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

What inspired you to write your SAYS18 finalist song ‘Trust Me?  As a songwriter, I tend to communicate through writing and this song Trust Me, I wrote because I could see things were not right and it expresses how I was feeling at the time.
 The inspiration for the song, as the name suggests comes from a personal experience with my first real relationship, with a boy that was over protective and controlling. He would want to tell me what was appropriate to wear and do, which in the end I walked away from. When I sing the song, it immediately takes me back to that point in time when we were spending time together.

How long have you been writing songs? I have been writing for around 6 years, I first started when I was only 11 years old.

How did u get into songwriting?  I began learning the guitar; this really encouraged me to start learning covers. One day I was performing a song to my dad in my living room and he saw how much I enjoyed it and he suggested I should try and write a song. From that moment I’ve been writing nearly every day since.

What does songwriting allow you to explore and achieve?  It explores my imagination and feelings, it is such a great way to let my emotions out in a positive way. When I do I achieve such a great feeling of happiness and relief.

What’s your favourite part of the songwriting process?  I love it when I start humming a riff and come up with a catchy, sweet melody!

What’s the most difficult part of the creative process of songwriting for you?  Finishing the song and staying focused on it without rushing the end. I always get excited and another idea for another song comes into my head as soon as I pick up my guitar and I have to start it.

Do you start with lyrics or melodies/chords?  The majority of the time I begin with chords, and then I hum a melody and finally put the lyrics down.

What do you like about Song Academy and our Young Songwriting competition?  I think it gives teenagers an amazing opportunity to have their songs listened to by professionals in the music industry and critiqued. If you are lucky enough to win then you are given some life changing music recording equipment, and an opportunity to work with top recording producer Paul Stanborough in London! This will be so useful as it would help me develop my music quicker and give me the option to record my ideas.

Who are your three favourite artists/songs?  I adore many artists but my top 3 would be Billie Ellish (an American artist whose only 16), Ledisi (an American soul singer) and Jorja Smith (an English artist with an incredible voice). At the moment I love the song ‘Lovely’ by Billie Ellish and Khalid. It has got such a sincere and powerful message and feel. Another song I love is a song by Ledisi called ‘I blame you’.

15 years from now…  In 15 years time I would like to be a full time professional singer songwriter musician, recorded a few albums, and travelling and performing them to audiences.

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not writing songs?  I love performing my original songs on stage with my band! It’s such an amazing feeling, especially when members of the audience give feedback and really connect with my original songs.

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 Jade for being a Young Songwriter 2018 Finalist with her song ‘Only Me’.  Here’s a bit about Jade and her songwriting.

What inspired you to write your SAYS18 finalist song ‘Only Me’? I recently left college and have had to take the backseat whilst all of my friends go off to uni and take the traditional step up in life. This song is about cherishing my own path and not being so hard on myself for wanting to follow my dream.

How long have you been writing songs?  I started writing songs around 2014-2015, just after I started learning to play guitar!

How did you get into songwriting?  I started learning how to play guitar as I wanted to explore songwriting and accompanying myself. I always saw it as something quite unreachable, but joined a club in year 10 to try and bounce off of other people’s ideas.

What does songwriting allow you to explore and achieve?  Songwriting is genuinely quite a cathartic release for me, as It allows me to create something that has a special meaning to me, but can also relate to other people and strike a chord with them.

What’s your favourite part of the songwriting process?  I know it sounds silly but when it’s finished! I love the process, but it can be quite difficult at times. However, I find it extremely satisfying when the song just writes itself, as I find myself either writing songs very quickly or extremely slowly. Also, when I finish, I can evaluate the whole product & I always send a voice note to my best friend; which is always great!!

What’s the most difficult part of the creative process of songwriting for you?  I can see a distinguised difference in how my songwriting process has evolved over the years. Something I still struggle with is not presenting myself bare in a song, as I once saw a quote with ‘give them 2 and 2, not 4’. This stuck with me as I am constantly trying to hide meanings in my songs, providing light and shade.

Do you start with lyrics or melodies/chords?  I always start with chords! I find a progression that I like & start humming incoherent sounds over the top, until it forms something coherent! I usually write down little clips of thoughts throughout my day, but I usually just start and see what comes from it!

What do you like about Song Academy and our Young Songwriter competition?  I love that it gives young songwriters a platform to express themselves and be taken seriously!

Who are your three favourite artists/songs?  Oooooh! I would definitely have to say that Ed Sheeran remains my favourite artist of all time, as I can credit him to who got me into my songwriting & performing. I also love Tori Kelly as she has such a distinguished sound and playing style… and her vocals are i n s a n e! I am also loving Anne Marie currently, as I really love her style and she never ceases to amaze me with the emotion she puts into her performance.

15 years from now you will be… Making a living from music! I want my music to be heard, to have a solid fan base and hopefully to make people happy with my own material. Ofcourse I would love to tour, and have no.1 albums, but that would be a mega bonus. I just want to be able to sustain my dream and keep on climbing!

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not writing songs? Busk busk busk!!! I found that creatively, University and part time jobs were not the path for me, so I gave busking ago. 6 months down the line, I’m busking 3-4 times a week and am still absolutely LOVING IT!

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 Zoe for being a Young Songwriter 2018 Finalist with her song ‘All She Has To Do’.  Here’s a bit about Zoe and her songwriting.

What inspired you to write your SAYS18 finalist song ‘All She Has To Do’?  I’ve never had a mental illness but I know a few people who have. I think it’s very important for other people to help them because they can’t do it on their own. I want this song to show people with mental illnesses that they have much to live for and have many people around them who can help. The first verse is what people think from the outside-there isn’t any hope, but as I progress through the song it shows that there is hope.

How long have you been writing songs?  Nearly 4 years

How did you get into songwriting?  Actually from a Song Academy club at my school.

What does songwriting allow you to explore and achieve?  It helps me realise how hard song writing is and how we should appreciate all the amazing song writers which we are sadly loosing as the pop generation develops.

What’s your favourite part of the songwriting process?  I love it all really! I love seeing people’s reactions to my songs and what emotions they felt whilst hearing it.

What’s the most difficult part of the creative process of songwriting for you?  Probably trying trying make my songs original and not cheesy!

Do you start with lyrics or melodies/chords?  I always start with chords then develop fitting lyrics around them.

What do you like about Song Academy and our Young Songwriter competition?  It makes me realise how much amazing talent there is but also makes me feel that just because I’m a kid, doesn’t mean people can’t enjoy and listen to my music.

Who are your three favourite artists/songs?   Wow. This is hard. I love Oasis because they are so different to what is on the radio today. I also think David Bowie is a huge influence on Music today and obviously Tom Odell because he has such a unique and emotional way of writing.

15 years from now you will be… Hopefully getting my songs heard and getting my emotions and passions out to people. Or maybe a crazy cat lady, hopefully not.

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not writing songs?  I am almost always writing songs! I love to play sport, read books and definitely video games!

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 Joshua for being a Young Songwriter 2018 Finalist with his song ‘Your Picture On The Mantlepiece’.  Here’s a bit about Joshua and his songwriting.

What inspired you to write your SAYS18 finalist song ‘Your Picture On The Mantlepiece? The inspiration for this song came from some dark experiences that my friends have gone through in the past couple of years. After two of my friends tried to end their life and another went through with it I began to ask myself some questions.
 How did they get to the place where they no longer had the will to live? When I was writing this song I visited a family who had a picture of our friend who ended their life on the mantelpiece. It struck me how this friend remained the same, how they would never grow up. This image stuck with me and became the inspiration for this song. The song also explores the pain that so many go through when somebody takes their life and how many people care for them.  I’m hoping that this song will make more people aware about mental health and that we can do more as a society to care and look after these people.

How long have you been writing songs?  I started writing songs from a young age and have fond memories of performing my compositions during primary school assembly’s.

How did you get into songwriting? Music has always been a major part of my life as my mum’s a professional musician.   In the last couple of years I started using Logic Pro X. It gave me freedom and versatility when developing song ideas and allowed me to write, produce and record songs incorporating different genres.  Finding this tool was like discovering a new language for me.

What does songwriting allow you to explore and achieve?  Music allows me to outwardly express themes and personal experiences that are difficult to open up a dialogue about. For this particular song I was inspired by mental health and the taboo surrounding this area.

What’s your favourite part of the songwriting process?  One of the areas that I find the most enjoyable and challenging is finding the right lyrics. In every one of my songs I hope to express ideas that are relatable and real to peoples lives that can be interpreted in different ways.

What’s the most difficult part of the creative process of songwriting for you?  I find production the most challenging part of songwriting as often ideas that are in my head are difficult to translate into real life.

Do you start with lyrics or melodies/chords?  I tend start with melodies as this is the driving force for the song. I will then work on creating a storyline and concept and find lyrics that fit around this idea.

What do you like about Song Academy and our Young Songwriter competition?  I like the way Song Academy encourages young people to share their music and ideas. It bridges an incredible gateway for aspiring artists looking to enter into the music profession.

Who are your three favourite artists/songs?   Avicii – His captivating melodies and intriguing lyrics combined with great production has inspired me to pursue songwriting.  Clean Bandit – They bring together classical musicianship with contemporary style.  Sia – I’m inspired by the way she allows her art form to proceed narcissism and fame

15 years from now you will be… Songwriting and producing music in collaboration with different artists and continuing to explore different themes that are accessible to people’s lives.  Pursuing an acting career alongside whether that be on stage or screen in order to bring stories to life in a different medium.

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not writing songs?  Alongside songwriting I’m pursuing a career as a professional actor and in my free time partake in a variety of dance classes.

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 Joe for being a Young Songwriter 2018 Finalist with his song ‘This Letter’.  Here’s a bit about Joe and his songwriting.

What inspired you to write your SAYS18 finalist song ‘This Letter?  I have been rapping for about a year now. I have entered the Assemblies of God Fine Arts Competition for 2018 and needed an impactful, skillfully created song to touch the audience with emotions through relating to my personal experiences as a human being. I wanted to push myself and pour my guts into the music I create, and this time I really did. For me, it is a way to deal with the traumas I have experienced in my life, and a way to cope. I hope to use my music to impact others as much as it means and impacts me.

How long have you been writing songs? I have been writing songs for a little over a year.

How did you get into songwriting? Sorry in advance for this long response, but I feel like it is a very crucial part of understanding where I’ve been and the person I was compared to what I’ve conquered and who I am now.  I used to live in a small town in Minnesota, both sides of my parents are mentally challenged, with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and the list continues. I was physically abused by my parents for 6-7 years, usually by my mom because she had 8 kids at the time and had no way to deal with the stress. My dad drives a semi truck for a living, and he never knew how to be a dad. He would hide in the garage and play video games. During that time, around when I was 6, my oldest brother sexually abused me for a long time. I was removed from the house for the physical abuse by Department of Human Services and put into foster care. Eventually my grandparents took us on, and we moved down to Iowa. But as time passed and they realized my parents were never getting their act together, my grandparents did their best to keep order, but now, 9 years later, my family is split apart. Currently my oldest sibling is in Minnesota recently got out of the institution, my oldest sister was in foster care, turned 18 and now is trying to finish high school out of foster care. Then there is me, and a brother left and my grandparents.

During this time I started listening to the rapper & songwriter NF. His passion and ability to struggle with the same issues I have struggled with really empowered me to keep pushing forward, and eventually I started to spill my pain into songs, and the biggest example of this would be my song ‘My Story’.

What does songwriting allow you to explore and achieve? Songwriting allows a way of release to the emotions I feel, in a passionate and sometimes powerful, but most importantly therapeutic way. When I am able to take my pain and then create something meaningful and beautiful out of it has always been a fuel for me. On top of that, then being able to share that passion, pain, and those emotions on a stage or through a track and having people come up to me after listening to a performance or a track has completely changed my plans for the future.

What’s your favourite part of the songwriting process? My favourite part of songwriting has to be the ability to pour out my passion and emotion and create something powerful I than can share with others.

What’s the most difficult part of the creative process of songwriting for you? The most difficult part for me when I am creating a song is not the flow, or it not sounding right, or how bad a recording it may be, rather it is the emotional impact it gives me when I write it. I have many half songs that are lyrically adept, and decent. But I never completed these as I felt as though there was not enough heart behind it, or sometimes just my motives for writing at that time were not meaningful enough, or it conflicted with my personal values. For example, I don’t use profanity in my songs, because I dare to be different, I feel as though trying to fit into what everyone wants to hear, and not be who I truly am makes the message of the song less impactful.

Do you start with lyrics or melodies/chords? I typically start with lyrics, then find a sound that I feel flows well, and fits the style of my song and message.

What do you like about Song Academy and our Young Songwriter competition? I love the ability to be able to share my story and music and be able to be judged by very well trained and experienced judges, as well as be able to have a friendly competition with others.

Who are your three favourite artists/songs? My favorite artists are: NF, Witt Lowry and Macklemore. My three favorite songs are: Therapy Session – NF, Lost in the Moment – NF, Make The Money – Macklemore

15 years from now you will be… An artist, one that travels the world and performs and lives a life way beyond even I could imagine!!!

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not writing songs? I love to be with friends and hangout and do whatever. Unfortunately that’s not the majority of where my time is spent, I have school, and a job at a local grocery store. I am also in the Colorguard, which is the biggest visual presentation aspect of marching band. I typically write in any spare time I have or when something emotionally charging happens.

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 Lottie for being a Young Songwriter 2018 Finalist with her song ‘Snapped’.  Here’s a bit about Lottie and her songwriting.

What inspired you to write your SAYS18 finalist song ‘Snapped?  My song is about a girl who fell in love with somebody who didn’t really love her in the way that she wanted to be loved and because of this, she has lost trust in love. She doesn’t want this to happen again, she wants to escape the pain, and now that she’s free, she wants to run till her heart snaps!

How long have you been writing songs?  Since age 8 (6 yrs)

How did you get into song writing?  I used to get my mum’s iPhone and sing made up songs into the ‘voice memos’ – she still has them!

What does song writing allow you to explore and achieve?  It helps me express my emotions and write about metaphors in life.

What’s your favourite part of the song writing process?  I love writing the lyrics.

What’s the most difficult part of the creative process of song writing for you?  I seriously don’t find Songwriting difficult.

Do you start with lyrics or melodies/chords?   Chords and sometimes lyrics.

What do you like about Song Academy and our Young Songwriter competition?  I like the exposure my songs get in the music industry and the judges.

Who are your three favourite artists/songs?   At the moment my favourites are Camilla Cabello (Havana), Anne-Marie (Friends), Shaun Mendez (in My Blood)

15 years from now you will be…  15 years from now I will be famous.

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not writing songs?   Keeping fit.

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 Harry for being a Young Songwriter 2018 Finalist with his song ‘Hello’.  Here’s a bit about Harry and his songwriting.

What inspired you to write your SAYS18 finalist song ‘Hello?

I was in quite a dark mind frame when I wrote the song. Its about not getting recognised for the amazing work you do and wanting to reach out to people to help them get heard. Great ballad and just reflects that people without much recognition can go far.

How long have you been writing songs?  Since a young age really, but properly I’d say…2 years

How did you get into songwriting?  I was being bullied and when I started to write songs, it became easier.

What does songwriting allow you to explore and achieve?  Myself. It lets me bring out whatever emotions I need to if I can’t say them out loud.

What’s your favourite part of the songwriting process? Having the song finished. It makes me really proud and happy.

What’s the most difficult part of the creative process of songwriting for you?  Getting started on an idea.

Do you start with lyrics or melodies/chords?  Bit of both really. Mainly music and write to the song.

What do you like about Song Academy and our Young Songwriter competition?   It gives young people a chance to shine and get the support they need.

Who are your three favourite artists/songs?   Ed Sheeran – Perfect …. Little Mix – Secret Love Song…. Ariana Grande – No Tears

15 years from now you will be…  I would love to be a pop star who gets to share their music with the world.

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not writing songs?  Sing! I am always singing/dancing!

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 Lisa for being a Young Songwriter 2018 Finalist with her song ‘Free Spirits’.  Here’s a bit about Lisa and her songwriting.

What inspired you to write your SAYS18 finalist song ‘Free Spirits?   Free Spirits is inspired by my Mum calling me free-spirited during a discussion about me finding it difficult to run with the crowd at school. I wrote it around 2 years ago, when I was 16 and my friendship group was beginning to fragment.
The words reflect the difficulties I had been having with finding a peer group who would accept me as I am. I have always turned to song writing to express hopes, frustrations and dreams and the words of this song reflect my decision to be myself regardless.
 It basically reflects pride in being who am, being different and believing that one day my time will come. Its about holding true to your personal goals and embracing your creativity and individuality.
I wrote it on a Friday evening after the chat with my Mum and it got its debut at half time at my local football stadium St Mirren FC the next day, to a crowd of around 4000.

How long have you been writing songs?  I wrote my first song when I was 13 about wanting to be a singer and perform my own music on stage to a crowd. Since then I’ve just kept writing about a variety of different things all based on things that I’ve experienced, felt or am passionate about.

How did you get into song writing? All the artists that I’ve admired, from when I was younger to now, have been songwriters as well as performers. I really loved the stories they would tell from their music and loved to sing their music around the house. Then when I was 12 I got my first guitar for Christmas and started learning chords and from there on I learned how to put chords together to make my own melody and write lyrics on top of it and the artists I listened to really influenced me through this.

What does song writing allow you to explore and achieve?  There’s so many things I’ve been able to experience through writing and performing my own music. I’ve met a lot of amazing people, won competitions such as Salute UK, performed at iconic venues like King Tuts and Stereo and had the amazing opportunity to record my own EP “Free Spirits” which has really helped me progress in my career.

What’s your favourite part of the song writing process?  My favourite part is when you’re finishing the song. Writing a song can take me between ten minutes or a couple weeks but no matter how long it takes me it feels good to finish something and know you’re happy with the way it’s turned out and then know you get to show the finished song to other people at your gigs.

What’s the most difficult part of the creative process of song writing for you?  There’s often times where I don’t feel very inspired or creative. I’ll have days where the ideas for lyrics, melodies and chord progressions come flowing in but other times I could be stuck with nothing for days no matter how hard I try. I overcome it by going outside, even just for a short walk, and looking around me for inspiration.

Do you start with lyrics or melodies/chords?  I often start with lyrics, but it just depends what comes to my head. Most of my ideas come to me at the most random points and I write them down in my phone for when I have time to write and go home and finish the song from there.

What do you like about Song Academy and our Young Songwriter competition?  I think the Young Songwriter competition is cool because its proven song writers who are deciding who wins and basing it on nothing but the quality of the song writing. I also can’t wait to come to London to take part in the showcase.

Who are your three favourite artists/songs?   One artist who has been a favourite since I was young and who has greatly influenced my song writing journey is Taylor Swift. I’ve always really admired how she wasn’t afraid to write whatever or however she wants, and I loved the way she could take a feeling or story that a lot of people experience and write it in such an eloquent way that no one else could ever do.

Another artist who I look up to is Bruce Springsteen. The way he experiments between so many different genres and succeeds every time is amazing and I think every artist would love to write and perform music of so many different styles and do it as well as him. I also love the way he tells stories – the way the music perfectly captures what he’s telling us.

Another artist I admire, who’s a newer addition, is Kendrick Lamar. I think the way he tells his experiences through his words is incredible. You can really hear what he’s trying to get across through his voice and you can feel every word. I think he has an amazing way of expressing a story or a feeling.

15 years from now you will be…  Hopefully still doing what I’m doing now, just to more people! All I want is to be able to write my own music and have people there listening to it – online, in their car, at my gigs, at festivals. I want to have people connect with and love my music and encourage me to keep going.

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not writing songs?  I love to go out and listen to music. Go for walks, travel somewhere, sit in a café, etc. just anywhere I can get out the house and put some good music on and hopefully meet people with dogs as I am crazy about animals and dont have a pet of my own!

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 Madi for being a Young Songwriter 2018 Finalist with her song ‘Here I Am’.  Here’s a bit about Madi and her songwriting.

What inspired you to write your SAYS18 finalist song ‘Here I am’?  Here I Am was written because my high school music teacher challenged me to write a ballad. I’m a people watcher, so I noticed the struggles a friend of mine was having with her relationship and I came up with the first verse of the song. Then I sat down at the piano, started messing around with a few ideas and the chorus just happened. Lyrics usually come easy for me, so once I had the melodies in place the rest of the lyrics came easily. I have changed the key twice and recently I have been messing around with the melodies in the verses. I love this song the way it is, but I am also always looking for a way to make my songs even better.

How long have you been writing songs?  I have been writing songs since 8th grade. (4 years)

How did you get into songwriting?  I originally started writing songs because when I was younger I had a difficult time expressing my feelings, so I would sit at my piano and write all my feelings down in a song.  In 8th grade I had a wonderful friend that had to move to Colorado with his family and I didn’t know how to tell him how much I would miss him, so I wrote him a song… my first song.

What does songwriting allow you to explore and achieve?  Songwriting has allowed me to become a better piano player and musician.  I used to play and practice the piano because I was told to do so.  Now, I use the piano as my tool to create new songs with interesting melodies and chords.

What’s your favourite part of the songwriting process?  Songwriting is my therapy!  When I am songwriting I am most comfortable with myself.  My favorite part of songwriting is when I first have an idea and I can’t wait to find a piano to start creating.

What’s the most difficult part of the creative process of songwriting for you?  When I write a song I usually can hear the production in my head, but I am not a producer.  I do not have the skills or knowledge in that area, so I would leave that part of the songwriting for the people gifted in that area.  I have worked with my high school music teacher on the production of some of my other songs, but honestly it is not my love.

Do you start with lyrics or melodies/chords?  I used to always start with the lyrics, but recently I have changed my writing style.  Now I will hear a melody in my head and then start the song with that melody.  Also, I have been working with a jazz pianist and he is teaching me about different chords so I have implemented a lot of this new knowledge into my songwriting.

What do you like about Song Academy and our Young Songwriter competition?  I love that this contest gives young artists a chance to share their work with others.  I also love that you provide us with a contest at our level.  I feel like my work is evolving so it hasn’t probably reached a level of someone that has been writing for 20 years.  This contest gives us an opportunity to see where we stand against our peers. So many of the other contests out there only cater to the adult population.

Who are your three favourite artists/songs?  Amy Winehouse – Back to Black/Rehab  Ed Sheeran – Thinking Out Loud  Taylor Swift – Don’t Blame Me

15 years from now you will be… In 15 years I will be writing songs for myself or for others.  I also will probably be married with a few kids. 😊

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not writing songs?  I sing in a choir, perform with a jazz group, started an acappella group, play piano and hang out with friends and family.

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 Greta for being a Young Songwriter 2018 Finalist with her songs ‘Head Full Of Clouds’ and ‘Dear Diary’.  Here’s a bit about Greta and her songwriting.

What inspired you to write your SAYS18 finalist songs?

‘Head Full Of Clouds’ is about needing time alone and embracing time on my own. People who are not on the autistic spectrum often think that being on your own is in itself intrinsically sad and something that needs fixing. I’m not spending time alone because I am too afraid to come out and socialise with you. I am actively choosing to be on my own.

I wrote ‘Dear Diary’ in the autumn before I turned 11. We had been studying the history of the Titanic at school and had a homework assignment (year 5) to “do something creative about the Titanic”, so I thought I’d try writing a song on my ukulele and this is what I came up with. I wanted to write it from the point of view of a single passenger because I wanted the person listening to feel connected to her and experience the story as if they had really been there.

How long have you been writing songs?  I wrote my first song – Dear Diary when I was 10 (which funnily is one of the ones nominated). I’m turning 13 in November, so I guess that makes it about two and a half years.

How did you get into songwriting?  My family is very musical. I’ve been having piano lessons since I was 5, and my Dad writes songs all the time. I have always been fascinated with how music works, so I started writing my own.  My 1st song Dear Diary was a year 5 primary homework assignment “do something creative about the Titanic”. My mum suggested I try writing a song and it just all came together in a flash -the whole thing took half an hour start to finish. So I’ve been writing ever since.

What does songwriting allow you to explore and achieve?  I’m always learning new things about music, and I’m creating. I make music to satisfy myself, and the fact that other people like it is just a bonus.

What’s your favourite part of the songwriting process?  That flash of inspiration that starts it all. The idea. I could get it from a chord sequence, a phrase, a rhyme, a picture, or even a feeling. It hits hard, and then you crash, with no idea what to do. It’s magic while it lasts though.

What’s the most difficult part of the creative process of songwriting for you? Preserving that feeling. I have to take so many notes, just so I can remember what I was thinking about!

Do you start with lyrics or melodies/chords?  It depends what inspired me in the first place.

What do you like about Song Academy and our Young Songwriter competition?  The opportunity for young people like myself to share their songs.

Who are your three favourite artists/songs?  That’s a toughie. Let’s say: Gorrilaz, Cat Stevens, and The Kinks.

15 years from now you will be… Honestly, I have no clue. Hopefully 27.

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not writing songs? I’m very into art – especially animation and story writing. I’m in the middle of writing a sci-fi novel at the moment.

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