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.