Congratulations to Isabella for being a Young Songwriter 2018 Finalist with her song ‘Bad Boy’.  Here’s a bit about Isabella and her songwriting.

What inspired you to write your SAYS18 finalist song ‘Bad Boy’?  I’ve been told I have this thing called ‘izzy mentality’ where I write songs that seem very ‘bubbly and happy and not too mature’ so I decided to prove them wrong.

How long have you been writing songs?  I have been writing songs since I was 10 years old.

How did you get into songwriting?  On my 10th birthday I went to Sticky Fingers with my best friend at the time and she had bought me a notebook. I love notebooks and I wanted to use it for something special. It took me a while but I finally decided I would use it to write songs. I was only 10 so my songwriting wasn’t exactly perfect yet but at the time I thought it was great. About a year later I went to my first concert with another great friend and she had tickets to Taylor Swift (the Red tour) in the O2. I had heard of Taylor Swift and I knew her most popular songs like ‘I Knew You Were Trouble’ and ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together’ but it wasn’t until that night that I fell in love with her music and writing. I even started trying to write like her once I figured out how to play the piano and guitar but my style changed a bit a few years later. Since then I haven’t stopped writing – and I’m up to over 100 songs.

What does songwriting allow you to explore and achieve?  It allows me to explore different styles of music which I’ve actually come to love. Until I was about 14 I stuck to slow paced country songs, which shifted to country pop and since, I’ve written a disco song, a few rock songs and a couple of pop songs, but more than anything it lets me often put my thoughts down on paper. Sometimes it’s my melodically diary.

What’s your favourite part of the songwriting process?  I think my favourite part is trying to put secret messages into the lyrics because I love it when people try to figure out who the song is about.

What’s the most difficult part of the creative process of songwriting for you?  I think for me sometimes figuring out what the song should be about is the hardest part if I do not have anything too busy going on in my mind, because I have written so many different songs already. Finding new chord progressions is often difficult.

Do you start with lyrics or melodies/chords?  I tend to start with the chords and put a melody to it so that I have an idea about what it’s meant to sound like. I then add the lyrics.

What do you like about Song Academy and our Young Songwriter competition? I really enjoy the term classes and I love them because I always learn something new, whether its how to write like a different artist or a different genre or some of the different laws in the industry such as copyright. In terms of the competition, I like that people from all over the world can upload their songs to be heard by professionals. Listening to the other songs people upload is also great because they are incredible, so I’m always rooting for my favourites to be in the finalists too.

Who are your three favourite artists/songs?  I love too many songs and artists to have three favourite but I can definitely confirm that Taylor Swift is my number one favourite at the moment and has been for years. I do also really like Selena Gomez and Scouting For Girls along with so many others.

15 years from now you will be…  To be honest, I have no idea what I will be. I could be a criminologist, a lawyer, a doctor, really anything. I can tell you what I do want, I want to be up on a stage singing one of my songs and hold the mic out to hear thousands of people screaming the lyrics.

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not writing songs?  I love hanging out with my friends and going to the gym and sometimes I just want to chill and watch Grey’s Anatomy.

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 Laetitia for being a Young Songwriter 2018 Finalist with her song ‘One Bad Day Won’t Bring Me Down’.  Here’s a bit about Laetitia and her songwriting.

What inspired you to write your SAYS18 finalist song ‘One Bad Day Won’t Bring Me Down? One Bad Day Won’t Bring Me Down is about how clumsy I am on a very day basis. I am sure a lot of people can relate to these mistakes I talk about in my song. This is why I wrote this song to tell everyone to calm down and relax because this won’t bring us down. We think about being happy unlucky but I realised that I was the one making these mistakes, so changed it.

How long have you been writing songs?  I’ve been writing songs for the past 4 years. When I was 8 years old, my first song was about bats, but I lost the script in my mess. So far I have written about 15 songs and I’ve gotten better at it over time. Song Academy has helped me take my song writing to another level by introducing me to different genres and techniques. So I like best the three recent ones: Technology, But One Bad Day Won’t Bring Me Down and New Year.

How did you get into songwriting?  When I first started out learning the guitar, I soon got bored of playing the songs in the guitar books. I prefer to learn the guitar to express the music that’s already in my head. Thankfully Lou Vilstrup, my guitar teacher, offered to teach me how to write songs, as she is a singer song writer herself with her band Dear Joy. So instead of teaching me scales, she introduced me to the songwriting world.

What does songwriting allow you to explore and achieve?  I often struggle to say what I want to say when I’m in the moment. Songwriting allows me to express my emotions clearly to the outside world. When I write a new song, I normally feel excited and thrilled about the message. When I’ve written the song, I’m relieved and feel complete.

What’s your favourite part of the songwriting process?  My favourite part of song writing is working on the melody while under the shower.

What’s the most difficult part of the creative process of songwriting for you?  To me, the most difficult part is polishing the song once I am happy with the rough ideas. I think that’s why my songs can sometimes be a bit rough and straight forward. Or maybe I just like it like that. I like 80s rock because it has so much energy and that’s what I want my music to be about.

Do you start with lyrics or melodies/chords?  I generally start with the chords, but sometimes I first find the theme. I’ll be sitting with the guitar somewhere exploring chord progressions until I find one that interests me. I’ll then typically just start singing what comes to my mind and first write it all down. So at the beginning all I’ll have is a set of chord progressions and collection of often unrelated phrases that don’t yet make any sense. When I come back to it, the hard part starts.

What do you like about Song Academy and our Young Songwriter competition?   I like Song Academy because they help me become a better artist. They also help me perform my songs, record them and spread them across the world. Song Academy also give me a chance to meet other songwriters. During sessions we all learn from each other and the atmosphere is very nice and helpful. It is great to able to compare my songs to others and to try out new techniques.

Who are your three favourite artists/songs?   My three favourite songs/artists are: Of Monsters And Men, Pink Floyd and John Mayor’s Bigger Than My Body.

15 years from now you will be… Happily writing songs about my feelings and experiences and anything else that I find important. Apart from that I think it is to soon for me to think about that. Right now all I want to do is write and play music.

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not writing songs?  When I am not writing songs I love to play outside in our communal garden with my neighbours. Spending time with my friends is my favourite thing to do. They are an important piece of my life, because they make me laugh.

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 Asher for being a Young Songwriter 2018 Finalist with his song ‘A.S.Bach’.  Here’s a bit about Asher and his songwriting.

What inspired you to write your SAYS18 finalist song ‘A.S.Bach? I have a real urge to create music, not just listen to it. I also get very excited sitting down at the computer working with Reason software. This song represents me. I’m not an extrovert – I’m quite shy – but inside, I have a big voice, and things to show the world. I try to do this through music.

How long have you been writing songs? – I’ve been playing around, putting tunes together since I was about six years old, so about six years in total.

How did you get into songwriting? – My Dad used to be in a band and has a lot of studio equipment, so I took advantage of that, and that’s what got me started.

What does songwriting allow you to explore and achieve? – I find it great fun and it is a form of expression for me.

What’s your favourite part of the songwriting process? – Programming sounds and coming up with interesting rhythms and beats.

What’s the most difficult part of the creative process of songwriting for you? – Creating original chord progressions and changes in dynamics within the structure of a composition.

Do you start with lyrics or melodies/chords? – Melodies/chords.

What do you like about Song Academy and our Young Songwriter competition? It gives young musicians confidence and the ability to showcase their work and get noticed.

Who are your three favourite artists/songs? – Gorillaz, Everything Everything, What About Me? (by Snarky Puppy).

15 years from now you will be… a film music composer/sound designer.

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not writing songs? – Listening to 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 Matilda for being a Young Songwriter 2018 Finalist with her song ‘Like Lava’.  Here’s a bit about Matilda and her songwriting.

What inspired you to write your SAYS18 finalist song ‘Like Lava?  I was watching a David Attenborough documentary, about mountains and volcanoes, and the photography shots of the lava flowing was just so mesmerising that all I could think about was what it would be like to touch it, but of course I have some intelligence and I know you can’t touch lava cause you will definitely get severly burnt. Although it did get me thinking that it would be a great way to describe someone; Someone who looks so stunning and you can’t take your eyes off them, but if you get too close to them (physically or emotionally) you’re inevitably gonna get hurt. Also, just before watching this documentary, I found out a boy I had secretly liked, liked me back, but as I started to spend more time with him, I got more and more worried I was going to mess it up, so I ended up pushing him away.
 Laura Marling has always inspired me in every song I write as I am in love with the structure of her songs and the harmonies she incorporates, which is why “Like Lava” is just me playing the guitar, so it highlights the harmonies and lyrics, which is what I always find most important in a song.

How long have you been writing songs? I started writing songs when I was 11 with some of my friends.

How did you get into songwriting?  I’ve always had a passion for music and after having some piano lessons I found that I liked putting some words to chords I had made up. I find it a great way to express myself.

What does songwriting allow you to explore and achieve?  I love being creative and so when building a song I learn how to craft my lyrics and structure, which I am usually influenced by other artists.

What’s your favourite part of the songwriting process?  My favourite part of song writing is coming up with the lyrics. To me the lyrics are the most important part of any song and I usually spend the most time on that part of the process.

What’s the most difficult part of the creative process of songwriting for you?  I don’t have particularly good skills when it comes to adding other instruments to my songs, such as drums or producing it well, as I don’t have particularly good equipment for recording, so it seems to limit the types of songs I can make.

Do you start with lyrics or melodies/chords?  I will usually start will the chords and work the melody and lyrics on top of it.

What do you like about Song Academy and our Young Songwriter competition?  I like that it gives young people the chance to show everyone the work they’ve done and the prizes it offers are amazing when it comes down to bettering your songs and getting them heard by more people.

Who are your three favourite artists/songs?  I’m very heavily influenced by female artists when it comes to my song writing, so defiantly artists like ‪The Staves, ‪Laura Marling, ‪Joni Mitchell and Nora Jones are just a few.

15 years from now you will be… Hopefully recording my songs or potentially writing lyrics for other artists.

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not writing songs?  I have a great love for film, so I really enjoy making short videos and I’ve made a few of my own music videos.

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 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