Save the date! It’s under 2 weeks to go!

The Young Songwriter 2021 live showcase will be held on Saturday 25th September, 7 – 9:30pm at The Tabernacle, 34-35 Powis Square, Notting Hill, London W11 2AY.  The Young Songwriter 2021 competition winners, finalists and Song Academy alumni making waves in the music industry will be performing their original songs live at The Tabernacle – a fabulous venue in Notting Hill. We’ve missed our live events and this one is set to be the best yet!

The showcase celebrates young people and the power of songwriting to help young people find their voice and find their tribe, making an exciting creative future.

We are delighted that the showcase will be compered by two young creative stars – Joshua Shea and Cassa Jackson.  Josh Shea is a talented actor, director, musician and songwriter, as well as a past Young Songwriter finalist.  He was young newt in Fantastic Beasts and Devin in The Royals.  He’s recently launched a musical duo with his sister, Esther ‘The Sheas’.  Cassa Jackson is a talented singer songwriter, musician and past Young Songwriter finalist.  Her tracks have exceeded 4 million streams on Spotify. She’s supported The Jacksons on tour and in a couple of weeks is supporting JLS for their hotly anticipated comeback tour. Playing in arenas all around the UK including the 02 four times!

The Song Academy Young Songwriter competition is the leading international songwriting competition for young people aged 8-18.  This year attracted a record 1,031 high quality entries. Sponsors of this year’s competition are Yamaha, Focusrite, Kobalt, PRS for Music, ICMP and Soundtrap.  The SAYS21 star-studded judging panel included Fraser T Smith, Tom Odell, Calum Scott, Tom Grennan, Chris Difford, Michelle Escoffery, Miranda Cooper, Eg White, Emily Philips, Sacha Skarbek, Hannah V, Dan Gillespie Sells, Sodajerker and Janet Devlin.

To book your seats at this unique event send an email to contact@songacademy.co.uk. £20 for seats at tables in the stalls (8 person tables and 10 person tables). £15 for seats in the gallery. All seats have an excellent view of the stage. Limited availability so we suggest you book soon. E-tickets will be sent out the week before.

ARTISTS PERFORMING

 

1ST HALF

TALKS TOO MUCH,  LEONA MAE

FIREFLIES,  LILY CRIDDLE

TEARDROPS,  NELLY BINGHAM

ILLUSION,  JOHNNY BEAU

DID I?  ISLA CAMPBELL

VOICES,  MACY O’NEILL

WISH I DIDN’T CARE, CASSA JACKSON

HONEY,  CLARA FREEMAN-TAYLOR

HOW TO BE VULNERABLE,  EMILY SEMPLE

GIRL IN THE DRESS,  LOIS BROOKS

HOME, SOPHIE GRIFFITHS

INTERVAL

2ND HALF

TALK TO ME, THE SHEAS

FANTASY, GILSKA

NO PLACE,  WILL MASSIE

LIGHTS OF THE SKY, LILITH BEE

LAYING ON MARS,  BENJAMIN FRERE

DROWNS ME OUT,  TAIA THOMPSON

CLAPHAM JUNCTION,  JOE LEVER

WE’RE NOT LONELY ANYMORE,  LEXIE CARROLL

ALL IT TAKES,  HETTA FALZON

EXPRESS YOURSELF, SONG ACADEMY

We hope to see you there!

Background on Song Academy Song Academy was founded 12 years ago, we’re dedicated to the future of music & the wellbeing of young people aged 8-18. We enable young people to express themselves and have their voices heard. From their first song to developing their first album. We nurture young writers, artists, musicians, producers & creative thinkers, empowering young people at a formative time of their life. We believe that songwriting and music can transform the lives of young people by helping them find their voice and find their tribe.

Song Academy stands for the craft and art of songwriting in its purest form, enabling young aspiring songwriters to aspire to the very best melody, lyric, structure, concept, harmony, mood and impact a song can have. It’s a supportive community where young people feel brave and can express themselves, celebrate individuality and be themselves. The benefits from this unique community are far reaching, especially the positive boost to mental health.

 

 

We’ve teamed up with YouTube Music to create an exclusive opportunity to meet Plested & ask him questions about his songwriting & experience in the music industry.  Plus you’ll learn how to get the most from the YouTube platform and be inspired by performances from a couple of talented young songwriters.

Phil Plested, who performs as “Plested” is a singer/songwriter from Croxley Green, Hertfordshire. He began writing songs at school (Rickmansworth) and was scouted at a talent show and signed to Island Records. He’s spent the past several years penning songs for some of pop music’s biggest names, including Lewis Capaldi (“Hollywood” and the UK and US Radio #1 “Before You Go”), Little Mix (the UK Top 5 single “Touch”) and Kygo (“Remind Me To Forget” ft. Miguel & “Lose Somebody” ft. One Republic). Phil most recently co-wrote “Leave Before You Love Me” for Marshmello x Jonas Brothers as well as the Anne-Marie & Niall Horan duet “Our Song”. He is in the studio with Lewis Capaldi, Dermot Kennedy, Niall Horan & Clean Bandit to name a few.

This online event on Tuesday 7th September, 6pm to around 7:15pm is for aspiring young songwriters aged 8-18 worldwide. Limited places available. To reserve your place (it’s free to attend) send an email to contact@songacademy.co.uk

Songs reveal the hearts & minds of young people after a year in lockdown.  Impressive originality, creativity & musical bravery displayed. It’s critical to make the mental health of young people a top priority.

Star Judges include Fraser T Smith, Tom Odell, Miranda Cooper, Chris Difford,
Calum Scott, Midge Ure, Tom Grennan & Michelle Escoffery

The finalists of the hotly contested Song Academy Young Songwriter (SAYS) 2021 competition have now been revealed. This year’s competition attracted over 1,000 entries from aspiring young songwriters aged 8-18 across the world, both experienced young songwriters and those who’ve written their first song.  As in previous years 70% of entrants were girls.  13% of entries were in the international categories and 70% were from 13-18 year olds.  Entries from the UK/Ireland were widespread with 65% outside London.

The judges were extremely impressed with the originality, creativity & musical bravery of the songs. Listening to the entries gives a fascinating insight into the hearts & minds of young people, and provides evidence for making the mental health of young people a top priority.  Goto the Song Academy SoundCloud account to listen to the finalists’ songs! The top 10 finalists of the UK/Ireland categories will be announced on the 30th April.  The top 3 finalists of all categories will be announced on the 1st June.

Fraser T Smith (songwriter, producer and SAYS21 judge) says “With so much going on in the world, it’s never been more vital for young people to be able to channel their energy and emotions into something positive, which is what The Young Songwriter competition encourages and facilitates through songwriting. Every young person has something to say, a story to tell, or a message to share – that’s why Song Academy is so important to our community.”

This year’s panel of award winning judges includes: Fraser T Smith (Stormzy, Dave, Adele, Drake, Sam Smith), Tom Odell, Chris Difford, Tom Grennan, Michelle Escoffery, Calum Scott, Hannah V, Calum Scott, Dan Gillespie Sells, Janet Devlin, Eg White (Adele, Duffy, Take That, Pink), Sacha Skarbek (James Blunt, Miley Cyrus, Adele, Jason Mraz, Duffy), Paul Adam (Dannii Minogue, Amy MacDonald & A&R Director at Island Records), Emily Phillips (Rizzle Kicks, Florence and the Machine, Sigrid, John Newman, Madison Beer, SOAK), Miranda Cooper (Girls Aloud, Sugababes, Pet Shop Boys, Alesha Dixon), Simon Aldred (Sam Smith, Rag’n’Bone Man, Avicii) and Iain Archer (Bugg, Sea Girls, Lisa Hannigan, Liam Gallagher, James Bay, Snow Patrol, Niall Horan).

CATEGORY 13-18 YEAR OLDS
UK/IRELAND

A SUNKEN FUTURE – HONOR CARR (Croydon, London)
ALL IT TAKES – HETTA FALZON (Bath, Somerset)
BOUNDARIES – SCARLETT GRIG (Winchester, Hampshire)
BRING BACK THE NOISE- GABBY HORNE (Derby, Derbyshire)
CLAPHAM JUNCTION – JOE LEVER (Highgate, London)
DIVIDED- JAMES BAKIAN (Finchley, London)
DONT’ CALL – GABRIELLA BONGO (Dulwich, London)
DROWNS ME OUT – TAIA THOMPSON (Brighton, East Sussex)
DUST IN MY HAIR – CHARLIE HEWLETT (Barnstaple, Devon)
FABRIC FLOWERS -MEG CURL (Wells, Somerset)
HOW TO BE VULNERABLE – EMILY SEMPLE (Hereford, Herefordshire)
I CAN’T BREATHE – HATTY YAP (Highgate, London)
IT’LL CHANGE FOR THE BETTER- ROSIE TRENTHAM (Croydon, London)
LAYING ON MARS – BENJAMIN FRERE (Cambridge, Cambridgeshire)
LIKE A SHADOW STEALS THE SUN – RACHEL BURNETT (Liverpool, Merseyside)
LIKE US – SOPHIE GRACE (Derby, Derbyshire)
HONEY – NETTLE (Hitchin, Herefordshire)
NO MORE BROKEN HEARTS- CONOR MARCUS (Belfast, Ireland)
SAHARA- EVERNOW BEATS (Highgate, London)
SECOND PLACE – SCARLETT MAY (Kent)
SHOW ME LOVE – URBANPARCS (Liverpool, Merseyside)
SIGN- OLLIE MOORE (Norwich, Norfolk)
SOMETIMES – MILLIE RHYE (Newcastle, Tyne & Wear)
SKY AND STARS – HERODOT MARIC (Ealing, London)
SUNBURN – LUCA HOWSAM (Leeds, West Yorkshire)
SWEET THING – JACOB YORK (Wolverhampton, West Midlands)
TALKS TOO MUCH – LEONA MAE (St Albans, Hertfordshire)
TWO TWO SEVEN- ALEKS KOSTOV & ARYAN PAL (Lancaster, Lancashire)
WE’RE NOT LONELY ANYMORE – LEXIE CARROLL (Hammersmith, London)
WHY DON’T YOU LOVE ME – WASIA PROJECT (Woldingham, Surrey)

 

CATEGORY 8-12 YEAR OLDS
UK/IRELAND

BE PROUD – LAUREN WITHALL (Kingston Upon Thames, London)
BRAVEFACE – QUEENIE STANBRIDGE (Brighton, East Sussex)
BUTTERFLIES – SKYE BISHOP (Kensington, London)
DANCE FLOOR – ELEANOR CRICKMORE (Burnley, Lancashire)
DEEP WATERS – TWINKLE ANSAR (Hastings, East Sussex)
DID I – ISLA CAMPBELL (Hitchin, Hertfordshire)
FAIRY TALE – MATILDA LE FLEMING (Reading, Berkshire)
FIREFLIES – LILY CRIDDLE (Liverpool, Merseyside)
FOLLOW ME – LUKE PENDER (Worcester, Worcestershire)
GIRL IN THE DRESS – LOIS BROOKS (Preston, Lancashire)
GOLDEN DAYS – LILY CARROLL (Manchester, Greater Manchester)
I DREAM OF YOU – ROSE ROWNTREE (Manchester, Greater Manchester)
I’VE GOTTA BE ME – CHARLIE PRINCE (London)
ILLUSION – JOHNNY BEAU (Dulwich, Surrey)
LOCKEDDOWN – DAVID ADOM APPIAH-ONOJOB (Middlesex, London)
MODERN ROMEO AND JULIET – WHITE CLOUD (Fulham, London)
NEVER SAID MY GOODBYES – BRYDIE O’HANRAHAN (Sheffield, South Yorkshire)
NEW HORIZONS – MATILDA GANT (Enfield, London)
ON TOP OF THE WORLD – JACK STRICKLAND (Manchester, Greater Manchester)
OUT OF TOUCH – ELLIE-ROSE HEIMANS (Dulwich, Surrey)
RUMOUR – CORA HARKIN (Derry, Ireland)
SING GOOD VIBES – NIAMH GALLEN (Marylebone, London)
SLOWLY – SAMBELLE PRINCE (London)
SOMETIMES – ALICE MAXWELL (London)
START AGAIN – HARPER CUNNINGHAM (Highgate, London)
TEARDROPS – NELLY BINGHAM (Exeter, Devon)
TOGETHER FOR CHRISTMAS – THOMMY BAILEY VINE (London)
UNIQUE – RAINE SURLA (London) 
VOICES – MACY O’NEILL (Birmingham, West Midlands)
WAITING – MAEVE THUMIM (Bristol, Gloucestershire)

 

CATEGORY 13-18 YEAR OLDS
INTERNATIONAL

BEST FRIEND – MORIETNEZ AZRA MASHURI (Jakarta, Indonesia)
GHOSTS IN OUR HOMETOWN – MALVINA KAVITA (Philadelphia, USA)
GOLDEN YEARS – YOB (Oslo, Norway)
GREY – LILY WELCH (Boston, USA)
LOST MYSELF – JO MACKENZIE (Kansas City, USA)
PEOPLE LIKE YOU PIP LEWIS (San Diego, USA)
STARDUST – KELTY PARKER (Colorado Springs, USA)
THE ASTRONAUTS’S SONG – MICHAEL ABIMANYU KAENG (Jakarta, Indonesia)
WALK AGAIN – FAYE NICOLE (Melbourne, Australia)
WHERE SEABIRDS SCREAM – JULIE KUHL (Frankfurt, Germany)

 

CATEGORY 8-12 YEAR OLDS
INTERNATIONAL

CRAZY EYES – AVA ROSENBERG (New York, USA)
COLOURFUL – EVANGELINE DURUPT (Comox, Canada)
DREAM – ANTEA TURK (Jakarta, Indonesia)
FANTASY – LUNA KUP (Los Angeles, USA)
GRAFFITI ON THE WALL – ALEXIS G. ROLEY (Indiana, USA)
MY FRIEND IN MIAMI – VENICE AND BELLE HERRERA (Dubai, UAE)
SINGING BUTTERFLIES – SMILE (Wroclaw, Poland)
SO YOUNG -LYNETTE LEE LYN XI (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
TALK – BENJAMIN MAGRO (Pembroke, Malta)
WHO AM I – TAMARA YASIN (Florida, USA)

One of The Young Songwriter 2021 judges, platinum selling songwriter Emily Phillips listened to all the entries and commented:The expression and lyrical content of these songs reflect the mood of these young songwriters and listening to so many songs in a short space of time has given me a clear indication of the emotions, observations, preoccupations, and insights of a generation. Needless to say, given the year we have all endured, there are recurring themes of despair, depression, doubt and anxiety. But there are also songs which offer answers to these feelings, and some that give hope and meaning to the listener. Lockdown, social media, the environment, love, rejection, homelife, crushes, self-doubt, family and friends are subjects which feature over and again.

I have written songs professionally for nearly 20 years, and I sit on the songwriter committee for the Ivor Novellos Academy. I am campaigning for a fairer industry given that the streaming music services do not remunerate songwriters fairly. To add to the difficulty in maintaining a career as a songwriter, between 30,000 and 50,000 songs are released daily. On this basis, I am looking for, above all, originality in songwriting. If a melody or lyric catches my attention, (given the deluge of releases), that is a big step forward for a song. The algorithms of Spotify tend to encourage copycat and generic pop writing, so the Song Academy is really important as it stands for the craft and art of song writing in its purest form, enabling young songwriters to aspire to the very best melody, lyric, structure, concept, harmony, mood and impact a song can have. This means being your own harsh critic and editor, but also, to learn to collaborate with others and get feedback whenever you can, so as to raise your own game.

When a song hits you, and makes you lose yourself for a moment, or carries you away, or gives you a feeling that you can’t explain, it is a magical and mysterious feeling that can stay with you forever. If you love a song and listen again and again, it can become part of your life and define a part of who you are. Songs can change lives. Music is arguably the greatest of all art forms. I cannot stress enough how important it is, that despite a fast changing world, young songwriters feel that they can express themselves and aspire to be great.

Some of the songs in this year’s competition have amazed me. I have heard melodies and lyrics that I could never have thought of in a thousand years, – it really is humbling to hear such invention and musical bravery. There is nothing like the hotspur of youth to keep that cutting edge in music.”

Rowena Atkins, Founder of Song Academy, says “Song Academy inspires young people to speak up, express themselves, celebrate their individuality & get heard. By connecting them to a vibrant community of their peers who all love writing songs, as well as exposing their songs to key players in the Music Industry, we help to build young people’s confidence, self-esteem and drive to achieve their potential. As well as nurturing the next generation of music & creative leaders”

QUOTES FROM KOBALT, SOUNDTRAP AND YAMAHA

Willard Ahdritz, Founder & Chairman of Kobalt says “It’s very important to support, inspire, and celebrate young creators as they start on their path in music. We are happy to be involved in this competition as it provides great opportunities and education for the young contestants. I know many of them will go on to have bright careers in music!”

Leanne Barrell, Marketing Manager of Yamaha says, “At Yamaha, we believe that music can empower everyone to express themselves, build friendships and make a positive impact in the world, so naturally we’re delighted to support The Young Songwriter 2021 Competition. It’s a great opportunity for young people everywhere to get inspired and share their music on a global stage. This is all about the future, and we can’t wait to hear the songs of a whole new generation of musical talent.”

Per Emanuelsson, Director of Soundtrap says “The annual Young Songwriter competition is a premiere event introducing many students from around the world to the art of creative expression through song, and is therefore an event close to our heart. Soundtrap is pleased to sponsor the 2021 Young Songwriter competition and advance the mission of helping students find and share their voices.”

Quotes from The Young Songwriter 2021 finalists:

Benjamin “It doesn’t matter how wealthy you are or how much equipment you have. Someone who just has a guitar and a voice has just as much opportunity and chance as someone with a full size music studio.”

Charlie “allows people from all areas and walks of life to share their music with people and spread messages and emotion through music. There is also such an incredible judging panel and team behind the competition and it’s great to see that they are all just as excited as the entrants.”

Jacob “What I like most about The Young Songwriter is the community it creates between songwriters.”

Hetta “It’s a really cool way to listen to what other people your age are writing and I’ve discovered so many songs that I love just from the Song Academy playlist. I also like how it is judged purely on the song and not the quality of recording or production which means anyone can enter.”

Hatty “This is a fantastic platform for songwriters to be heard and to learn from.”

Morietnez “Inspires us to be brave to express our feelings and be ourselves.”

James “I like how the competition pushes young people and encourages creativity, allowing songs that might not otherwise be out there, a chance to shine.”

Conor “It’s really open minded with the music it takes into the competition. There is a list of genres, from rock to rap! It’s really incredible, and a great experience!”

Faye “I love how it gives a supportive space for young songwriters like me from all over the world. I also really like how we can listen to each other’s entries to hear the diversity and uniqueness of each individual song writer.”

Venice & Bella “It’s easy to enter and you don’t have to record in a fancy studio or have expensive equipment. It’s genuinely about the song and you feel truly heard.”

For further media information, photography, videos, interviews, etc., contact Rowena Atkins, Founder of Song Academy, rowena@songacademy.co.uk 07710 023743.

 

NOTES TO EDITORS:

SONG ACADEMY – helping every child find their voice

Founded 12 years ago, we’re dedicated to the future of music & the wellbeing of young people aged 8-18. We enable young people to express themselves and have their voices heard. From their first song to developing their first album. We nurture young writers, artists, musicians, producers & creative thinkers, empowering young people at a formative time of their life.

We believe that songwriting and music can transform the lives of young people by helping them find their voice. Young people are growing up in a competitive, fast changing & potentially isolating environment, which can cause various pressures and lead to issues with their mental health. Through songwriting young people can communicate their thoughts and feelings and connect to others. This creative and therapeutic process helps young people discover & develop their identity, overcome challenges, feel empowered by speaking up and advance their creative and social skills. The songs they write have the potential to spark debate, help their peers and shape their future.

Song Academy runs after-school clubs, holiday workshops, school workshops, birthday parties, song feedback reports and an annual international Young Songwriter competition. As a result of our programmes, we have seen a direct correlation in the increase and advancement of confidence, self-esteem, creativity, motivation, well-being and technical songwriting ability of our members.

The Song Academy Young Songwriter Album 2020 is officially OUT NOW for you to enjoy! 27 tracks from this year’s competition all on one amazing compilation album. It’s available on Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer and more! Go and check it out now!⠀

Young songwriters on the album are:  Alex Carroll, Cathy Jain, Cora Harkin, Demie Bagnato, Eliza Mai, Guy Courtie, Hetta Falzon, Hugo Rankin, Jordyn Richards, Dodd-Noble, Leona Mae, Lilith Bee, Lily Criddle, Max Eastland-Park ft. Kiera Milward, Nadia Ahadi, Naomi Vosika, Pip Lewis, Rachel Dawson, Riley Stevenson, Ruby Mulholland, Sadie Mustoe, Saga Elizabeth Gregory Strand, Skye Bishop, Venice and Belle Herrera, William Massie & Zach Zbar.

This album not only gives young songwriters a unique platform to get noticed by a larger audience and educate them in the digital world of e-commerce and the dynamics of the music industry, but it also provides them with their own revenue source.

Fraser T Smith (songwriter, producer and SAYS21 judge) says “With so much going on in the world, it’s never been more vital for young people to be able to channel their energy and emotions into something positive, which is what The Young Songwriter competition encourages and facilitates through songwriting. Every young person has something to say, a story to tell, or a message to share – that’s why Song Academy is so important to our community.”

Do you know any young people who are…

  • Writing their own songs & want to get them heard?
  • Secretly writing their own songs and need a bit of encouragement to share them?
  • Creative & musical and would like to write their first song?

Then encourage them to enter The Young Songwriter 2021 competition!  We’re looking for pure, fresh songwriting talent. Songs will be judged on their originality, lyrics, melody, composition, and potential to be a smash hit! There’s no need to enter professional recordings, however a good recording can help to enhance the impact of songs.

Enter between the 1st February and 31st March 2021 for the opportunity to:

  • Get noticed by some of the best songwriters & key players in the music industry
  • Have your songs heard and stand out from the crowd
  • Record your winning song with a top producer in London
  • Win £1,000 worth of Yamaha equipment
  • Receive a professional music video & photos from the recording session
  • Win a Focusrite Scarlett Solo Gen 3 Studio Bundle
  • Perform in The Young Songwriter 2021 showcase at The Tabernacle, London
  • Get connected to our vibrant community of young songwriters

This competition will be separately judged for UK & Ireland 8-12 year olds, UK & Ireland 13-18 year olds, International 8-12 year olds and International 13-18 year olds.  More information is at www.songacademy.co.uk/says21

This year’s panel of award winning judges includes: Fraser T Smith (Stormzy, Dave, Adele, Drake, Sam Smith), Tom Odell, Chris Difford, Tom Grennan, Michelle Escoffery, Calum Scott, Hannah V, Calum Scott, Dan Gillespie Sells, Harley Sule (Rizzle Kicks), Janet Devlin, Eg White (Adele, Duffy, Take That, Pink), Sacha Skarbek (James Blunt, Miley Cyrus, Adele, Jason Mraz, Duffy), Paul Adam (Dannii Minogue, Amy MacDonald & A&R Director at Island Records), Emily Philips (Rizzle Kicks, John Newman, Maddison Beer), Miranda Cooper (Girls Aloud, Sugababes, Pet Shop Boys, Alesha Dixon), Starsmith (Ellie Goulding, Lady Gaga, Jess Glynne, Paloma Faith), Simon Aldred (Sam Smith, Rag’n’Bone Man, Avicii) and Iain Archer (Bugg, Sea Girls, Lisa Hannigan, Liam Gallagher, James Bay, Snow Patrol, Niall Horan).

Click here for more information on The Young Songwriter 2021 competition.

Click here to join our songwriting workshops in December to get your songs ready!