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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our SAYS18 winners will be announced on the 14th May at 6pm (GMT) on our Twitter channel.

Come & watch the top young songwriters from across the UK and Ireland perform @WestfieldLondon, Shepherd’s Bush in the Young Songwriter 2018 live showcase on Sunday 10th June, 2-5pm. Around 40 performers including winners, finalists & highly commended entrants, aged 8-18 will perform! #savethedate #newgeneration #talent #youngsongwriters #songwriting #newmusic #freeevent #SAYS18

Full line-up to be announced shortly.

Young Songwriter 2018 Press Release Finalists Announced

 

 

 

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

What inspired you to write your SAYS18 finalist songs?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our SAYS18 winners will be announced on the 14th May at 6pm (GMT) on our Twitter channel.

Come & watch the top young songwriters from across the UK and Ireland perform @WestfieldLondon, Shepherd’s Bush in the Young Songwriter 2018 live showcase on Sunday 10th June, 2-5pm. Around 40 performers including winners, finalists & highly commended entrants, aged 8-18 will perform! #savethedate #newgeneration #talent #youngsongwriters #songwriting #newmusic #freeevent #SAYS18

Full line-up to be announced shortly.

Young Songwriter 2018 Press Release Finalists Announced

Congratulations to Katie for being a Young Songwriter 2018 Finalist with her song ‘T-Shirt’.  Here’s a bit about Katie and her songwriting.

What inspired you to write your SAYS18 finalist song ‘T-Shirt’?  I am not sure if it is just a girl thing or not….but the inspiration behind this song is based on my own experiences. I have had a couple of serious boyfriends and I love to wear their oversized sweatshirts and t-shirts. It’s as though I adopt their wardrobes when we are together… sadly when things part it is one of the only things we can hold on to. Their smell still lingers, the memories can be visualised, it’s the one thread of hope left that they might come back.
 I always try to use my own experiences, actions and feelings in the songs that I write – that way I can sing and perform them with passion.

How long have you been writing songs?  I started writing a couple of years ago. Until that point I had really struggled with writing. I didn’t really know where or how to start. I wrote my first song, ‘Mine’ when I split up with my boyfriend. Cliché I know but it wasn’t until that point that I had experienced those emotions – and its hard to really relate to things you write about if you haven’t experienced them I guess.

How did you get into songwriting?  After the first song, I actually found it relatively easy. Once I have my first line it seemed to flow quite naturally. Sometimes I write with guitar and other times with piano. It’s not prescriptive. It’s a natural process for me and one I cannot force. I was lucky to be able to attend Ultimate Artist, which is an artist development programme; that course certainly helped me gain confidence and belief in my ability.

What does songwriting allow you to explore and achieve?  Music is my passion so I am lucky that I love to write and perform. Music is good when you are feeling upbeat and happy as well as when you are having sadder moments. Songwriting allows me to express my emotions that may be otherwise I find hard to. I am dyslexic so English has never been my strongest subject; strangley songwriting seems so much easier!

What’s your favourite part of the songwriting process?  I love it when I first perform a new song – when it’s freshly written. It’s probably still got some development but I love to play the song for the first time! I haven’t collaborated yet with my songwriting but I am sure that this will help me grow as an artist.

What’s the most difficult part of the creative process of songwriting for you?  I guess getting the hook is the hardest and most frustrating part as it doesn’t just come when you want it to! But as soon as I have a hook or the first line, I am away!

Do you start with lyrics or melodies/chords?  It normally depends but I feel that they come at the same time. To be honest there is no set pattern when I write!

What do you like about Song Academy and our Young Songwriter competition?  Song Academy is a great way of getting your tracks heard but also to hear other young songwriters material. We all learn from each other. I haven’t attended any of the workshops but they look brilliant.

Who are your three favourite artists/songs?  Ed Sheeran I just love the way his writing is so raw and personal. I really aspire to be able to write like he can. For similar reasons I love the works of Gabrielle Aplin, especially her song ‘Miss You’. I think my all time favourite song to sing is ‘Naïve’ by The Kooks.

15 years from now you will be… 32!  Travelling/ touring the world, still creating new music and being able to share it with people.

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not writing songs?  Another cliché but I love to be with my friends – I love to dance, party and have fun. I also love to bake however I’m really not very good!!

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

What inspired you to write your SAYS18 finalist song ‘Clara’?  I wrote a chord progression on the guitar and made an instrumental demo. It had a bittersweet tone so I wanted to tell the story of someone in their daily life. I thought of the struggles that girls my age go through everyday. Feelings of pressure and anxiety, emptiness and longing, but all the while still enjoying life. Clara’s just trying to figure out how to navigate the complicated world around her.

How long have you been writing songs?  I started writing music when I was about 10 years old, so I’ve been writing for nearly 8 years.

How did you get into songwriting?  I was always inspired by music and I started singing and playing at a very young age, so it was just natural for me to try writing songs.

What does songwriting allow you to explore and achieve?  I found a whole new enjoyment in songwriting when I realized how therapeutic it could be. I just loved to play the piano and try to write something that spoke to me. Songwriting allows me to put my thoughts into an art-form that speaks louder than words.

What’s your favourite part of the songwriting process?  I’ve always found the chords and melodies to be the most fascinating and beautiful part of songwriting. If your music doesn’t speak than how will your lyrics?

What’s the most difficult part of the creative process of songwriting for you?  It can be pretty difficult sometimes to know what you want to say with your lyrics. I revised the lyrics to “Clara” several times before they felt right.

Do you start with lyrics or melodies/chords?  It depends, because just about anything can inspire a song. But I usually like to start with chords and then let the melody lead the lyrics.

What do you like about Song Academy and our Young Songwriter competition?   I think Song Academy has done a wonderful job of giving young songwriters from around the world a chance at sharing their art and getting the encouragement and feedback needed to help shape their craft.

Who are your three favourite artists/songs?  It’s pretty hard to chose but I think my current favorite artists are Mac DeMarco, Electric Light Orchestra, and Paul McCartney.

15 years from now you will be… I hope to make a career in music, whether it be in songwriting, producing, or as my own solo act. My talents are a gift that I never want to stop utilizing. And there’s just about nothing else that I enjoy more than making music.

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not writing songs?  I like spending time with my brother and sister, or just enjoying the outdoors on a sunny day.

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

What inspired you to write your SAYS18 finalist song ‘Soaring’?  A girl at school said I couldn’t win a running race, so I decided to prove her wrong. I wrote this song after I won the race.

How long have you been writing songs?  I have been writing songs for fun since I was seven, but I never really thought they were any good until now. So THANK YOU Song Academy :)

How did you get into songwriting?  Sometimes I just felt like writing down what I was feeling and then I would sing the words over and over again in different ways and it just turns into a song.

What does songwriting allow you to explore and achieve?  It allows me to be free and have fun with music and express how I am feeling. Usually I’m learning other people’s songs so this allows me to be me.

What’s your favourite part of the songwriting process?  My favourite part is the recording when I start to see all my words come together in a song.

What’s the most difficult part of the creative process of songwriting for you?  The most difficult part can be writing the music to match the words.

Do you start with lyrics or melodies/chords?  I usually start with the chorus and melodies, and then start thinking about some lyrics and what I want to say.

What do you like about Song Academy and our Young Songwriter competition?  I really like that children get to show that they are good writers and get to perform like a professional artist.

Who are your three favourite artists/songs? I like many different styles of music, and my favourites change all the time depending on what I’m learning or listening too. One of my favourites is ‪Taylor Swift, Shake it off.  A more mellow and meaningful song I love is Fix you by Coldplay and I am working on learning a brilliant Tracey Chapman song, Fast Car at the moment.

15 years from now you will be…  15 years from now I will hopefully be on a giant stage singing one of my own songs, with giant inflatable unicorns being passed around the biggest crowd ever.

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not writing songs?  Hmmmm, My four favourite things to do are: ballet, make slime (which drives my mum crazy!), run for my team Thames Valley Harriers, and busk on the corner of Portobello Road. I busk there most weekends. At first I did it to raise money for two of my favourite charities but now I’m saving for a Puppy!!!

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

What inspired you to write your SAYS18 finalist song ‘Broken’? I wrote ‘Broken’ after I split up from my girlfriend.

How long have you been writing songs? I have been writing songs since around the age of 13. I began guitar at the age of 12 and decided to try singing at the age of 13, which then led on to writing my own material.

How did you get into songwriting? I had been writing lots of poems and aspired to be an author when I was in primary school, inspired by my Grandad. I always preferred the creative tasks, such as writing a short story or drawing in art. I later adapted this writing skill, going from poems to lyrics when I went to secondary school and my music teacher, Bethan Jenkins, got me into songwriting.

What does songwriting allow you to explore and achieve? Song writing allows me to express myself easily and in a way others can enjoy. It can help get across different perspectives and can also be a very powerful tool in helping yourself, or others deal with a troubling or upsetting situations. Also, I like to think that people can relate to my music and not only enjoy it for the music it is but also the meaning beneath it. Also, it can be used to provoke thoughts in others. I think this is very important because it is good to look at things from alternate perspectives.

What’s your favourite part of the songwriting process? I enjoy all parts of the song writing process, but one of my favourite parts is when you write a powerful and catchy chorus or hook line. I think that these can make or break a song so when you come up with a really strong chorus it’s a great feeling. Also, it feels great when a song finally comes together and sounds complete. It’s a real confidence booster.

What’s the most difficult part of the creative process of songwriting for you? For me, the most difficult part of the process varies from song to song. Recently I have been struggling when coming up with new chord patterns as I have a tendency to reuse chords from previous songs. However, other days I might struggle to work on just one song at once, instead going back and forth between multiple songs which can turn out to be a bad thing as it means applying less consideration into each individual song.

Do you start with lyrics or melodies/chords? It really depends on the song and day. A lot of the time I’ll think of lyrics throughout the day and note them down on my phone, figuring out a melody later on. For the most part, I like to write the riff or chord pattern first, then write the melody and for lyrics to this melody as I find the lyrics the easiest part.

What do you like about Song Academy and our Young Songwriter competition?  I believe the Song Academy and the Young Songwriter Competition have many benefits. They not only provide a platform for songwriters to get their work listened to and get expert advice, but they also do this for young people, who can often feel limited in the experiences available to our age group. Also, there is no other competition like this that I know of in the UK, so I believe that this is an excellent idea and competition, providing a much needed opportunity to young songwriters.

Who are your three favourite artists/songs?  My favourite artists and songs are constantly changing. I like to stay like to stay current and evolve my music with the trends that I enjoy to listen to. Currently, I enjoy artists such as Shawn Mendes, Ed Sheeran and James Arthur. I also enjoy the Stereophonics, which is I believe is reflected in a few of my songs.

15 years from now you will be… In 15 years from now I aspire to be writing chart songs and deep into the industry. It’s ambitious, but I believe it can be done if I work hard enough.

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not writing songs? When I’m not writing songs, I enjoy going out with my friends. I think it’s important to go out and have a laugh with your mates as these times can often inspire a new song or idea so they go hand in hand in a way.

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

CREATIVITY • COURAGE • INDIVIDUALITY • SELF EXPRESSION • INSPIRATION

#SAYS18 #StrengtheningMentalHealth #Community  #Songwriting

The Young Songwriter 2018 finalists are announced and are being judged by our star-studded judging panel including Tom Odell, Guy Chambers & Imelda May

Finalists of the hotly contested Song Academy Young Songwriter (SAYS) 2018 competition have now been revealed. The SAYS18 winners will be announced on the 14th May! All finalists and highly commended entrants will perform live in front of family, friends and the general public at Westfield, London on Sunday 10th June, from 2pm to 5pm and the Young Songwriter 2018 compilation album will be released in June 2018.

8-12 years old category

Happy Birthday by Erik Antonyan, Soaring by Skye Bishop, All She Has To Do by Zoe Efstathiou, Interweaving by Daisy Grace Powell, City by Mia Bran, A.S. Bach by Asher Saipe , One Bad Day Won’t Bring Me Down by Laetitia Felix, Head Full Of Clouds by Greta Benn, Hello by Harry Hatcher, Dear Diary by Greta Benn.

13-18 years old category

Free Spirits by Lisa Kowalski, Broken by Owain Felstead, T-Shirt by Katie Kittermaster, Snapped by Lottie Jenkins, Like Lava by Matilda Mann, Trust Me by Tabitha Jade, Way You Move by Oscar Welsh, Only Me by Jade Thornton, Your Picture On The Mantelpiece by Joshua Shea, Bad Boy by Isabella Weinstein.

International category

Here I Am by Madi Earl, This Letter by Joe N Cave, Clara by Kevin Jones.

This year’s panel of award winning judges includes singer songwriters Tom Odell and Imelda May, songwriters & producers Guy Chambers (for Robbie Williams, Tom Jones, Kylie Minogue, & Mark Ronson), Eg White (Adele, Duffy, Take That, Pink), Tim Laws (Gabrielle, Lighthouse Family), Jessica Sharman (for Ward Thomas), Nicky Cox (editor, First News) and Nigel Elderton (Chairman, PRS for Music). A number of the judges will be at Westfield on 10th June to watch their favourites perform live.

This year’s competition attracted close to 500 high quality entries from cities across the world, from London, Dublin, Cairo, Helinski, Johannesburg, Nashville, New York, Reykjavik, Zagreb to Melbourne. 16% of entrants were aged 8-12, 41% aged 13-15 and 43% aged 16-18.  Girls were 70% of the entrants.

Analysis of entrants’ song themes and lyrics demonstrates that song writing is a hugely valuable outlet for young people to express their feelings and concerns and strengthen mental health. The main themes were: frustrating emotions of being in love (16%), moving on from a relationship after heartbreak or when it’s not working (14%), happiness of being in love (12%), anxieties and pressures of life (12%), importance of believing in yourself and being yourself (10%), being empowered in your life and being in control (8%). SAYS18 entrants expressed themselves with such power, imagination and creativity, both lyrically and musically, sharing their dreams, their pain, their hope & hearts with the world.

There were several noticeable differences between the age groups with the 8-12 year olds writing more about friendships and being empowered in your life and the 13-18 year olds focusing on the roller coaster emotions of being in love and moving on from destructive relationships.   A much higher proportion of the younger age group wrote about mental health themes of anxiety and pressures of growing up in today’s society, perhaps showing a need for more support at this younger age.

There was a wide variety of genres across SAYS18 songs, from folk to jazz, soul, rock, punk, reggae & pop. The younger age group wrote across a wider range of genres, with the pop genre as the most popular style. The older age group had a focus on acoustic folk (41%) with jazz/soul/blues and rock being popular styles.

The annual Song Academy Young Songwriter competition has gone from strength to strength since it’s launch in 2011 and is now the leading song writing competition for young people aged 8 to 18 across the UK and Ireland with a strong sense of community. It’s a springboard for the next generation of creative stars to get noticed by key players in the music industry, build confidence, have their voices heard and shine in the limelight.

During the SAYS18 competition period, 16.5 million people were reached across the Song Academy social media platforms and website. 19,000 people were engaging with SAYS18 with retweets, posts, comments, email click throughs. During the entry period there were 4,480 listens to the SAYS18 songs.

Tom Odell, singer songwriter said “When I was 13 years old I started writing songs, and over the following years I became more and more obsessed with it.  But the thing that always kept me awake at night was how to get them out there for people to hear them. This is why I think The Song Academy Young Songwriter competition is a great way to inspire and help through this process, and its something I wish had been around when I was starting out.”

Guy Chambers, songwriter & producer said “It’s a huge pleasure to be a part of this years judging panel for the Song Academy Young Songwriter 2018. I have always been a supporter and nurturer of young talent, so it will be great to see what this year’s competition has to offer. Good luck.”

Imelda May, singer songwriter said “I’m very glad to be part of The Song Academy Young Songwriter 2018 judging panel. Good songwriting is the foundation of all good music. This competition is also simply a great way for songwriters to meet other like minded people and I’m happy to encourage anyone to connect and excel in this beautifully expressive art form and cannot wait to hear the songs.”

Director of PRS for Music, Myles Keller said “This wonderful competition empowers young songwriters, enabling them to showcase their talent and offering them a ‘one of a kind’ opportunity to gain crucial feedback from some of the very best British songwriters. In the early stages of a career, this kind of help is like gold dust and really enables industry newcomers to build strong, sustainable careers. Music is integral to our nation’s identity and it is crucial that we nurture the next generation of songwriters now to ensure a creative future. PRS for Music is absolutely delighted to support such a positive and exciting competition.”

Keep a watch for The Song Academy’s spotlight blogs on each of the top ten finalists and hear the latest news on the Young Songwriter 2018 showcase and star guests to be attending via the Song Academy Twitter feed @SongacademyUK.

A big thank you to our SAYS18 sponsors, PRS for Music, SoundCloud, Focusrite, ICMP and Trinity College London.

Young Songwriter 2018 Press Release Finalists Announced

– Ends –

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

NOTES TO EDITORS:

Who are we? A Song Academy overview

The Song Academy champions young people aged 8-18 and is nurturing the next generation of songwriters & creative leaders.

We believe we have a unique concept which focuses on the hearts and minds of young people, giving them the tools and platform to express themselves and have their voices heard. We celebrate their individuality. We unleash their creativity and inspire them with what’s possible. We also connect them to a vibrant community of their peers who love writing original songs, as well as exposing their songs to key players in the Music Industry. Overall, we build young people’s confidence and self-belief.  Our focus is on the love of songwriting rather than the love of fame.

The Song Academy runs after-school sessions, holiday workshops, school workshops, birthday parties and an annual nationwide 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 song-writing ability in our members. More information is at https://www.songacademy.co.uk.

www.songacademy.co.uk

contact@songacademy.co.uk

07710 023743

We’re delighted to announce the highly commended songs in The Young Songwriter 2018 competition. Enjoy listening to them!  All finalists and highly commended entrants in the UK & Ireland will be invited to perform in our Young Songwriter 2018 showcase at Westfield, London.  The finalists are shown on our Young Songwriter 2018 competition page

In the spirit of developing the songwriting talents of young people we offer an excellent song feedback service, offering ideas on how to develop your songs.  We cover lyrics, melodies and the production/structure of your songs.

SAYS18 Highly Commended, 8-12 year category

SAYS18 Highly Commended, 13-18 year category

SAYS18 Highly Commended, International Category

Keep a watch out for the winners announcement on 14th May!

A big thank you to our wonderful SAYS18 sponsors, PRS for Music, SoundCloud, Focusrite, ICMP and Trinity College London.

 

Song Academy had the pleasure of chatting to Imelda May about what she thinks is important about songwriting.  She shared some ideas for young songwriters to help develop their talents.  What stands out during our conversation was how passionate Imelda is about the art of songwriting and the positive difference it makes to the songwriter.

Imelda believes that songwriting is an art and there’s no right or wrong way to approach writing songs.  During her songwriting journey, from her first song aged 13 to becoming one of Ireland’s most celebrated artists, she has gained a number of insights which have helped her develop and enjoy the songwriting process.

Focus on the song not the end of result

Make sure your song has strong roots and don’t worry about whether it’ll be a hit or whether people will like it.   Approach songwriting as a personal journey where you can be fully self expressed and take a stand for what’s important to you .  The beauty of songwriting is that you can write from personal experiences or what’s going on for those that are close to you. You can change the roles whenever you want.  The power of songwriting is that it’s universal and non-judgemental.  Songwriting is a wonderful way of saying something to someone when you’re uncomfortable telling them directly.  It’s also a great outlet for releasing your emotions.

Imelda writes mostly about personal experiences so she has all the fine details to craft into a song.  If she’s writing for someone else – she’ll ask many questions and do a lot of research to get the fine detail. You need to immerse yourself in what it’s like to be that person and capture exactly what what’s going on in the story of the song.  Memories can be described across all the senses that are unique to the particular person.

Enjoy the songwriting process, don’t be afraid & keep writing

Songs are important but let yourself be free writing and don’t worry about getting it ‘right’.  Learn from your mistakes – it’s a journey.  Songs will be ready at the time and then you often look back on your songs and think oh I’d change that part now.

When Roy Orbiston was asked, “What’s your best song”, he answered, “I haven’t written it yet”.  It’s important to keep being inspired to write better and better songs.

Always carry a notebook to capture ideas

Inspiration for songs can happen at anytime.  Always carry a notebook, and jot down words, sentences, poems and thoughts when they arise out of the blue.  Then when you sit down purposefully to write you have inspiration for your songs ready if needed.

Listen to as many songwriters as you can

Listen to many songwriters’ songs and read their lyrics.  See what inspires you.  Some songs have full lyrical stories, others have space for melodies/composition and lyrics are repeated.  The opening lines are crucial for getting the listener’s attention, drawing them in and making them keen to know more.  Here are a couple of Imelda’s favourite songs:

Roy Orbiston – In Dreams

The Pogues & Kirsy McColl – Fairytale of New York

Sam Cook – A Change Is Gonna Come

What two words sum up the value of songwriting?

Expression and Connection.  Through expressing yourself you connect with others and connection is so important and what makes us human & happy.

Imelda is excited about listening to our Young Songwriter 2018 competition songs!  The entry deadline is the 8th April – make sure you enter your original songs and connect to an international community of young songwriters all passionate about songwriting.

#SAYS18

Casio Music are supporting our Young Songwriter 2018 competition by donating a newly released CTX-5000 keyboard (retail price £499.99) for the new fanbase award for all 2018 SAYS competition entrants!

Great songwriters know that networking and raising their profile are hugely important for building a future in the industry. That’s why we’re offering a special Fanbase Award to the songwriter who can create a great following for their music.

To enter, all you have to do is:
Post a video of you performing part of your song you’ve entered onto Instagram
Make sure you mention us somewhere in the text (@song_academy) and add the hashtag #SAYS18
Get as many people as you can to like your video before the 8th April!

The earlier you start promoting, the better chance of getting more likes and winning the prize!

Enter your own songs into our Young Songwriter 2018 competition – entry deadline is the 8th April