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.”

Listen to Vaunce’s song ‘Klockwerk Kidz’

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.”.

Listen to Georgia’s song ‘Snow Globe’

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”.

Listen to Fin’s song ‘Your Position’

Listen to Fin’s song ‘Take My Picture’

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”.

Listen to Izzy’s song ‘Fade Away’

Read our Young Songwriter 2014 Interviews Blog Post #5

Read our Young Songwriter 2014 Interviews Blog Post #4

Read our Young Songwriter 2014 Interviews Blog Post #3

Read our Young Songwriter 2014 Interviews Blog Post #2

Read our Young Songwriter 2014 Interviews Blog Post #1

We’ve interviewed our top ten finalists from each age category to get to know them and discover why they write songs and where their inspiration comes from.  Over the next 5 blog posts you’ll get to know each of our finalists…..

Brendan Cleary, 18 years old from Cumbria

The number one goal for me is to be a singer songwriter – and I realise that the competition is quite fierce there. So any opportunity I get to write, I take. I saw the judges for The Young Songwriter Competition and there were some really big names on the panel. Songwriting is what I want to do and I thought maybe this could bridge the pathway to getting involved in the music industry. John Mayer is a big inspiration – especially his acoustic stuff. I also really like Ed Sheeran – and I often get compared to him, I don’t want to copy what he does as he is there’s only room for one of him and he is so good at what he does. I do get a buzz from writing, it’s like performing live. My song ‘Amaze Me’ is a love song I wrote when I was 16 about a teenage crush. I guess you could say songwriting is a kind of release – there’s a chance to say something that would be too soppy to say in person! I recently went out to Australia and I was really inspired whilst out there. So whilst I write about teenage love songs I’m starting to think about writing on a more global scale, about my perception on the world.

Listen to Brendan’s song ‘Amaze Me’

Kaitlyn Haggis, 16 years old from Hertfordshire

I really like the Young Songwriter Competition because it isn’t based on votes like a lot of other competitions are, those competitions tend to become based on social media popularity rather than actual talent. I entered last year as well but there were so many more entries this year, so it’s really good to make the final. I’d like to perform my own stuff as a singer-songwriter, I’m into a range of music – I like Tom Odell but then I’m also really big on Foo Fighters at the moment! I listen to a lot of proper country music, so I write quite a few country songs that I don’t sing myself, but I write them with a country singer in mind like Carrie Underwood. When writing ’Across the Sea’ I was going out with someone who lived a very very long way from me and I wrote the song for him. I just write about stuff that happens to me, it’s mostly about boys if I’m going to be completely honest. It’s my primary experience in life being a 17 year old girl, and I think my best songs come out of that.

Listen to Kaitlyn’s song ‘Across the Sea’

Lior Solomons-Wise, 11 years old from London

When I want to write a song, generally songs just come to me, I don’t sit down and say ‘I’m going to write a song about this or that’ I just start writing it and by the end I have a picture of what it’s going to be and I can edit it. I love playing music and I love singing, it kind of takes me somewhere else where I can be by myself. Most of my songs are kind of mellow and quite sad, well at least they sound sad but actually some of them are happy, some of them are joyful. ‘Where Has My Life Gone’ is about somebody who is homeless. The song expresses my feelings about when I see homeless people in London, and how I wish they could have a better life than they do. I imagined what it would be like to be a person who had nobody to love them and nobody to help them. I’ve been writing songs for quite a long time now and it feels good to be known, it’s good to actually get a proper opportunity. This competition has really pushed me up so I believe that I can achieve more.

Listen to Lior’s song ‘Where Has My Life Gone?’

Romy Sipek, 12 years old from Norfolk

One of my big ambitions in life is to be a singer and to write my own music. I really like Taylor Swift and I listen to all the chart music, all the ‘NOW That’s What I Call Music’ albums which have all the single releases. I’m leaning towards the more electronic sound in my music that I hear in the charts. It’s amazing to be recognised in the top 10, I didn’t really think I’d get into the final! I’ve now written and recorded 7 or 8 songs. I write the songs myself and my piano teacher has a friend with a studio nearby, so we work together making the transition from the original song to the finished recording. I write about what I feel really. If I’m feeling something really strong I get emotions and write them down and they become songs. ‘Devil From Above’ is about people changing to be someone they’re not, I wanted to put across a general message that people should be themselves.

Listen to Romy’s song ‘Devil From Above’

Read our Young Songwriter 2014 Interviews Blog Post #5

Read our Young Songwriter 2014 Interviews Blog Post #4

Read our Young Songwriter 2014 Interviews Blog Post #3

Read our Young Songwriter 2014 Interviews Blog Post #2

Read our Young Songwriter 2014 Interviews Blog Post #1

We’re extremely excited to announce our Young Songwriter 2014 finalists.  Ten finalists in each age group (7-12 years and 13-18 years).  It was a challenging judging process as we attracted fantastic talent across the UK and Ireland.  There were many entrants who showed incredible potential but didn’t make the top ten – these will be awarded special commendations shortly.

Please have a listen to the finalists songs – which one is your favourite?

Ten Young Songwriter 2014 finalists in the 7-12 year old category

Ten Young Songwriter 2014 finalists in the 13-18 year old category 

Our high profile judging panel includes, Eg White (written for Adele, Duffy, James Morrison), Fraser T Smith (written for Adele, Sam Smith, Taio Cruz, Pixie Lott), Barry Mason (written for Tom Jones and Elvis Presley), Rob Davis (written for Spiller and Kylie Minogue) , Lyn Goddard (songwriter and producer), Denzyl Feigelson (advisor to Apple and iTunes and founder of Artists without a label), Debbie Wiseman MBE (composer, conductor and presenter), Jamie Theakston (Heart FM), Nicky Cox (editor of First News), Amy Studt (singer songwriter), Lou Rhodes (singer songwriter), Mark Hill (written for Ed Sheeran and Craig David), Harry Leckstein (Head of Music Business at Tech Music School), Lili Tarkow-Reinisch (written for Ellie Goulding) and Jamie Scott (written for One Direction).

Winner and runners up in each age category will be announced on the 12th May.





The future of the UK and Ireland’s music industry looks great!  Inspirations for our 7-18 years old entrants in weeks 4&5 are coming from the perceived struggle from people who hold you back in life, memories of first love and first breakup, what it’s like to suffer from anxiety and panic attacks, feeling lost and being bullied, songs about films/programmes like Sherlock and Into the Wild and songs about love & safety.

Have a read of the inspirations behind our featured songs from entrants in week 4 and 5 of our Young Songwriter 2014 competition.  Keep entries coming in – closing date is 6th April!  Enter now!

Click here to listen to featured songs and read their inspirations below.

Promised We’d Always Be “Depicts a woman who has lost love and initially is trying to stand up, be strong and deny it but then spends her time dreaming of what they used to have”.

Would You?  “A sudden awareness of the fleetingness of life and how necessary it is to seize the moment”.

Broken Poetry “My song isn’t a love song. It’s a song about heartbreak. But a guy didn’t break my heart – I got my heart broken by trust. I got my heart broken by memories. I got my heart broken by disappointment; expectations stabbed me in the back.

Illusion “The times of being left confused and bewildered”.

Leave “The song ‘Leave’ came about after I heard Kacey Musgraves song ‘Merry Go Round’. I loved how she combined the quintessential style of country with the darker story of the prejudices and stigmas that are attached to many small towns. During this time I had also just finished reading Ibsen’s ‘A Doll’s House’ which got me thinking about the question that most women have to ask themselves at some point in their lives; should I sacrifice my career dreams to dedicate myself to my home and my children? By linking this to a more country style I wanted to make the subject and the music somewhat go against each other. This way the story is slightly masked by the music in the way that someone’s situation can be masked by the image they give off.

Why Are You Waiting “The song is basically kind of a rejection to someone who might like you, when you don’t want to be in a relationship at that moment. When you’re young there are some people who are in and out of relationships like it’s going out of fashion. The song just is saying “slow down, let’s work things out, and if something sparks when we’re older then we’ll take it from there”.

From Me To You “I had feelings for this girl in my form. I eventually told her how I felt and this song is basically a strong summary of how I felt for her and what she meant to me”.

Please send all budding young songwriters our way.  Good luck to everybody!

7 – 12 year old entrants click here to enter

13 – 18 year old entrants click here to enter

It’s been another great week for song entries to our Young Songwriter 2014 competition.   Incredible songs about everything in life, from love, trust, feeling like you’re invisible, anti-bullying, and friendships to grandparents dying and loving yourself for who you are.

Have a listen to our featured 4 songs this week on our audioboo channel. 

It’s moving to hear what inspires each young songwriter to write their songs.  Here’s what inspired Charlie Leavy to write her song ‘The Way Life Is’ “I wrote this song because I think it’s about time people realised that there are bigger issues and concerns in the world besides whom each celebrity is dating and all of the stupid scandals in the Hollywood world. Also, because the troublemaking people of today have no respect for anything and think they’re the royalty of the world as they create havoc while carrying weapons. We have bigger things to be dealing with than people who have no respect, who could easily take a look at their life and think “wait a second, I’m better than this.” It angers me how change could be within our grasp if people stopped being so closed-minded and started to think about not only life now, but life for future generations too”.

If you’re a young budding songwriter or know someone who is, enter our Young Songwriter 2014 competition!  Closing date for entries is 6th April.  Click here to enter!





We’re attracting amazing young songwriters from across the UK and Ireland!  Have a listen to the inspirations for some of our week 2 entrants songs:

Zoom Out “its about how I choose to deal with my problems. Being a 16 girl I feel the world moving too fast for myself to keep up, when something gets difficult its seems so big, but over time I’ve realised that the world moves on and me and my problems are so small compared.

All My Best Music Comes From Petrol Stations “It’s about a guy who’s travelling and is pretty happy about it but also keeps running out of music and food and it’s kind of about the dangers of living in the moment. It’s also inspired from when a friend of mine explained how he keeps finding CDs on the floor of petrol stations. I thought this was quite an interesting idea: that the music that he listens to is the music that has been forgotten by others that were simply stopping by whilst travelling and has been picked up by another, doing the same. The message of the song is that there is a balance between ‘living now’ and planning ahead”.

Find “I wrote this song because I went through a phase at home where I felt out of place. I wasn’t doing great at school and I was a bit down. I lost my way a bit, messing around and getting in trouble. So this song is about how it felt worse being away from what I was used to and where I felt safe even if times were tough and that whatever happens, home and what is familiar to you is the best place to be”.

Hold me forever “I was in a relationship last year which basically fell apart for lots of different reason but I was trying to hold onto what we had left and it wasn’t working. I wrote a song as I find it the best way to put emotions across”.

You’re so hypnotising “So there is this friend who i have known since year 3 and we were an ‘item’ for around 4 years. Then i found out he liked my best friend so i told him to go with her and leave me. This song is about all that and how i felt after everything ,even 4 years later, now that he doesn’t even talk to me properly”.

This is our chance “What inspired me to write this song was the fact me and my boyfriend were going through some tough times. The song is about saying how we now have this one chance to make things right. It says how we need to keep out the dark and start following the light. It says how we don’t need to forget but we need to move on from our mistakes”.

Click here to have a listen to our featured songs from week 2. 

If you haven’t sent your entry in yet, you’ve until 6th April! Click here to enter.

We’ve had a fantastic start to our Young Songwriter 2014 competition!  Budding young songwriters across the UK and Ireland are sending in their own original songs about things that matter to them.  It’s amazing hearing what inspires them to write songs.  Have a listen to our featured songs of week one here: 7-12 year old entrants and 13-18 year old entrants and see below what they’re all writing about.

So what are they writing about?  7-12 year olds are writing inspiring songs about what it’s like growing up and being happy with who they are and having fun in the moment, things they love like sleepovers and playing the guitar, the importance of a family and remembering loved ones.

Here are some great lyrics from our 7-12 year olds entrants;

Growing Up “Growing up is harder than writing a song, Writing a song is short and growing up is long, For growing up there’s no technique, Just be yourself and be unique. I’m growing up, just take me for who I am”.

Photographs”When photographs were of present times and everything just went in rhymes I just want it all back”

Sleepover “It’s a great day We’re having a sleepover No sleep, just movies and songs Tonight we’re gonna party forever.

Guitar Zone “I’m strumming my guitar…and I’m singing in a dream And the words just keep on flowing and I feel so happy”

Proper Family “I need a proper family, someone to be there for me, someone to comfort me, a daddy and a mummy. Just trust me”

Our 13-18 year old entrants are writing about relationships and love – the spontaneity of the moment you first realise that you have a connection with somebody, opening up and trusting people, the first mistakes, arguing about futile things, being wild with friends, breaking up, getting back together, impact of hurtful words.  Also many uplifting songs about living your life to the full and accepting people for who they are, the balance between living now and planning ahead, how small we are in the world but if we take more interest in the world we’ll be bigger within the vast world.

Here are some great lyrics and song titles from our 13-18 year old entrants:

Zoom Out “Deep in this world. Deep in this whirlwind. It’s moving so fast. No one notices what’s past. Living for the now I can’t look to my future. From one day to the next. Running after the times. Trying to keep up with deadlines .You’ve gotta zoom out za za zoom out”

Stand Tall “If you can conceive it I believe you can achieve it”

Amigos Amigas “Now you’re sitting here telling me that I’m out of line. I think you’re out of key, we should be singing the same melody.  You’re my alarm slash lullaby.  My enemy salsh alibi.  I’ll slash jealousy like a samurai”

Here I am “You give me the daylight when I can’t afford the sun you make me feel like I’m the only one.  You give me the night sky when it’s bright you make me feel like I’m going to be alright

Better Than Goodbye “Deep brown eyes and a burning desire to change the world Don’t look back, we’re flying high above, ten feet tall, held up by our love”

When In Rome “You’ve got a pocket full of dreams and a fear of flying, no space to grow your wings so I’ll lend you mine. One word from your lips and I’m seeing stars”

If They Only Knew “Someone saw the damage, someone saw the marks, someone saw through the false pretences, someone saw the scars, someone saw through her, right from the start, someone saw the missing pieces, in this girl’s hear, she felt crazy she felt mad, she felt useless, she felt sad she was tired she felt so alone, if only someone knew, if only someone had known”

Don’t Cross The Line “Took me to the edge We’re running out of time But I’m begging you Pleading you Don’t cross the line”

United “For a day, for a minute, for a second.  Why can’t be just be united”

Click here to listen to our SAYS14 entrants songs so far – and to enter!

If you know any budding young songwriters – please send them our way!

SAYS14 is sponsored by PRS for Music, Dawsons Music and Tech Music School.