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