Harry Prescott is 15 years old from Hampton and his song ‘In(sane)’ 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 Harry recently to talk about all things songwriting!

What inspired you to write your song?  I thought about how people can have different perspectives on someone who is “insane” and what people should be classified as insane and others not. This is where my play on words in the title of the song was made with the brackets in “in(sane)” implying someone who is insane could be sane. The insanity ties into the song as it’s about someone being followed by Death/The Reaper as it slowly breaks them. And I always had this one riff I’d always wanted to use in a song, and this was perfect for it.

What got you into writing songs?  This was the first time I had written a complete song. Beforehand I had always had ideas for riffs and lyrics but never formulated them into a complete idea. And just the idea of being able to show off my ability in a style and genre I loved felt amazing. It could be 2am and if I had thought of a riff I would have to go play it silently just to tell myself if it was good or not, or if lyrics sprung into my head I would have to write them down.

What is your favourite part of the song writing process?  It definitely has to be the moment when I hear everything come together. The satisfaction of a lot of hard work blending together to become a song that I can be proud of is relieving and satisfying. Recording and writing can be stressful so when you hear the final product, it makes it all worth it.

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 had already had a good plan for a song when I was told there was a 5-day course at a local music store to learn the basics of Logic Pro and to write and record a song. I obviously sprung to the opportunity and 5 days later I had “In(sane)” completed, which would now be close to a year ago that I actually wrote it. The setup comprised of an AI, a laptop and two monitors. But that was enough for me to make something I was proud of.

How do you usually start a song? How do you find that spark?  It can vary from writing down lyrics to a song name idea or to writing riffs. When I feel like I have come up with something that makes me want to play it over and over or re-read them, that is when I know I have made something good.

Who would be your dream artist/writer/band to collaborate with?Being major fans of both Metallica and Slipknot, it is a very tough choice for me. Metallica for me are able to just produce riffs that stick in your head and do not really ever leave. And then slipknot with the variety of song structures and the fact they use un-conventional instruments for metal like a sampler and then even a trash can.

What made you enter #SAYS20? How did you hear about it?  I was scrolling through Instagram and an ad popped up for it. Having a full song already, I didn’t think much more of it and sent my song, not knowing I would become a finalist.

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?  It doesn’t matter if you have a big studio to use or just a phone and an instrument, any song can be good when the person writing it puts the time and effort in to make it good. And don’t feel demoralised when you listen to other entries, the fact that you wrote a song that you can call your own is what really counts.

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?  Romantically Dead by Blaze was one I really enjoyed and would want to collaborate with. Had a really moody, driving through the city at night vibe (if that makes any sense) which I really liked.

What do you like about the Song Academy Young Songwriter competition?  It’s a perfect opportunity for songwriters to submit something that they can get professional feedback on and be heard by other songwriters and appreciated by them, forming a bond between songwriters alike and appreciating others work

 

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

 

Arvin Kinigama is 11 years old from Wimbledon, London and his song ‘Henry Sugar’ 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 Arvin recently to talk about all things songwriting!

What inspired you to write your song?   I had written the lyrics for an English lesson at school and later my music teacher suggested I compose a song for the words as a fun exercise.

What got you into writing songs?   I have been composing classical music (four part chorales) for a couple of years, and I wanted to have a go at writing songs too.

What is your favourite part of the songwriting process?   Trying to match the words’ rhythm and mood to the music.

Describe your setup that you used to write your #SAYS20 entry, was it just a pen and paper or a fully kitted out studio?  Initially I started writing the music on paper, with only voice and piano, but when I added the clarinet part, I decided to copy it out onto Sibelius and continue there. My voice was recorded on an iphone.

How do you usually start a song? How do you find that spark?  I have written few other compositions, but this was my first attempt at trying to write a song with words which I could sing.

Who would be your dream artist/writer/band to collaborate with? Hans Zimmer. I have seen many films with his music scores and I really like how he makes his music reflect the different scenes and moods so well.

What made you enter #SAYS20? How did you hear about it?  I saw a poster at school. I had already been composing classical music but this was my 1st attempt at a song.

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, once you have got an idea of what to write, and you like it, do not keep changing it because usually the first one is often the best.

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 enjoyed listening to ‘A Place to Play by Skye Bishop’ as I found the words to be very appropriate for the current lockdown in the UK. Also I liked the opening piano part and overall recording seemed to be done in a very well equipped studio.

What do you like about the Song Academy Young Songwriter competition?  Being able to listen to others and what others have composed.

 

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

Mariam and Martha are 9 and 10 years old from London and their song ‘Danger Squirrels’ 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 Mariam and Martha recently to talk about all things songwriting!

What inspired you to write your song?  We were at our Nana’s house and we looked out of the window and saw a squirrel. WE thought he looked very mischievous and wanted to write a song about him!

What got you into writing songs?  We like writing the songs because when we make the songs, it makes us feel happiness inside our hearts and when we perform them for our families we feel very proud and that’s what keeps us writing.

What is your favourite part of the songwriting process?  The first bit, where we think about what the songs is going to be about and we have a discussion about what it’s going to be about. Usually, one of us gives the first idea and then we discuss it and expand on it and think about how we want it to sound.

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 a pen and paper! We have instruments, like a violin, clarinet and piano, but we don’t usually use them as we like making the tune and the words.

How do you usually start a song? How do you find that spark? Most of the songs are from looking around us, what season it is, what animals we can see, what’s in the room. We’re also inspired by books we read.

Who would be your dream artist/writer/band to collaborate with? ABBA or Queen maybe perhaps!

What made you enter #SAYS20? How did you hear about it?  Mariam found the advert in a newspaper and we wanted to enter because
we want our songs to expand and for us to be better songwriters and
think about how to add music to our songs.

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? If someone wants to enter, just follow your heart and follow your music don’t think about anyone else’s.

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?  We really like BFFs Forever by Saga Strand because its got a good beat and a nice message.

What do you like about the Song Academy Young Songwriter competition? That it’s not only letting adults make music but children too, as they have good ideas for music too!

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

Jayden Mirchandani is 11 years old from Reading and his song ‘This Is Not The End’ 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 Cora recently to talk about all things songwriting!

What inspired you to write your song?  I was coming to the end of Primary School and my class mates and I were both anxious and excited about moving to our new schools. The song is about the end of an era and the beginning of a new era, remembering what was good and looking forward to the future.

What got you into writing songs?  I have always been singing since I was very young. I started learning to play the guitar when I was 7. As soon as I could play my first 2 chords (C and Am) that’s when I started writing songs. I then started learning the piano and as I learn more I just mix things up and have a song of my own!

What is your favourite part of the songwriting process?  My favourite part is always performing the song to an audience when it is finished!

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 initially wrote the song on the guitar. All I had was my guitar and voice. I wrote the lyrics down with a pen to paper. I then thought it might sound good on piano so I changed it to accompany myself on the key board.

How do you usually start a song? How do you find that spark?  I usually start with the main tune of the song or a riff. I’ve different ideas of tunes in my head. Then I add the lyrics. It’s usually a life experience on something that’s on my mind. I’ve written songs about my best friend moving away, being bullied, moving schools etc.. I then go back and make adjustments.

Who would be your dream artist/writer/band to collaborate with?My dream collaborators would definitely be Queen! I love their music and I think my voice would suit a big Queen like song!

What made you enter #SAYS20? How did you hear about it?  I was a finalist in a Young Singer Songwriters competition in Northern Ireland and the organisers sent me an email letting me know about it.

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?  Definitely enter the competition as it is good motivation to finish a song. I have many unfinished songs and competitions are a good way to finish the song. Song Academy’s competition is UK wide and it allows a wide audience to hear your song. My tip would be to keep writing and write what you like, and stuff you relate to.

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?  Little Jazz Singer by Astrid is excellent! I saw Astrid on the Voice Kids, she’s awesome!  Also, Conor Marcus from the 13-18 years category. I have met Conor at gigs in Northern Ireland, he’s a brilliant songwriter!

What do you like about the Song Academy Young Songwriter competition?  It is good motivation to write and finish songs. I have many unfinished songs and competitions are a good way to finish the song. Song Academy’s competition is UK wide and it allows a wide audience to hear your song. It is also a great opportunity to get help with song writing and potentially meet like minded people and share ideas!

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

Cora Harkin is 12 years old from Derry, Ireland and her song ‘This Is Not The End’ 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 Cora recently to talk about all things songwriting!

What inspired you to write your song?  I was coming to the end of Primary School and my class mates and I were both anxious and excited about moving to our new schools. The song is about the end of an era and the beginning of a new era, remembering what was good and looking forward to the future.

What got you into writing songs?  I have always been singing since I was very young. I started learning to play the guitar when I was 7. As soon as I could play my first 2 chords (C and Am) that’s when I started writing songs. I then started learning the piano and as I learn more I just mix things up and have a song of my own!

What is your favourite part of the songwriting process?  My favourite part is always performing the song to an audience when it is finished!

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 initially wrote the song on the guitar. All I had was my guitar and voice. I wrote the lyrics down with a pen to paper. I then thought it might sound good on piano so I changed it to accompany myself on the key board.

How do you usually start a song? How do you find that spark?  I usually start with the main tune of the song or a riff. I’ve different ideas of tunes in my head. Then I add the lyrics. It’s usually a life experience on something that’s on my mind. I’ve written songs about my best friend moving away, being bullied, moving schools etc.. I then go back and make adjustments.

Who would be your dream artist/writer/band to collaborate with?My dream collaborators would definitely be Queen! I love their music and I think my voice would suit a big Queen like song!

What made you enter #SAYS20? How did you hear about it?  I was a finalist in a Young Singer Songwriters competition in Northern Ireland and the organisers sent me an email letting me know about it.

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?  Definitely enter the competition as it is good motivation to finish a song. I have many unfinished songs and competitions are a good way to finish the song. Song Academy’s competition is UK wide and it allows a wide audience to hear your song. My tip would be to keep writing and write what you like, and stuff you relate to.

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?  Little Jazz Singer by Astrid is excellent! I saw Astrid on the Voice Kids, she’s awesome!  Also, Conor Marcus from the 13-18 years category. I have met Conor at gigs in Northern Ireland, he’s a brilliant songwriter!

What do you like about the Song Academy Young Songwriter competition?  It is good motivation to write and finish songs. I have many unfinished songs and competitions are a good way to finish the song. Song Academy’s competition is UK wide and it allows a wide audience to hear your song. It is also a great opportunity to get help with song writing and potentially meet like minded people and share ideas!

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

 

Stan Buckroyd is 16 years old from Nottingham and his song ‘Fences’ 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 Stan recently to talk about all things songwriting!

What inspired you to write your song?  I wrote the song at a time of uncertainty, in politics and other social areas but also uncertainties in my life with relationships, choices, and where I was going in the future.

What got you into writing songs?  I’ve always loved listening and playing music. Writing music has been the best way for me to express myself, and it’s a great feeling knowing you’ve made something original.

What if your favourite part of the song writing Process?  My favourite part would most likely be hearing it come together.

Describe your setup that you used to write your #SAYS20 entry, was it just a pen and paper or a fully kitted out studio?  All my songs start with just me and an acoustic guitar – often a song will start as one thing and end completely differently. Once I have a song’s words and chords written I then record them with electric guitars/ bass and create software drum beats, and then grow the song from there. But the base of the song remains the same for the most part.

How do you usually start a song? How do you find that spark?  Words will come from a certain feeling at the time, but I still have to find them. The music normally comes from me just messing about and sticking with something I like such as a riff or bass-line.

Who would be your dream artist/writer/band to collaborate with?Probably someone like the Arctic Monkeys, been a top band for me since I was little, and Alex Turner’s song writing ability is some of the best around.

What made you enter #SAYS20? How did you hear about it? Heard about the competition on an Instagram add, and thought it was worth a try. I didn’t go in with any expectations just had confidence in my music as all artists should, and wanted to see how I did against a lot of great young artists.

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?  For any young artist in general I’d just say be confident in what you make, as being able to make something original by itself is such a huge achievement to anyone.

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 liked “No ones fool”- Miss Moresha, and “Caffeine” – room 6

What do you like about the Song Academy Young Songwriter competition? I love that it’s offered to such a range of ages/people.

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

 

George Dickson is 16 years old from Leeds and his song ‘365’ 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 George recently to talk about all things songwriting!

What inspired you to write your song?  To be honest, I started out just wanting to write a song, having loved the experience in the past and wanting to improve by practice. Then, it became a song inspired by the question ‘what do you want to do when you’re older?’ and ‘what next?’ as I’ve always struggled to answer this, not matter how many Ideas I may have. So I guess the song sprang from everyone else’s obsession with needing to have a clear cut plan for their life; just take some time to enjoy your 365!

What got you into writing songs?  I started learning piano many years ago and I have since taught myself guitar with early help from my Dad and inspiration from my Grandad who has always been very musical. Eventually, once I started listening to more and more music and being influenced by all the different musicians that my family and friends listen to, I wanted to give it a go myself. I haven’t been writing songs my whole life, it is quite a recent hobby for me but definitely being around other musical people, starting to play in a band and having the help of school teachers as well as my external Piano/Guitar teacher has really helped me to get more into it. I have pretty much had a song on the go ever since I started GCSE music at school and since I discovered that my Piano/Guitar teacher is also an incredible song writer.

What if your favourite part of the song writing Process?  I think the most exciting moment has to be the initial spark when you first come up with that riff, that chord progression, that lyric or whatever it is. Then, if you can start to hear what comes next or what the song is going to sound like then it can be a great moment. However, it has to said that finally finishing a song after weeks of mastering and re-recording, and finally seeing it uploaded as a single file on SoundCloud is very satisfying. It can take a lot of patience to finish the final steps of the song writing process but finishing and listening to the end product is also a great moment!

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 my song, 365, on my piano and then started recording it onto ipad, recording straight into Garageband. I am also very lucky to be able to take my song to my piano/guitar teacher’s house where I can use all his instruments and do some recording on my Ipad while I’m there. I then upgraded onto a Macbook, still using Garageband but its still very much just me at my desk, with a guitar, a piano, a mic and a laptop. I tend to write the songs as I record them, so I don’t find myself planning out the song much before I start unless its just in my head.

How do you usually start a song? How do you find that spark?  To be honest, I don’t think I’ve yet found a single way of starting a song. I usually start by sitting at my piano or with a guitar and finding a chord progression that a like and a deciding what kind of genre or mood I’m going for. Then I just hit record and see what happens, knowing that once I get something down, I will be able to work from there. For this particular song, 365, I actually started it after I was playing the Bohemian Rhapsody piano intro and started improvising in the same key. Then I just stumbled across the riff (now at the start of 365) by accident and I knew straight away that I had to turn it into a song.

Who would be your dream artist/writer/band to collaborate with?That’s a very hard question! To start with, I can’t think of anyone better to sit in a studio with and write a song than Ed Sheeran because I think he is an absolute genius when it comes to song writing and he seems like such a genuine guy. However, I would love to work with the Band ‘Ripe’ who I discovered recently after their lead singer featured on a Cory Wong track; they have such a unique style, use some incredible brass and I think they would be incredible to work with. I listen to way too many people to name, but bands like the Kooks, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Sundara Karma and the legendary Queen, all the way to individuals like Jack Johnson, John Mayer and Elton John would all be incredible to work with. I can’t pick one, so it would have to just be one massive mash-up collaboration I guess.

What made you enter #SAYS20? How did you hear about it?  When I started writing the song, I hadn’t actually heard of the competition. Then, when I was sitting in the school library one day, I decided I had nothing to lose and started searching for ways to promote my music. When I came across the #SAYS20 website, it looked like such an incredible competition that had done so much amazing work with some incredible musicians, so I started filling out the form and from then on, I didn’t even think twice about it.

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 that there’s no point going to all the effort of writing a song and then not getting it out there. The competition is a brilliant way of having your music recognised and listened to by some incredible musicians so there’s really nothing to lose. My main tip would be, don’t be scared to go back and have another go. There’s no cost to writing a song so start with whatever you’ve got, put all your ideas down and then don’t be scared to scrap them and start again; it’s the only way you will know that you have found the best version of 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?  I can’t say I’ve listened to every other entry but I loved the lyrics and feel of ‘Friday Night Steak and Chips’ by Elo Q. I really enjoyed listening to ‘What if I by Harrison Rhys’ and ‘Take me back to the Days’ by Scott Channon had a nice Ed Sheeran quality to it. There’s been so many good entries though and they all have their own brilliant features so I couldn’t say I have a favourite.

What do you like about the Song Academy Young Songwriter competition?  I love the fact that it offers opportunities to some really young entrants, I think it’s great to offer a platform and a professionally judged competition to people who are just starting writing songs, perhaps for the first time, at such a young age. I also love how personal it has felt, it has a great media presence and putting all the entries up on Soundcloud is, such an incredible opportunity for everyone to get their music heard by so many more people and by others who share the same passion for writing songs.

 

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

 

Faye Fantarrow is 17 years old from Sunderland and her song ‘Strobe Lights’ 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 Faye recently to talk about all things songwriting!

What inspired you to write your song?  Strobe Lights was inspired by a night where I was surrounded by friends and people I  cared about yet there was that one person who I particularly wanted to be there with and he paid no attention whatsoever! I mainly felt conflicted because despite my being aware they would never love me and I didn’t need their love I was still so focused upon their lack of interest.

What got you into writing songs?  I started writing songs when i was 8 years old, ironically it all started  because I would never get the lyrics to songs right, so much so it got to the point i just thought I would write my own. Even from a young age I was quite observational with the topics I wrote about and tried to use it as a way of coping with whatever was going on around me.

What is your favourite part of the songwriting process? My favourite part of the songwriting process has to be when I’m sitting in my room and all of a sudden lyrics start flowing naturally to the melody I’m playing on my guitar. It feels like you’re the only person in the world and your song at that time means everything.

Describe your setup that you used to write your #SAYS20 entry, was it just a pen and paper or a fully kitted out studio?  To write my entry, I started with a melody; just me and my acoustic guitar and then I  put pen to paper and wrote the lyrics.

How do you usually start a song? How do you find that spark?  I usually start a song with a melody on my guitar, but the lyrics are always inspired by something I’ve seen or experienced or even something that’s been playing on my mind for a few days.

Who would be your dream artist/writer/band to collaborate with?That would most definitely be Mark Ronson, purely because of his extensive and diverse capabilities and the amazing stories he must have about all the fantastic artists he’s worked with in the past that hopefully he wold share.

What made you enter #SAYS20? How did you hear about it? I heard about #SAYS2020 via Twitter. I thought  it would be a good chance to have my music heard outside of Sunderland, the opportunities that were being offered, in particular the fantastic panel of judges who would be listening to my music and discussing it, is mind blowing

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?  To anyone who was been trying the Young Song Academy with one of their songs, I would say be the most authentic version of yourself because at the end of the day you don’t want to be judged upon someone you think you should be presenting to the world, if you stay true to yourself it will make any sense of achievement so much more potent and precious.

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? Some of my particular favourites amongst the entries are Sam Wilkinson- A Christmas Walk, Leona Mae – Deserve My Love , Demie – Bed Of Roses. Out of those I believe I would collaborate best with Sam Wilkinson because i admire his lyrics and song writing style.

What do you like about the Song Academy Young Songwriter competition? I love that it is open to both national and international applicants and that all categories are very inclusive.

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

 

Luke Pender  is 10 years old from Birmingham and his song ‘Wanna Be A Rock Star’ 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 Luke recently to talk about all things songwriting!

What inspired you to write your song?  I was talking to my friends at school about how cool it would be to live a rock star lifestyle instead of being at school and doing tests.

What got you into writing songs?  I became interested in writing songs after I started to learn the guitar and keyboard.  I was inspired by watching my favourite bands; Queen and the Beatles.

What is your favourite part of the songwriting process?  Thinking of the melody and then creating it with instruments.

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 created my song playing my electric piano and guitar and then put it all together using ‘Garage Band’ on my tablet.

How do you usually start a song? How do you find that spark?  I think of a chord sequence, and then work around that to create the verse, bridge and chorus. The lyrics normally come afterwards.

Who would be your dream artist/writer/band to collaborate with?  Freddie Mercury or John Lennon! For someone today it would be Elton John.

What made you enter #SAYS20? How did you hear about it?  I googled ‘Song Writing Competition’s saw this and thought ‘Yes’.

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?  Think of a really great melody in your head and then try and play it on your instruments. Then, mind map some lyrics about a theme and go from there!

What are your other favourite songs in the competition?

  • ‘Sweet and Sour’ by Daisy
  • ‘Stop the Revolution’ by Tommy
  • ‘Vicars Close’ by Woody

What do you like about the Song Academy Young Songwriter competition?  It gives a chance for children to show what they have created.

 

 

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

 

Arcani Martins, aka A7  is 10 years old from London and his song ‘Far (Krept Konan Kiico)’ 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 A7 recently to talk about all things songwriting!

What inspired you to write your song? Last year I heard about the Song Academy Young Songwriter competition through school and entered with the first song I’d ever written, “Young kings” this song managed to get me to the last 30 in my category. Because I didn’t actually win with Young Kings, it inspired me to not give up and to try again this year and write another stronger song.

What got you into writing songs?  I was watching the voice kids and I saw this boy rapping one of my favourite songs and that got me wanting to write my own songs. So my friends and I started making songs for fun at school. We entered our school talent competition and we got to the finals and won the runners up prize.

What is your favourite part of the songwriting process?  My favourite part of the song writing process is finding the chorus because there are so many different melodies that I come up with, so sometimes I use them but if not I just remember them for later and use them in other songs.

Describe your setup that you used to write your #SAYS20 entry, was it just a pen and paper or a fully kitted out studio?  It starts off with me just writing on my phone to an instrumental that I like. My dad has some studio equipment and a laptop and a program called Logic Pro on, which he taught me how to use. Once I had finished writing the song I start recording from there using a microphone connected to the laptop.

How do you usually start a song? How do you find that spark?  First step I take when making a song is, I start by either making a beat using Logic or finding an instrumental I like. Because when I have my music, depending on the feel and vibe of the beat I can visualise how the song is going to go and what I want to make the song about and what to write

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

There is a UK rapper I really like called KS. Also the 3 artists I named in my song Krept, Konan and Kiico. I’d love to collaborate with any of them.

What made you enter #SAYS20? How did you hear about it?  I originally heard about the competition last year in 2019 at school. My school teacher Ms Palmer put posters around my school and I really wanted the opportunity to put my music out there when I was only 9. So after entering last year, I was on the website looking out for the announcement for this years Says2020 openings.

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 don’t be shy or worry that your song won’t be good enough. Try your best and work hard and just do it. You will never know how good you can be if you never try. “And even if it doesn’t work out, get up and try again.” This is one of my lyrics in my entry this year and it basically means that you can get up and try again and you will get the better and better the more time you try and at some point you will get rewarded for your hard work and persistence.

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’d like to collaborate with Skye Bishop’s or Eva Knight because I really like their voices and like their song entries this year. I would like to do a song with me rapping on the verses and one of them on the chorus or even one of them writing a track and me featuring a 16 bar rap on it. I also like Will Massie’s entry this year. I like the melodies he uses and the way the beat switches up on the chorus.

What do you like about the Song Academy Young Songwriter competition?  I like how anyone from any background and any writing ability can make a song and potentially win a huge prize out of it. I like the fact that no matter what genre songs you write the Young Songwriter Competition provides a stage for you to be seen. But I do feel that with me being the only rapper in the competition, it makes me realise that I need to work extra hard and be really creative with my writing so I really stand out.

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