrote itself!

How easy did you find it to get your music heard?  I was very lucky to start my song writing career with Brian who had a huge worldwide hit with Cher’s Believe a year after we met. As a result he had access to pretty much every label and manager and our music always got a good listen.

What’s your biggest regret as a young songwriter?  I actually don’t have any regrets. I think even the things I perceived as mistakes at the time were actually hugely helpful in hindsight. We were all making it up as we went along and there were some amazing highs and some desperate lows. Having Brian there to protect us from a lot of the industry helped alot. It meant we could just focus on the writing.  I had a pretty big fear of failure which wasn’t always easy to live with but I think it helped push me the extra mile on many occasions.

What are your top tips for aspiring songwriters?  Firstly I would say just do what you love and don’t worry about what anybody else thinks…..to a point.  When I started at Xeno there were just 4 of us and we holed up in Brian’s garden shed (thankfully converted into a studio!) and just wrote from the heart. There was no internet and we were in the middle of darkest Kent so nothing to distract. We were basically in our little bubble and breaking the rules left right and centre. It was a pretty idyllic time.

When I started out I would write the songs in my head walking to the gym and then come in and work out the chords with Brian.  Eventually some amazing multi instrumentalists joined Xeno and made incredible instrumental backing tracks. We’d write melodies on 5 or 10 of them at a time. Just like a melodic stream of consciousness, trying to better each idea we came up with.

I’d constantly write down concepts and lyric ideas and try them out on the different tracks. When a great lyric, melody and track clicked we were onto something.  We had the luxury of time and would start some ideas and then revisit them days, weeks, months or even years later.  We’d only finish the ideas that got us really excited.  And we actively tried not to repeat ourselves.

Don’t try and work with too many people. Find the collaborators you really connect with and spend more time with them. Good stuff always happens when you’re having fun! It finds its way into the music.

What do you especially like about The Young Songwriter competition?
I really want to support anything that gives a platform to young songwriters nowadays. There’s more music out there than ever but it’s also harder to get heard. I’m very excited to hear the songs that make it through to the final.

Are you aged 8-18?  Have you written your own songs?  Then enter The Young Songwriter 2019 competition!

 

We’re delighted to have Rumer on The Young Songwriter 2019 competition judging panel.  Rumer is a British singer-songwriter supported by many leading music industry figures including Burt Bacharach, Jools Holland and Elton John.

We asked Rumer some questions to help aspiring young songwriters on their songwriting journey.

How old were you when you wrote your first song?  When I was about five years old I would write out the words to songs that I liked so I could learn them, and if I didn’t understand the words or I couldn’t make them out on the tape I would make up my own. I didn’t really write a song till I was about 14.

What was your first song about?  Something emotionally abstract…a stream of consciousness.

Who inspired you to start songwriting?  My brother used to write his own songs and I was such a big fan of them. I used to sit next to him with an old BBC tape recorder and record him performing. When my brothers practiced their band they would lift me up and let me sing into the microphone.

What’s your favourite song you’ve ever written?  Probably Thankful, because it took a long time, and over many seasons and there was a lot of magic that showed up for that song.

How easy did you find it to get your music heard?  Not easy at all! Things have changed a lot since I was trying to get my music out there.. now you can use the internet to get your music heard.  For me back then the only option was to somehow get a record deal and a publishing deal. Back then that was the only way, and it seemed like an impossible challenge when you have no contacts in the music industry whastsoever.

What’s your biggest regret as a young songwriter?  I should not have given up piano lessons! And I should have made more effort to get better on the guitar, and to have more confidence!

What are your top tips for aspiring songwriters?  Writing songs is hard! My advice is to always keep doing it, even if you’re not coming up with much that you like, or that you think is very good. The reason is you have to keep throwing sticks on the fire of creativity, or inspiration may go out completely, and writers block is really hard to break through when you’re stuck energetically and out of practice. It affects your confidence. Writing songs is a lot about accepting the bad songs as part of the process. Every successful writer I have ever worked with – they have a ton of bad songs they have written, but the difference is, they don’t care, they don’t judge them, they just don’t stop, and every now and then they strike gold, simply because they are showing up and doing it every day.

What do you especially like about The Young Songwriter competition?  I really enjoy listening to all the songs, and I am always amazed by the talent, especially of some of the younger entrants.

Are you aged 8-18?  Have you written your own songs?  Then enter The Young Songwriter 2019 competition!

 

Eg White has been a Young Songwriter competition judge since it started 8 years ago.

We asked Eg some questions to help aspiring young songwriters on their songwriting journey.

How old were you when you wrote your first song?  It rather depends on your definition of a song. I think the right answer is about 17, when I was in a group called Brother Beyond, and where my contributions to the music started to go beyond playing bass and keyboards, into lyrics and melody for the first time.  The songs up to that point had all been written by the keyboard player, Carl Fysh, but I started contributing melodies and perhaps words to his songs then. I don’t think it was long at that point before I started some from scratch on my own.

What was your first song about?  The sad truth is I can’t remember what my first song was. Certainly, when I think of the songs written about that time, my whole body goes into spasm at how awful the words were. It was a good year or so until I even listened to the words in Prince’s songs, or heard Joni Mitchell and started to properly realise their potential power.

Who inspired you to start songwriting?  It was clear in Brother Beyond that Carl was, if not having all the fun, then at least getting all the responsibility. In terms of aspirational writing, at that point it was Steely Dan, Prince, Joni Mitchell and quite possibly Luther Vandross, though maybe with Luther I was still in a muddle about where bass playing finished and the song began.

What’s your favourite song you’ve ever written?  I heard “give me something“ by James Morrison in the supermarket the other day, and I thought it sounded good. I really like the way the chords in the verse lead you to think that a particular type of chorus is coming, and then what comes in is properly different, especially with Jim singing for his life, and it did sound good in Tesco’s.  Normally a song comes good really quickly, but that one ducked and dived on us for hours and only turned a corner late in the afternoon.

How easy did you find it to get your music heard?  That feels like a contemporary question, with a particular nod to the Internet. I know it’s not, but back in the day, there was a prescribed route for getting your music heard.  It went like this: make music with people, probably in your hometown, play a few really bad gigs, and try and get a deal with a label.
Then, having got that deal, try and write THE song which you’re hoping will get played on the radio, preferably Radio One, that then doesn’t get played on the radio. That at least was my story.

I was in two bands, a country funk band when I was 14, then a pop group, and then after that in a duo with a girl called Alice. They all made enough money to get by, The record with Alice was very well liked indeed but none of them really got heard in any wider way.

I then would write whole albums with singers, four of five of them in a row in the late 1990s, none of which took off, in spite of expectations, and then I had my first taste of stuff actually getting heard at the very end of 2003, after having been writing songs for something like 18 years.

What’s your biggest regret as a young songwriter?  My biggest regret as a songwriter, young or indeed quite old, is that I can’t do that thing where you really refine the song down, without making it trite or simplistic. I’m sure that would have helped many more of the songs get through, but actually now I look at it, maybe I don’t regret that. Life is messy, why shouldn’t songs be?

What are your top tips for aspiring songwriters?  There’s really only one, which is not to think that you’re going to try and write the greatest song of all time, but just try to get a flow going, write a song every day or two, write with different people who have different or similar skill sets to you, but don’t save anything up. Put your best foot forward every time.

Oh dear, I’m on a roll now, there won’t just be one top tip. Much more important is that you listen to everybody else’s music! As much as you can, especially from outside of the mainstream. It’s a very broad church. The only thing to run against that advice is the fact that everybody seems much more litigious than they used to be. The rules used to be very clear about what you could take and what you couldn’t, but nowadays it seems people are suing everybody.

Anyway, these days, I prefer to run blind, as opposed to a more targeted way of writing before where I would try and start with the thing that was most likely to fail, which usually meant the lyric on the central hook. I would then build everything around that, but the trouble is when you know where you’re going, the ride is never so exciting. Now I just pick up an instrument, and pretty much order everybody to start making noises.

What do you especially like about The Young Songwriter competition?  For me, personally, it’s always been very interesting to see what really young writers are doing. I’ve always prized individualism above technical skill, though obviously the two should ideally both be in place, but there have been occasional entrants who have managed to bring everything together, by which I mean blinding use of truly unexpected melody against chords I would never have used and have got away with it, giving me a proper thrill.

In my fantasy, the young writers in this contest are finding fresh new paths through uncharted territory, and on more than one occasion I have heard this.

Don’t chase the money, kids. It’s never where you expect it to be.

Are you aged 8-18?  Have you written your own songs?  Then enter The Young Songwriter 2019 competition!

* Album release showcasing the top young songwriters around the world

* Judges included Tom Odell, Guy Chambers, Eg White, Imelda May & Lucie Silvas

#SAYS18 #ExpressYourself   #BeHeard #Community #Songwriting

Song Academy is delighted to announce the release of the Song Academy Young Songwriter 2018 Compilation Album on Spotify, iTunes and other distributors through AWAL (Artists Without A Label). The album includes 24 tracks from the winners and selected finalists & highly commended of the 2018 Young Songwriter competition, which attracted outstanding young talent from 8-18 year olds around the world.

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

The Young Songwriter 2018 Album on iTunes

The Young Songwriter 2018 Album on Spotify

This year’s panel of award winning judges included:

Singer songwriters Tom Odell, Imelda May & Lucie Silvas, songwriters & producers Guy Chambers (for Robbie Williams, Tom Jones, Kylie Minogue, & Mark Ronson), Eg White (Adele, Duffy, Take That, Pink), Tim Laws (Gabrielle, Lighthouse Family), Jessica Sharman (for Ward Thomas), Nicky Cox (editor, First News), Nigel Elderton (Chairman, PRS for Music) and Toby Davies (National Adviser Rock & Pop, Trinity College London).

The prestigious Song Academy Young Songwriter competition has gone from strength to strength since it’s launch in 2012 and is now the leading songwriting competition for young people aged 8 to 18 across the world with a strong sense of community. It’s a springboard for the next generation of creative stars to get noticed by key players in the music industry, build confidence, have their voices heard and shine in the limelight. The 2018 competition attracted circa 500 high quality entries from cities across the world, from London, Dublin, Cairo, Helinski, Johannesburg, Nashville, New York, Reykjavik, Zagreb to Melbourne.

Tom Odell, singer songwriter said “When I was 13 years old I started writing songs, and over the following years I became more and more obsessed with it.  But the thing that always kept me awake at night was how to get them out there for people to hear them. This is why I think The Song Academy Young Songwriter competition is a great way to inspire and help through this process, and its something I wish had been around when I was starting out.”

Guy Chambers, songwriter & producer said “It’s a huge pleasure to be a part of this years judging panel for the Song Academy Young Songwriter 2018. I have always been a supporter and nurturer of young talent, so it will be great to see what this year’s competition has to offer.”

Imelda May, singer songwriter said “I’m very glad to be part of The Song Academy Young Songwriter 2018 judging panel. Good songwriting is the foundation of all good music. This competition is also simply a great way for songwriters to meet other like minded people and I’m happy to encourage anyone to connect and excel in this beautifully expressive art form and cannot wait to hear the songs.”

Simon Barber & Brian O’Connor, founders of Sodajerker said “Judging the 2018 Young Songwriter competition was a fascinating experience, not only because of the wonderful breadth of talented writers who submitted work, but also because of the incredible range of responses that the songs elicited from the judges. It was heartening to see each judge devote such a great deal of time and attention to thinking about the qualities of each song, and whatever the outcome, all finalists should be proud to have reached that stage of the competition. We are delighted to play a small role in such a fantastic scheme led by such a generous organisation. The opportunity that it offers young songwriters to be heard by leading figures in the music industries is second to none.”

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

NOTES TO EDITORS:

Who are we? A Song Academy overview

Founded 9 years ago, Song Academy champions young people aged 8-18 and is nurturing the next generation of songwriters & creative leaders.

Our uniqueness is that we focus on the creative process of songwriting – writing powerful lyrics and composing interesting melodies & instrumental parts. We develop songwriters’ skills to write a song that touches, moves and inspires people – either hit songs with mass appeal or for a niche audience. In a world of the X-factor, Britain’s got talent and the quest for instant fame, Song Academy offers a refreshing spotlight on the heart of songs – the words & melodies and enables young songwriters to build strong and sustainable careers.

Song Academy runs after-school clubs, holiday workshops, school workshops, birthday parties and an annual international Young Songwriter competition. As a result of our programmes, we have seen a direct correlation in the increase and advancement of confidence, self-esteem, creativity, motivation, well-being and technical song-writing ability in our members.

Facebook & Twitter: SongacademyUK

Instagram: song_academy

Email: contact@songacademy.co.uk

Tel: 07710 023743

CREATIVITY • COURAGE • INDIVIDUALITY • SELF EXPRESSION • INSPIRATION

 

Don’t miss out on seeing some of the top young songwriters across the UK perform their award winning songs at our Young Songwriter 2018 Live Showcase at Westfield, Shepherd’s Bush, Westfield Square on Sunday 10th June, 2-5pm.  The 36 young songwriters performing include the 2018 winners, finalists and a selection of highly commended entrants.

The young songwriters performing are from across London (Barnet, Brent, Chelsea, Edgware, Fulham, Hammersmith, Hounslow, Islington, Kensington, Kingston, Richmond), Banbury, Bournemouth, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Haslemere, Hayling Island, Lincoln, Liverpool, Manchester, Tunbridge Wells, Saxmundham, Sunderland, Swindon and Winchester.

This year’s panel of award winning judges included:

Singer songwriters Tom Odell, Imelda May & Lucie Silvas, songwriters & producers Guy Chambers (for Robbie Williams, Tom Jones, Kylie Minogue, & Mark Ronson), Eg White (Adele, Duffy, Take That, Pink), Tim Laws (Gabrielle, Lighthouse Family), Jessica Sharman (for Ward Thomas), Nicky Cox (editor, First News), Nigel Elderton (Chairman, PRS for Music) and Toby Davies (National Adviser Rock & Pop, Trinity College London).   A number of the judges will be at this Young Songwriter 2018 showcase to watch their favourites perform live.

The prestigious Song Academy Young Songwriter competition has gone from strength to strength since it’s launch in 2012 and is now the leading songwriting competition for young people aged 8 to 18 across the world with a strong sense of community. It’s a springboard for the next generation of creative stars to get noticed by key players in the music industry, build confidence, have their voices heard and shine in the limelight. The 2018 competition attracted circa 500 high quality entries cities across the world, from London, Dublin, Cairo, Helinski, Johannesburg, Nashville, New York, Reykjavik, Zagreb to Melbourne.

Tom Odell, singer songwriter said “When I was 13 years old I started writing songs, and over the following years I became more and more obsessed with it.  But the thing that always kept me awake at night was how to get them out there for people to hear them. This is why I think The Song Academy Young Songwriter competition is a great way to inspire and help through this process, and its something I wish had been around when I was starting out.”

Guy Chambers, songwriter & producer said “It’s a huge pleasure to be a part of this years judging panel for the Song Academy Young Songwriter 2018. I have always been a supporter and nurturer of young talent, so it will be great to see what this year’s competition has to offer. Good luck.”

Imelda May, singer songwriter said “I’m very glad to be part of The Song Academy Young Songwriter 2018 judging panel. Good songwriting is the foundation of all good music. This competition is also simply a great way for songwriters to meet other like minded people and I’m happy to encourage anyone to connect and excel in this beautifully expressive art form and cannot wait to hear the songs.”

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

ARTISTS PERFORMING

LUCA ZORZI . VALENTINA ZORZI . JOE HOGG . BEN BEDFORD . EVIN O’KANE . EWAN SCOTT . RILEY STEVENSON . LEELA BOTEJU . EDDIE ATKINS . MAYA CAMPBELL . CAITLIN WILSON . ERIK ANTONYAN . DAISY GRACE POWELL . ASHER SAIPE . LAETITIA FELIX . GRETA BENN . HARRY HATCHER . GRETA BENN . SKYE BISHOP . MIA BRAN . ZOE EFSTATHIOU . JAMES BAKIAN . GRACE FARSIDES .  SOPHIE PENMAN . MADDY ABELA . SKIPPY GONZALE . LISA KOWALSKI . OWAIN FELSTEAD . KATIE KITTERMASTER . LOTTIE JENKINS . MATILDA MANN . JADE THORNTON . OSCAR WELSH . TABITHA JADE . ISABELLA WEINSTEIN

Thank you to The Young Songwriter 2018 sponsors, PRS for Music, SoundCloud, Focusrite, Trinity College London and The ICMP.

Press Release Young Songwriter 2018 Live Showcase Sunday 10th June, 2-5pm

Congratulations to Mia for being a Young Songwriter 2018 Finalist with her song ‘City’.  Here’s a bit about Mia and her songwriting.

What inspired you to write your SAYS18 finalist song ‘City?  I wrote this song about the city I live in, which is London. I wrote this song because some people don’t understand how amazing the city is and I wanted to share that with everyone. When I thought of the song, I was on the train and I was listening to the sounds around me and that’s when I wanted to write a song about it. I made the song about the city in a positive view so that people could see how beautiful and breathtaking it really is.

How long have you been writing songs?  Since I was about 7!

How did you get into songwriting?  I just kind of feel like it runs in my family and I really enjoy it.

What does songwriting allow you to explore and achieve?  It allows me to kind of write down anything I feel and put it into a song. I can explore ideas and feelings that are otherwise hard to express. It helps me achieve being free.

What’s your favourite part of the songwriting process?  My favourite part is singing a new song all the way through for the first time and coming up with the melody.

What’s the most difficult part of the creative process of songwriting for you?  Lyrics! I really have to use my brain to come up with amazing powerful lyrics.

Do you start with lyrics or melodies/chords?  Melodies and chords, definitely.

What do you like about Song Academy and our Young Songwriter competition?  I like that it’s not being judged on your background, it’s about the songwriting not you as a person.

Who are your three favourite artists/songs?  Birdy, Wheatus, Tame Impala.

15 years from now you will be… I’ll be 27 so I’ll be performing music in local areas and teaching children how to become a successful songwriter and artist. Not Grades, I just want to teach them how to be creative.

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not writing songs?  I love to get a tub of ice cream from the freezer and lie in my bed and watch movies! Or I go out with my friends!

Our SAYS18 winners will be announced on the 14th May at 6pm (GMT) on our Twitter channel.

Come & watch the top young songwriters from across the UK and Ireland perform @WestfieldLondon, Shepherd’s Bush in the Young Songwriter 2018 live showcase on Sunday 10th June, 2-5pm. Around 40 performers including winners, finalists & highly commended entrants, aged 8-18 will perform! #savethedate #newgeneration #talent #youngsongwriters #songwriting #newmusic #freeevent #SAYS18

Full line-up to be announced shortly.

Young Songwriter 2018 Press Release Finalists Announced

 

Congratulations to Daisy for being a Young Songwriter 2018 Finalist with her song ‘Interweaving’.  Here’s a bit about Daisy and her songwriting.

What inspired you to write your SAYS18 finalist song ‘Interweaving?  When I wrote Interweaving I had recently watched and read the Hunger Games Trilogy and was influenced by the story in the book and the music in the film. Interweaving is however more about the betrayed friendships and fights that everyone experiences at some time. It is about being caught in the middle of a fight between two friends and feeling trapped and confused. This song is about trying to figure out these problems, where you fit in and trying to forget and move on from them.

How long have you been writing songs? I’ve been writing songs since sometime last year.

How did you get into songwriting? My music teacher, Mo Westworth, started a band at school and she asked me to write a song for the band.

What does songwriting allow you to explore and achieve? It helps me to get all my anger/sadness/happiness out and I feel really proud after writing a song.

What’s your favourite part of the songwriting process? Definitely the lyrics! You can tell a story with them and I have always loved to write.

What’s the most difficult part of the creative process of songwriting for you? Finding interesting chord patterns that flow and reflect the mood of the song.

Do you start with lyrics or melodies/chords? Usually lyrics but sometimes if I have a good melody, I build a song around that.

What do you like about Song Academy and our Young Songwriter competition? It has inspired me to keep on writing songs and it is interesting to listen to amazing songs written by other people my age.

Who are your three favourite artists/songs? Sia – Big Girls Cry, Ed Sheeran – Castle On the Hill and Taylor Swift – Safe and Sound.

15 years from now you will be… Hopefully acting, dancing and singing!

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not writing songs? Drama (I’m a member of a brilliant theatre company in Warwick called Playbox) and art/drawing.

Our SAYS18 winners will be announced on the 14th May at 6pm (GMT) on our Twitter channel.

Come & watch the top young songwriters from across the UK and Ireland perform @WestfieldLondon, Shepherd’s Bush in the Young Songwriter 2018 live showcase on Sunday 10th June, 2-5pm. Around 40 performers including winners, finalists & highly commended entrants, aged 8-18 will perform! #savethedate #newgeneration #talent #youngsongwriters #songwriting #newmusic #freeevent #SAYS18

Full line-up to be announced shortly.

Young Songwriter 2018 Press Release Finalists Announced

 

Congratulations to Oscar for being a Young Songwriter 2018 Finalist with his song ‘The Way You Move’.  Here’s a bit about Oscar and his songwriting.

What inspired you to write your SAYS18 finalist song ‘The Way You Move?

The Way You Move was inspired by seeing the impact of affairs on those directly involved and their families. This song was months in the making, as I always wanted to express the issues that occurred but could never really find the words or instruments to really do it. After a while these chords just came up while I was just playing around on the piano and the song wrote itself in a matter of minutes

How long have you been writing songs / How did you get into songwriting?  I started improvising with basic piano knowledge and eventually started to ‘wail’ (words of my piano teacher) at age 12, the song I entered a few yearsago called ‘Cappuccino’ was my third ever actual song I wrote and to this day is my family’s favourite.

What does songwriting allow you to explore and achieve?  Before a few months ago, I really just wrote songs to make a nice sound – I just liked the satisfaction of showing my parents and them going ‘thats nice’. Recently I started writing from experience as some stuff went down in the family and I felt I needed to address it.

What’s your favourite part of the songwriting process? The first 30 minutes of producing it on my laptop is definitely my favourite part as I start to realise what instruments I’d like to include and I just love playingdrums on tracks – something about it fitting in with the lyrics really interests me.

What’s the most difficult part of the creative process of songwriting for you? Being told that what I have written sucks. I’m always so eager for criticism but I’m not great at changing what I’ve done because I’m impatient – which is something I’m definitely going to work on.

Do you start with lyrics or melodies/chords?  Melodies/Chords definitely – I always try and find a chord sequence which isn’t too cheesy but also still gives the listener a feeling that moves them. I always bear in mind that I’m far from perfect and that its unlikely I’ll find the perfect chord sequence but hopefully it happens one day.

What do you like about Song Academy and our Young Songwriter competition? The fact that it’s motivating. You have the comparison of other people, and although songwriting in itself isn’t a competition – I love being able to feel like it is, and this makes my music better.

Who are your three favourite artists/songs? J Cole – I think rappers are some of the cleverest people Stevie Wonder – He just makes some absolute bangers. Tom Misch – I think his style with the guitar is really cool

15 years from now you will be… Playing music, whether its in a pub or at Wembley – I just love performing as well as writing.

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not writing songs? I like being at school and having fun with friends – whether its skating or just generally socialising. I think that this is important so I have a balance and also something to write about.

Our SAYS18 winners will be announced on the 14th May at 6pm (GMT) on our Twitter channel.

Come & watch the top young songwriters from across the UK and Ireland perform @WestfieldLondon, Shepherd’s Bush in the Young Songwriter 2018 live showcase on Sunday 10th June, 2-5pm. Around 40 performers including winners, finalists & highly commended entrants, aged 8-18 will perform! #savethedate #newgeneration #talent #youngsongwriters #songwriting #newmusic #freeevent #SAYS18

Full line-up to be announced shortly.

Young Songwriter 2018 Press Release Finalists Announced

Congratulations to Erik for being a Young Songwriter 2018 Finalist with his song ‘Happy Birthday’.  Here’s a bit about Erik and his songwriting.

What inspired you to write your SAYS18 finalist song ‘Happy Birthday’?  When I was young I wanted it to be my birthday every day and it was very exciting for me. I think it is every child’s dream to have their birthday every day an di remember when I was little I used to ask when will it be my birthday

How did you get into songwriting? Songwriting is my passion from when I was little and I wanted to celebrate My Birthday everyday.

What does songwriting allow you to explore and achieve? It allows me to achieve confidence and other people enjoy my song.

What’s your favourite part of the songwriting process? The easy part is the lyrics.

What’s the most difficult part of the creative process of songwriting for you? The difficult part is the music.

Do you start with lyrics or melodies/chords? First I start with melody.

What do you like about Song Academy and our Young Songwriter competition?  I can show my talent, meet new talented people and learn new things.

Who are your three favourite artists/songs Bruno Mars, Adele, Will.I.AM

15 years from now you will be… A famous singer

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not writing songs? Play with the computer and play with my baby sister.

Our SAYS18 winners will be announced on the 14th May at 6pm (GMT) on our Twitter channel.

Come & watch the top young songwriters from across the UK and Ireland perform @WestfieldLondon, Shepherd’s Bush in the Young Songwriter 2018 live showcase on Sunday 10th June, 2-5pm. Around 40 performers including winners, finalists & highly commended entrants, aged 8-18 will perform! #savethedate #newgeneration #talent #youngsongwriters #songwriting #newmusic #freeevent #SAYS18

Full line-up to be announced shortly.

Young Songwriter 2018 Press Release Finalists Announced

Congratulations to Isabella for being a Young Songwriter 2018 Finalist with her song ‘Bad Boy’.  Here’s a bit about Isabella and her songwriting.

What inspired you to write your SAYS18 finalist song ‘Bad Boy’?  I’ve been told I have this thing called ‘izzy mentality’ where I write songs that seem very ‘bubbly and happy and not too mature’ so I decided to prove them wrong.

How long have you been writing songs?  I have been writing songs since I was 10 years old.

How did you get into songwriting?  On my 10th birthday I went to Sticky Fingers with my best friend at the time and she had bought me a notebook. I love notebooks and I wanted to use it for something special. It took me a while but I finally decided I would use it to write songs. I was only 10 so my songwriting wasn’t exactly perfect yet but at the time I thought it was great. About a year later I went to my first concert with another great friend and she had tickets to Taylor Swift (the Red tour) in the O2. I had heard of Taylor Swift and I knew her most popular songs like ‘I Knew You Were Trouble’ and ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together’ but it wasn’t until that night that I fell in love with her music and writing. I even started trying to write like her once I figured out how to play the piano and guitar but my style changed a bit a few years later. Since then I haven’t stopped writing – and I’m up to over 100 songs.

What does songwriting allow you to explore and achieve?  It allows me to explore different styles of music which I’ve actually come to love. Until I was about 14 I stuck to slow paced country songs, which shifted to country pop and since, I’ve written a disco song, a few rock songs and a couple of pop songs, but more than anything it lets me often put my thoughts down on paper. Sometimes it’s my melodically diary.

What’s your favourite part of the songwriting process?  I think my favourite part is trying to put secret messages into the lyrics because I love it when people try to figure out who the song is about.

What’s the most difficult part of the creative process of songwriting for you?  I think for me sometimes figuring out what the song should be about is the hardest part if I do not have anything too busy going on in my mind, because I have written so many different songs already. Finding new chord progressions is often difficult.

Do you start with lyrics or melodies/chords?  I tend to start with the chords and put a melody to it so that I have an idea about what it’s meant to sound like. I then add the lyrics.

What do you like about Song Academy and our Young Songwriter competition? I really enjoy the term classes and I love them because I always learn something new, whether its how to write like a different artist or a different genre or some of the different laws in the industry such as copyright. In terms of the competition, I like that people from all over the world can upload their songs to be heard by professionals. Listening to the other songs people upload is also great because they are incredible, so I’m always rooting for my favourites to be in the finalists too.

Who are your three favourite artists/songs?  I love too many songs and artists to have three favourite but I can definitely confirm that Taylor Swift is my number one favourite at the moment and has been for years. I do also really like Selena Gomez and Scouting For Girls along with so many others.

15 years from now you will be…  To be honest, I have no idea what I will be. I could be a criminologist, a lawyer, a doctor, really anything. I can tell you what I do want, I want to be up on a stage singing one of my songs and hold the mic out to hear thousands of people screaming the lyrics.

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not writing songs?  I love hanging out with my friends and going to the gym and sometimes I just want to chill and watch Grey’s Anatomy.

Our SAYS18 winners will be announced on the 14th May at 6pm (GMT) on our Twitter channel.

Come & watch the top young songwriters from across the UK and Ireland perform @WestfieldLondon, Shepherd’s Bush in the Young Songwriter 2018 live showcase on Sunday 10th June, 2-5pm. Around 40 performers including winners, finalists & highly commended entrants, aged 8-18 will perform! #savethedate #newgeneration #talent #youngsongwriters #songwriting #newmusic #freeevent #SAYS18

Full line-up to be announced shortly.

Young Songwriter 2018 Press Release Finalists Announced