Andrea is 18 years old, from Jakarta, Indonesia.  Her songs ‘Who Are We’, ‘Gigantics’, ‘You’ and ‘Nothing About You’ made the Top 30 in The Young Songwriter 2019 competition International Category.  Congratulations!  Here’s a bit about Andrea and her songwriting.

What inspired you to write your SAYS19 Top 30 songs?

Who We Are – “Who We Are” was mostly just a song idea I had kept in my voice notes- until I brought it to Sweden. So excited to be working with Olof Lindskog (@ollipopmusic) and Hayley Aitken at The Kennel AB (Stockholm, Sweden), I knew very well that this was going to be an anthem for every teenager during their search for identity. The song tells the story of two teens plotting to escape from the mundane nature of life, by embracing their true authentic selves during their coming-of-age transition. In our brief years of adolescence, we tend to really question who our genuine selves are. “Who We Are” gives you the reassurance that it’s okay to not figure things out right now, and to trust that everything will fall into place, eventually.

Gigantics – “Gigantics” was written during my songwriting camp in Bali, Indonesia on January 2017. A guy at the program challenged me to write a song about teenagers who live decadent lives and feel ‘gigantic’ whenever they do illegal things. I didn’t want to lose so I shut myself in a room for three hours and came out with that song.

You (Beautiful)  – Originally, “You (Beautiful)” was a personal message that I needed to get to a friend who was living far away as they were struggling with a few issues that needed comforting. Yet, behind the words I could see that I was writing this to a bigger crowd. People tend to forget their self-worth just by looking in the mirror, and although you may not see it that way, but others who genuinely care for you sees something inside you that you don’t. You are more than just a number on the scale, you are more than the dots which cover your face and makes up into a constellation, and you are certainly more than the person you think you are.

Nothing About You – Since I haven’t made a new song for quite awhile, my dad gave me an ultimatum: “we are not going anywhere today until you make a new song.” I was given approximately less than two hours to write a song until my father gets back home. I had only four chords in my mind that I was playing on the piano, and had no any further ideas. Under pressure, I contacted twenty of my friends asking each of them to send me one word only. When I sorted the words together, I immediately had a picture of the song in my mind and was able to finish it in a very short time. Originally, the song was inspired by my experience of being in an unreciprocated relationship.

How long have you been writing songs?  I made my first song when I was 10 yrs old, and ever since then I’ve composed and recorded more than 20 original songs. Recently, I’ve just released my first self-titled debut album ‘Andrea Turk’ (four-year production) on all digital platforms.

How did you get into songwriting?  When I was small, I didn’t really have an outlet to channel my inner feelings until songwriting. I didn’t have a way with what I needed to say out loud and songwriting helped me paint an elaborate picture of what was going on. It’s one of the ways I cope with reality when things get too much. When I was fifteen years old, I started taking songwriting seriously after attending Berklee’s Five-Week Summer Program in 2016.

What does songwriting allow you to explore and achieve?  Personally, songwriting helps me in addressing a few issues that I believe are worth mentioning. Societal issues such as identity oppression, alienation, and lack of self-love are a few of the many things I alleviate with a catchy melody and an escapade of pop-based sounds in my music. It’s hard to talk about these things because there aren’t any open discussions about them in the first place. In recent times, I had only imagined someone telling me one day what I needed to hear, until one day I had decided that someone is me.

What’s your favourite part of the songwriting process?   Knowing that there’s endless possibilities when it comes to developing the story of the song as it goes. After getting the flow going, that’s when you’re mind starts to get creative with the rhymes and storylines, and it happens in an instant everytime I go into my songwriting sessions!

What’s the most difficult part of the creative process of songwriting for you? There’s so much to say and yet so little space and room for us to articulate the story. You’d want the song to hit that ‘sweet spot’ without needing to sacrifice the essence in order to keep its simplicity to the listeners. I have a hard time making sure that the song is catchy and has a universal taste without killing too much of my artistic visions.

Do you start with lyrics or melodies/chords?  I usually start with a melody, because a strong melody is what makes the song memorable to people.

What do you like about The Young Songwriter competition?   The Young Songwriter competition invites youth from all around the world to compete in making great art and music. It’s a very healthy competitive scene, and it encourages adolescent teens to become the next music moguls of the future.

Who are your three favourite artists/songs?  As of now, my three favorite artists are Björk, Billie Marten, and Maggie Rogers. Björk’s congruous music opens a door to new possibilities when I’m stuck working on a production. Billie Marten’s eloquent lyrics remind me of how effortless it should be when it comes to songwriting. Everyone in the industry should be intimidated by Maggie’s talent, grit, and humbling heart. She has proven to all of us how an indie-based musician can cross-pollinate into the mainstream music of today.

10 years from now you will be…  Since I am given a scholarship by The New School Jazz and Contemporary Music and will start the Vocal Performance BFA Program on September this year, I hope I can continue my education at NYU Steinhardt Songwriting Master Program. I imagine myself working on a new track for myself as well as for other big names in the industry, if possible, in my own recording studio based in New York City.

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not writing songs?   I’d listen for hours on Spotify, exploring new artists and sounds to inspire me when I go back into the studio. Also, I collaborate with other artists on new projects in my home studio as an arranger, producer, and audio engineer. Apart from that, I produce short films with my friends, e.g. Hazel’s Guidebook to the XY Chromosome that has been awarded ‘Honorable Mention’ by Central Illinois Feminist Film Festival and premiered in Central Film Festival in Springfield, Missouri, USA (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNtajJKR-B4&t=23s).

The top 10 finalists will be announced on the 3rd May.  Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to hear the announcement first! #SAYS19 #songwriting #newmusic #expressyourself #beheard

The Young Songwriter 2019 showcase & 10th anniversary of Song Academy celebration will be on Saturday 22nd June at 7pm at The Tabernacle, Notting Hill, London.

Mylo is 12 years old, from Hammersmith, London.  His song ‘Is It True?’ made the Top 30 in The Young Songwriter 2019 competition 8-12 years UK & Ireland Category.  Congratulations!  Here’s a bit about Mylo and his songwriting.

What inspired you to write your SAYS19 Top 30 song?  Politics and global warming – things where you can’t be sure people are telling the truth and you don’t know how to find out.

How long have you been writing songs?  I’ve been writing songs for over a year now.

How did you get into songwriting?  I started with Song Academy. Before that I was learning other songs that I loved and playing them on the piano.

What does songwriting allow you to explore and achieve?   Songwriting allows me to express my feelings. When I’ve finished a song I feel great. It usually takes me about two weeks to complete a song. I start with the lyrics and then add a piano part.

What’s your favourite part of the songwriting process?  That feeling when I finish a song is the best feeling. I just get a feeling when it’s complete.

What’s the most difficult part of the creative process of songwriting for you?  I find editing lyrics quite difficult – if I don’t feel sure about the lyrics and I don’t want to spoil it.

Do you start with lyrics or melodies/chords?  I start with the lyrics. Then I think of the rhythm that I want the song to be, and I’ll find a melody when I’m playing around on the piano. It’s a process that takes time – you can’t rush it.

Who are your three favourite artists/songs?  Wake Me Up by Avici, The World by Lil Dicky, The Shape of You by Ed Sheeran

10 years from now you will be… I’d like to be a musician or a biologist or both! I’d like music to be a big part of my life as it already is and I can’t imagine not playing music and singing.

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not writing songs?  I like relaxing talking to friends, watching movies and going on holiday.

The top 10 finalists will be announced on the 3rd May.  Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to hear the announcement first! #SAYS19 #songwriting #newmusic #expressyourself #beheard

The Young Songwriter 2019 showcase & 10th anniversary of Song Academy celebration will be on Saturday 22nd June at 7pm at The Tabernacle, Notting Hill, London.

Zachary is 12 years old, from Chelsea, London.  His song ‘How You Doin” made the Top 30 in The Young Songwriter 2019 competition 8-12 years UK & Ireland Category.  Congratulations!  Here’s a bit about Zachary and his songwriting.

What inspired you to write your SAYS19 Top 30 song?  I am always inspired by how a song can change one’s emotions, how it can make one feel happy yet full of sadness. My mom and I have been watching a TV show called “Friends” for years. The humanity and positivity of this show and it’s characters are my peaceful and happy place in today’s fast paced life. My favourite character in it is called Joey – he is an aspiring actor with a pure heart and a wonderful sense of humour.  Joey is a bright personality with relationship problems, as he doesn’t fall in love very often, but at one point he falls in love with his best friend Rachel. He struggles to fall out of love and goes on an emotional rollercoaster. Even though they must stay friends – Rachel and Joey do admit their strong love for each other, which is very innocent and pure. I wrote this song to show how hypothetically this adventurous relationship would develop and blossom into something beautiful. The song is meant to be sincere but cheeky, catchy and winning a smile on the audience’s faces! I tried my best to use my imagination in the lyrics for all those who listen to feel the warmth and positive energy of the song.

How long have you been writing songs?  I have been writing songs for the past 6 years.
How did you get into songwriting?  I got into songwriting because I wanted to express myself and share my emotions.
What does songwriting allow you to explore and achieve?  It allows me to explore my emotions and thoughts. I express myself through my songs.
What’s your favourite part of the songwriting process?  My favourite part is when you get a strike of inspiration and gradually the song that you have been working on comes together and then how piece of you is kept in that song, because you made it for people to hear.
What’s the most difficult part of the creative process of songwriting for you?  It is when you are stuck on a lyric and can’t find any inspiration to fill your next word in the song.
Do you start with lyrics or melodies/chords? Melody, so I can match my lyrics perfectly to the melody.
What do you like about The Young Songwriter competition?  I like how The Young Songwriter competition gives kids opportunity to express themselves, show a different side and let out their creativity .
Who are your three favourite artists/songs?  Michael Jackson and his song Man In The Mirror; Tupac Shakur and his song Only God Can Judge Me; Freddie Mercury and his song Don’t Stop Me Now
10 years from now you will be…I’ll be writing and performing my songs.
What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not writing songs?  I love to play football and socialise with my friends.

The top 10 finalists will be announced on the 3rd May.  Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to hear the announcement first! #SAYS19 #songwriting #newmusic #expressyourself #beheard

The Young Songwriter 2019 showcase & 10th anniversary of Song Academy celebration will be on Saturday 22nd June at 7pm at The Tabernacle, Notting Hill, London.

Gabriele is 11 years old, from Fulham, London.  His song ‘Climbing’ made the Top 30 in The Young Songwriter 2019 competition 8-12 years UK & Ireland Category.  Congratulations!  Here’s a bit about Gabriele and his songwriting.

What inspired you to write your SAYS19 Top 30 song? I wanted to write a song on something I am passionate about. I do climbing at least 3 times a week. I love it. I chose it because it is my number one sport. One where you can use both your arms, your legs and most importantly, your brain.

How long have you been writing songs?  5 years ago, I wrote a rap about Venezuela. It was a huge success! Later, I went on to make more raps about it. Then I started to actually make songs about other topics. Finally, I found The Song Academy. I was thrilled!

How did you get into songwriting?  My mum’s birthday was coming along. I wanted  to give her the perfect gift. As I mentioned before, I made up a rap about Venezuela, and as I also said, I think I did very well. I started thinking about what would happen if I made another rap, and then I did. Over the years I started thinking about songwriting more than raps. Joining The Song Academy was an amazing choice for me.

What does songwriting allow you to explore and achieve?   Songwriting allows me to explore different techniques, tunes, melodies and so much more. It let’s me think of ideas that allow me to express myself. I can put together a song and successfully perform it. It’s one of the favourite things that I do.

What’s your favourite part of the songwriting process?   My favourite part of songwriting is making the bridge and finally performing it in the last week. I like the bridge because usually it goes in a cycle: Verse 1, pre-chorus, chorus, verse 2, pre-chorus, chorus. Finally, something new comes. It’s a different tune, one which is only played once yet in my opinion, is the key component to the song. I like performing it on the last week because it makes you feel accomplished. All those weeks practising so much and it all pays off  in the end.

What’s the most difficult part of the creative process of songwriting for you?  The most difficult part of the process for me is creating the tune. I’ve made up quite a lot of raps over the years, and raps don’t really have a melody. Therefore, I don’t have a lot experience with it.

Do you start with lyrics or melodies/chords?  Normally I start with the melody. Like I said before, it’s the hardest part so I like to get it over with first. The chords and lyrics usually come naturally. I’ve been thinking of rhymes for my lyrics for the past five years. I know what rhyme to use and when to use it.

What do you like about The Young Songwriter competition?   I like that it recognises people for their talent and allows authors to test their skills. I also like that it is only open to young people.

Who are your three favourite artists/songs?  Bruno Mars, Imagine Dragons and Marshmello

10 years from now you will be… I will 20 😊 kidding. I will probably studying music as I would like to compose songs for famous artists…I would also like to be an inventor, an entrepreneur, a Prime Minister, or a music artist. As you can see, I have big plans.

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not writing songs?  Climbing! 😎

The top 10 finalists will be announced on the 3rd May.  Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to hear the announcement first! #SAYS19 #songwriting #newmusic #expressyourself #beheard

The Young Songwriter 2019 showcase & 10th anniversary of Song Academy celebration will be on Saturday 22nd June at 7pm at The Tabernacle, Notting Hill, London.

Nikolas is 9 years old, from Chelsea, London.  His song ‘Forgotten City’ made the Top 30 in The Young Songwriter 2019 competition 8-12 years UK & Ireland Category.  Congratulations!  Here’s a bit about Nikolas and his songwriting.

What inspired you to write your SAYS19 Top 30 song?  My inspiration came from the book ‘The city of Ember’ which is about a mythical city that is losing its power because it is underground. I started from there and my song talks about this city and about how it won its power back.

How long have you been writing songs?  I have written 5 songs already – I have been writing for nearly 2 years now

How did you get into songwriting? I started song-writing because my brother inspired me with his songs to try as well

What does songwriting allow you to explore and achieve?  Songwriting allows me to use my imagination in many different ways. It also helps me to try new ideas and to experiment.

What’s your favourite part of the songwriting process?  My favourite part is writing the lyrics. In particular when I start a new song I get very excited because it’s like I am starting a totally new story…. I also like the part when I make up ‘the bridge’ because this is the big change in the song…

What’s the most difficult part of the creative process of songwriting for you? I find the most difficult thing to be coming up with the main idea of the song at the very beginning of the process. Usually I have so many things I could write about and I can’t choose….

Do you start with lyrics or melodies/chords?  I always start with the melody before I write the lyrics but I have thought of the main idea beforehand – so I have the big idea, then the music and then the lyrics

What do you like about The Young Songwriter competition?  I felt very excited when I heard that my song made it into the Top 30 – its the first time and I guess it is nice to know that others also like what you write

Who are your three favourite artists/songs?  Imagine Dragons is my favourite band! I love Believer and Thunder. I also love London Calling by the Clash which I am currently playing at drums.

10 years from now you will be… I will be 19yrs and I guess I will be in university studying – I have lots of things in my list of favourites: singing, being a businessman, playing football, acting and musician… It’s so difficult to choose….

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not writing songs?  Playing football or playing the drums

The top 10 finalists will be announced on the 3rd May.  Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to hear the announcement first! #SAYS19 #songwriting #newmusic #expressyourself #beheard

The Young Songwriter 2019 showcase & 10th anniversary of Song Academy celebration will be on Saturday 22nd June at 7pm at The Tabernacle, Notting Hill, London.

Yulia is 15 years old, from Haringey, London  Her song ‘Perspex Sheets’ made the Top 30 in The Young Songwriter 2019 competition 13-18 years UK & Ireland Category.  Congratulations!  Here’s a bit about Yulia and her songwriting.

What inspired you to write your SAYS19 Top 30 song?  ‘Perspex Sheets’ was written inspired by the idea that ‘true love’ is once in a life time experience. I disagreed so I wrote a song about it, you fall in love multiple times in your life and I think that’s important to remember!

How long have you been writing songs?  I think I’ve been writing since I was twelve so I guess 3 years now.

How did you get into songwriting? I sat down in front of a piano and started writing, I enjoyed the process so much that I didn’t stop.

What does songwriting allow you to explore and achieve?  It really lets me express myself, I like to tell stories and connect with other people through music. It also is like a personal diary, anything troublesome or new ends up in a song!

What’s your favourite part of the songwriting process?  Probably either lyrics or melody, I can’t really choose.

What’s the most difficult part of the creative process of songwriting for you?  I’d say chords because I always get held up on the idea that my chord progression is too simple or repetitive, or the fact that I can’t come up with anything new.

Do you start with lyrics or melodies/chords?  It depends, if I find a chord structure that I like I start with that, or lyrics and/or melody start the process off. I’m almost always looking for inspiration and I’m always trying to find nice lyrics and humming a tune, so I can’t really specifically say what I start with.

What do you like about The Young Songwriter competition?  The fact that you can share you music with established artists. I like the fact that you can try and try again, it makes me personally feel confident and productive.

Who are your three favourite artists/songs?  Difficult question, I’d say right now I love Billie Eilish, the songs Mice and Cartoon People by Billie Martin and Wallows (and all the music/artists that come in the Indie/Alternative package), but the music I like varies, I think that applies to loads of people.

10 years from now you will be… I can’t see into the future so I don’t know, but hopefully either songwriting or something in the creative industry.

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

The top 10 finalists will be announced on the 3rd May.  Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to hear the announcement first! #SAYS19 #songwriting #newmusic #expressyourself #beheard

The Young Songwriter 2019 showcase & 10th anniversary of Song Academy celebration will be on Saturday 22nd June at 7pm at The Tabernacle, Notting Hill, London.

Sam is 18 years old, from Cobham, Surrey.  His song ‘UMAKEMEBLUE’ made the Top 30 in The Young Songwriter 2019 competition 13-18 years UK & Ireland Category.  Congratulations!  Here’s a bit about Sam and his songwriting.

What inspired you to write your SAYS19 Top 30 song?  It was inspired by tension in a previous relationship. It expresses how tumultuous things became between us, by describing the emotional highs and lows. I especially wanted to highlight the disregard for personal fault in the situation, something that all of us are guilty of at times.

How long have you been writing songs?  I started learning the guitar and writing songs at the age of 11 and began teaching myself to produce and engineer a year later.

How did you get into songwriting?  My grandad was a professional jazz pianist so I was exposed to this genre from a young age. Fascinated by his work, I became obsessed with music and began to explore other genres, delving deep into classic rock and funk. More recently, I’ve been listening to lots of hip hop. The combination of these genres inspired “UMAKEMEBLUE”.

What does songwriting allow you to explore and achieve?  Songwriting allows me to better understand my own emotions and often is used as a vice for dealing with them. I find it rewarding showing others my music and connecting with people through this.

What’s your favourite part of the songwriting process?  Whilst I love coming up with catchy hooks, lyrics are my favourite part of songwriting. I love thinking of double and triple entendres and interesting metaphors to allow the listener a deeper understanding each time the song is played.

What’s the most difficult part of the creative process of songwriting for you?  The most difficult part for me is finding a memorable melody. Unlike lyrics and chords, this process is less systematic and I have to wait for the melody to come to me.

Do you start with lyrics or melodies/chords?  I start with chords or a hook but never lyrics. I write the lyrics afterwards so that I have decided on the type of emotion or aesthetic that the music is conveying.

What do you like about The Young Songwriter competition?  I think it’s great to give young musicians this opportunity especially as the industry is becoming increasingly competitive. Its also great seeing what others are doing as it’s important for us to inspire each other.

Who are your three favourite artists/songs?  As difficult as it is to narrow down to three artists – Rage Against the Machine has inspired me to experiment with blending rock and hip hop to further dissolve the boundaries between genres and create a modern and unique sound. Kendrick Lamar made me rethink my approach in lyricism and I love Radiohead for the emotion they invoke in the listener, which I believe is one of the most important parts of making music and is why it brings people together.

10 years from now you will be… I would like to able to be pursue songwriting and producing full-time and will hopefully have made my way up the music industry by working hard to be the best at what I do.

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not writing songs?  I spend a lot of time with my family and close mates and I also love snowboarding.

The top 10 finalists will be announced on the 3rd May.  Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to hear the announcement first! #SAYS19 #songwriting #newmusic #expressyourself #beheard

The Young Songwriter 2019 showcase & 10th anniversary of Song Academy celebration will be on Saturday 22nd June at 7pm at The Tabernacle, Notting Hill, London.

JaJa is 18 years old, from South Carolina, USA.  Her song ‘Hero’ made the Top 30 in The Young Songwriter 2019 competition International Category.  Congratulations!  Here’s a bit about JaJa and her songwriting.

What inspired you to write your SAYS19 Top 30 song?   I was inspired to write “Hero” by an article online about foster-child abuse. Many young children are traumatized from their horrific experiences in foster homes. I wanted to write to these kids and tell them that they are safe and everything will be alright.

How long have you been writing songs?  I started writing piano music when I was seven, but switched to songwriting when I was ten or eleven. By now, I’ve been writing songs for about seven years.

How did you get into songwriting? I grew up as a classical pianist, so one morning before second grade, I came up with a simple melody while fiddling around on the piano. My dad insisted that I record it down before I forgot it, and I’ve been writing ever since. Early on, I wrote mainly piano pieces, but I realized that young people listen to more pop music than classical music, so I changed from composition to songwriting.

What does songwriting allow you to explore and achieve?  Songwriting lets me share part of myself with the world. When I publish a song, my triumphant celebrations, embarrassing crushes, and emotional vents are open for everyone to see. I hope that by doing so, someone across the country or on the other side of the globe will hear my song and relate to the lyrics or the beat.

What’s your favourite part of the songwriting process? My favorite part of the songwriting process is when I feel the spark of a new song. I may be aimlessly strumming on my guitar for twenty minutes when I suddenly think of a hook or a motif to base my song around. This burst of inspiration is all that I need to write a whole song, and it gives me more thrill than any roller coaster ever could.

What’s the most difficult part of the creative process of songwriting for you? The most difficult part of songwriting for me is figuring out what style I want my song to be. I need to think about what I want my audience to feel when they hear the song. This means solidifying the tempo, strumming pattern, chord, and beats, which can all drastically alter the song’s mood.

Do you start with lyrics or melodies/chords?  When I write a song, I usually start with a one or two bar melody. Next, I write the chorus around that melody and put chords with it. By then, I generally have an idea of what the song is about, and I start adding lyrics into the chorus. Once the chorus is finalized, I move onto the verse and write the melody, chords, and lyrics.

What do you like about The Young Songwriter competition?  I like that The Young Songwriter competition provides a platform for kids to compete with other kids around their own age. They don’t have to go up against professionals or adults who already have real-world experience in the creative industry.

Who are your three favourite artists/songs?   My favorite artists are Taylor Swift, Sabrina Carpenter, and Miley Cyrus. I love too many songs to count, but some of my favorites are “Mine” by Taylor Swift, “Good Life” by One Republic, and “She Will Be Loved” by Maroon 5.

10 years from now you will be… Ten years from now, I will have graduated from the Stern School of Business at NYU with a minor in Business of Entertainment, Media, and Technology. I will hopefully be running my own record label in New York City, writing songs for and producing chart-topping artists.

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not writing songs?  When I’m not writing songs, I love to play clarinet in my school band, try new foods, and watch movies and musicals.

The top 10 finalists will be announced on the 3rd May.  Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to hear the announcement first! #SAYS19 #songwriting #newmusic #expressyourself #beheard

The Young Songwriter 2019 showcase & 10th anniversary of Song Academy celebration will be on Saturday 22nd June at 7pm at The Tabernacle, Notting Hill, London.

Kitz is 18 years old, from North London.  His songs ‘Bedtime’ and ‘Wise’ made the Top 30 in The Young Songwriter 2019 competition 13-18 years UK & Ireland Category.  Congratulations!  Here’s a bit about Kitz and his songwriting.

What inspired you to write you SAYS19 Top 30 songs? ‘Bedtime’ is a really personal and important song for me. I find writing lyrics therapeutic, as the process allows me to really confront some of the feelings that I may be experiencing under the surface. ‘Wise’ is a much less emotional song, and instead, it’s an upbeat exploration of my confidence. I think it is really important to vary your music, celebrating every emotion you feel.
How long have you been writing songs?  I have been writing poems for as long as I can remember, but it was only 3 or 4 years ago that I started to write poems on top of an instrumental. This gave me a lot more freedom to express myself.
How did you get into songwriting?  I have always been a massive fan of hip hop, and it was always my dream to make music myself. I was inspired to start pursuing this dream when I started 6th form, as I had a great network of friends and teachers to help me.
What does songwriting allow you to explore and achieve?   I have struggled with my mental health throughout my teenage years, and songwriting has been the only outlet that has actually helped. It is a healthy way of exploring my psyche and confronting difficult emotions. I hope my music can help others struggling with the same issues.
What’s your favourite part of the songwriting process?  My favourite part of the songwriting process is definitely coming up with punchlines. My notes app on my phone is littered with punchlines that come to me throughout the day. These are a vital part of any rap song, and I love coming up with them.
What’s the most difficult part of the creative process of songwriting for you?  I have recently been trying to expand my horizons and implement more metaphors into my songs. I have found this difficult because there is a fine balance between having an underlying message which listeners will understand, and a song which makes no sense.
Do you start with lyrics or melodies/chords?   My writing process involves putting on an instrumental, and working out which flow I want to use. I’ll record myself freestyling without using real words to work out the flow I want, then I will add words in. For a chorus, I’ll start with the lyrics, then add the melody afterwards.
What do you like about The Young Songwriter competition?  There are so many talented young musicians that aren’t getting the recognition they need. That’s why competitions like this are so important. It’s great to give young people a platform to share their work.
Who are your three favourite artists/songs?  Kendrick Lamar- u; Tyler The Creator- IFHY; Casisdead- Pat Earrings
10 years from now you will be… On your radio.
What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not writing songs?   I love going to watch my local football team, Barnet FC. They are absolutely rubbish, but its great fun.

The top 10 finalists will be announced on the 3rd May.  Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to hear the announcement first! #SAYS19 #songwriting #newmusic #expressyourself #beheard

The Young Songwriter 2019 showcase & 10th anniversary of Song Academy celebration will be on Saturday 22nd June at 7pm at The Tabernacle, Notting Hill, London.

Rosie is 15 years old, from Isleworth, London.  Her song ‘Silence In The Courtyard’ made the Top 30 in The Young Songwriter 2019 competition 13-18 years UK & Ireland Category.  Congratulations!  Here’s a bit about Rosie and her songwriting.

What inspired you to write the SAYS19 Top 30 song?  In August 2017, when I was 13, I entered the competition Open Mic UK, singing a cover of a Bond song as a singer-pianist, and I got through to the next round. There were so many fantastic singers in the competition, that I realised I was going to have to start writing my own material in order to stand out. A few months later, I had got through the next two rounds, performing two original songs hastily written just in time for each round. Everybody told me that my first songs were very promising. I was now in the line-up for the final of Open Mic UK at the NEC, and my 3rd song (still at this point unwritten) had to be a really good one.  The final was in 5 weeks’ time! At about the same time I picked up a copy of The Metro on the tube on the way to school, and there was a multi-page spread about the problems of modern day slavery across the capital, and the wall of silence surrounding it. I felt terrible that I had never heard of this problem before, so I chose the subject for my next song, called “Silence in the Courtyard”, performing it at the NEC in January 2018. Later I contacted the charity @UnseenUK and they helped me share the material. All the proceeds for the digital downloads, plus the sale of 100 CDs went were donated to the charity.

How long have you been writing songs?  I have been writing songs for about 18 months, since I was 13. My first song was called “Home Sweet Boy” for piano and voice and I performed it at Dingwalls in Camden in October 2017.

How did you get into songwriting?  I got into songwriting because of the Open Mic UK competition. However, at the same time, I was also doing lots of open mics, (performing in particular at The Basement Door in Richmond), and meeting lots of talented young singer songwriters. Everybody told me that once you start writing, it becomes addictive and they were absolutely correct. I have now written 14 songs and probably have another 14 “half-written”, which will evolve over time.

What does songwriting allow you to explore and achieve?   Songwriting does not have to be about mundane subjects, or only based on four chords. Songs can be about any subject you want them to be about, however thought-provoking. There is a temptation to be fashionable and to copy other artists, but actually it’s more important to be original, otherwise nothing new will ever be written. When I first started to write songs, I was terrified of writing lyrics, as I didn’t want to appear immature, so I asked for adult assistance from family members. However, I have now started to write my own lyrics and because of their previous guidance, I am really picky about every word in the song. The other thing I have learned is that if you are writing a song to be self-performed, you need the song to suit you, your image and your voice in order for it to work and be convincing.

What’s your favourite part of the songwriting process?  Performing your song for the first few times is an important part of the songwriting process, and one of my favourite parts, because it is when your song comes alive in front of an audience. I like to sing my songs in lots of different venues, sometimes with other instruments as an experiment. Then I will record my favourite version of the song.

What’s the most difficult part of the creative process of songwriting for you?  The lyrics are hardest part of writing a song. In fact lyrics can make or break a good song, and bad lyrics can kill good music!

Do you start with lyrics or melodies/chords?  I always start writing with a piano motif on which to build a melody. This often becomes an introduction and something which is woven through the song. At this point I have an idea about what the song will about, so that I can set the atmosphere.  The lyrics and the melody are details which come later on.

What do you like about The Young Songwriter competition?  The competition is a celebration of a songwriting community, not only a competition.  The school system in the UK has probably reached rock bottom in terms of encouraging young people to be creative, which makes the Young Songwriter competition more important than ever.

Who are your three favourite artists/songs?  My favourite current artist is Freya Ridings. She is a singer pianist like me, and I can tell that she also starts her songs with a strong piano motif which creates an amazing atmosphere. I would love to meet her.  The Beatles and Simon and Garfunkel are all over my playlist – not very fashionable but they just write the most fantastic tunes.  I am also a classical pianist and I particularly like Chopin. My latest song has a piano part which is definitely a Chopin pastiche. I hope that he is not turning in his grave.

10 years from now I will be 25 yrs old. I am sure that I will still be writing songs, even if I work in a bank, or become a dentist! I would love a career in music and I am particularly interested in composition. I would be really happy to write songs for other people, and I am very interested in writing music for films, TV and advertisements, perhaps working in a studio.

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not writing songs?  I really love musical theatre, both performing and watching. I train every Sunday with @SpiritYPC_official in London and have appeared in lots of their videos and their recent stage production. I am currently rehearsing for the role of Cinderella in Sondheim’s “Into the Woods” and have appeared twice with the National Youth Music Theatre. I love busking, reading and going to the theatre; also going to places like Camden Market with my friends and buying lots of vintage clothes that I don’t need!

The top 10 finalists will be announced on the 3rd May.  Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to hear the announcement first! #SAYS19 #songwriting #newmusic #expressyourself #beheard

The Young Songwriter 2019 showcase & 10th anniversary of Song Academy celebration will be on Saturday 22nd June at 7pm at The Tabernacle, Notting Hill, London.