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.