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