The excitement is palpable from Universal Music’s recording studio, where winners Orla O’Neill and Taylor-George Ellis are recording their winning songs from the Song Academy Young Songwriter Competition 2014. But the judges conference call that happened a week previously was just as exciting…
Every judge was fighting for their favourite entry to win the coveted title of Song Academy Young Songwriter of 2014, so much so that this year, we had to add 3 runners up to the finalists as opposed to the 2 runners up we had last year. Both categories displayed ‘a ridiculously high standard of mature and well thought out songs’ said one of the judges, and many felt that some of the entries in both the 7-12 and 13-18 category were ‘Ivor Novello standard’.
They also felt that many of the songs were so good they could be pitched to and ‘cut by current artists’. Nearly every judge was impressed with the ‘bravery’ that these young songwriters displayed in expressing their emotions, both musically and lyrically, and how the finalists in both categories ‘surprised’ the judges with their talent and understanding of songwriting.
‘You hear many artists today just chasing the money, but these young writers are unafraid of expressing themselves and going places musically and lyrically that many don’t dare to go, for fear it might not be in trend.’ That is what Song Academy is aiming to do, nurture a wave of fresh, undiscovered talented writers, and one of the star studded judging panel said that after hearing the finalists from the 2014 competition they felt like they were listening to the ‘new generation of writers’.
The judges were looking for songs which ‘moved them, gave them joy to listen to, communicated with them’; all of which the 2014 finalists did in abundance.