This is our second blog post introducing you to more of our top ten finalists from each age category. We’ve interviewed them to find out a bit more about them and discover why they write songs and where their inspiration comes from. Here are Vaunce, Georgia, Fintan and Izzy…
Vaunce, 16 years old from London
“I think I’ll always write songs. I think it’s something I have to do, a compulsion. My inspirations are diverse; the writings of Oscar Wilde and Donald Barthelme; the music of Norah Jones, Sonic Youth, Nine Inch Nails and Bach; the beauty in the sounds of words, the depth of human imagination and desire. Ya know, that sort of thing…. Acceptance, childhood, family, love, art, the superfluous and sexuality are recurring themes. Sometimes my favourite songs to write are those with meanings unknown even to me until they are finished. I have many ways of writing songs and different processes yield different products. Generally I prefer to write lyrics first (although it does depend on the song) and this was the case for Klockwerk Kidz. I’d had one of those days, it was about 2.30am, I wrote all the lyrics out in about half an hour. This song has sentimental value and I enjoy the irony of an anthemic ‘sing-along’ about unfulfilled desire to belong. I write for myself – the more selfish the better. In the end, everything else can desert you but your art always remains – my little piece of the world that no one can take away from me.”
Georgia South, 17 years old from London
“I was really surprised to make the final because I don’t usually write slow songs like ‘Snow Globe’. I also write for my project ‘Braats’, it’s a girl duo and we are pop-punk, up-beat, urban music. I’m a bassist first, and I don’t usually sing. Pharrell and N*E*R*D are my main influence musically, especially from a bass line perspective and I also love Lily Allen’s quirky songwriting. I’ve been songwriting for a while, I’ve actually done some songwriting for EMI’s summer library – just some pop library music. I think with songwriting you have to stick to one topic throughout the song, so Snow Globe is about what’s happening around you. You can’t force songwriting, but if you’re writing to brief you have to write what they ask for, although obviously I would rather write from personal experience. I’d love to get a songwriting deal someday as a songwriter/composer, but obviously I know that takes a lot of hard work. Braats are releasing their music soon so I’m focusing on that for now.”.
Fintan, 11 years old from Kent
“I haven’t experienced something like this before. I’ve never had so many people tell me that ‘your songs are great’. Before becoming a finalist, no-one had heard of me. I nearly entered last year with a couple of friends, we heard about it on First News, but it didn’t work out. I really wanted it badly so I decided to enter again this year. I must have written thousands of songs. I started when I was like 4, but I wasn’t very good! I listened to more people that were in the charts and I began to grown in my ability with music. I really like Lady GaGa and I’m very connected with online sites like Youtube and Soundcloud. I always get updates on the latest chart stuff. I write for my own pleasure and to lift a weight off my shoulders. ‘Your Position’ – is about this kid who was just like me, I felt like he could’ve been born on the same day, only he basically got a record deal. I felt that I could be as amazing as him, but I didn’t pick the right time and opportunity to make my music career happen, so it’s about jealousy. ‘Take My Picture’ is about daydreaming, it’s what I experience everyday. There isn’t a day that passes when I’m not daydreaming. I see all these people on TV and on the screen, and I realise I really want to be like them, and I know that the way I can be like them is to grow in my ability in music”.
Izzy, 12 years old from Dorset
“To be in music as a career would be fantastic, that or drama. I’m more of an arts person, I can’t imagine myself being a nuclear scientist or anything like that. Being in the music industry would be more than I could ask for. I started playing piano when I was 6 or 7 and I wrote my first song at that age, but I was just messing around as small children do. I tend to write piano ballads. I love listening to piano-based songs, that’s my favourite kind of music. The charts are fine, but I’ll write what I want to write. I write about whatever I’m thinking, the first thing on my mind, I just write as I feel at that time. Normally I start with chords, then tune, then lyrics are last because I struggle a bit with lyrics. For ‘Fade Away’ I actually wrote the piano when I was a lot younger, about 10 or 11 kind of age, then recently I went back through old songs, got a melody for it the accompaniment and went from there. My biggest inspiration is Birdy, and I like singer-songwriters like Ellie Goulding and Jessie J because I admire that they are independent and do their own thing”.