Young Songwriter 2019 Live Showcase

An incredible line-up for Saturday 22nd June!




The Young Songwriter 2019 competition #SAYS19

SAYS19 Star Judges include Tom Odell, Imelda May, Jin Jin, Chris Difford, Sacha Skarbek, Rumer, Eg White, Emily Phillips, Dan Gillespie Sells, Miranda Cooper & Nigel Elderton

The Song Academy Young Songwriter Competition – recognised as the leading international competition for young songwriters age 8-18 years – attracted a record 611 high quality entries this year. The top 30 and top 10 entries have been announced in the three competition categories (8-12 and 13-18 years from UK & Ireland and the International category), with the top 3 songs in each category being announced on the 23rd May!

The Young Songwriter 2019 live showcase, which will also be a 10th anniversary celebration of Song Academy, will be held on Saturday 22nd June from 7pm – 9:30pm at The Tabernacle in Notting Hill, London. The showcase will celebrate the creative talents of the competition finalists, whilst demonstrating the power of songwriting as a means of building confidence and connecting the youth of tomorrow’s music scene. Performers will include winners of The Young Songwriter Competition 2019 (UK & Ireland), selected finalists and Song Academy alumni that are making waves in the industry – to be joined by a special guest singer songwriter (to be announced). We are delighted that the showcase will be compered by three young creative stars – Jenk Oz, Sebastian Croft and Miriam Nyarko. To book your place at this special event, email

Jenk is a 14 year old young entrepreneur, actor, musician and presenter as well as being the Founder & CEO of iCoolKid. Jenk has been featured in Forbes, given two TEDx Talks, spoken at Model United Nations and been seen in West End Theatre, TV, Commercials, Music Videos, Short Films, and several commercial print & modelling campaigns. Jenk has attended Song Academy Songwriting Camps and sung with the Song Academy choir at Voice in a Million at Wembley Arena.

Sebastian is a 17 year old actor, songwriter and musician, who has been in five feature films; The Hippopotamus (written by Stephen Fry), Wonderwell (with Carrie Fisher and Rita Ora), Music War and Love (with Stellan Skarsgård and Adelaide Clemens), Where is Ann Frank (still in post-production) and Horrible Histories The Movie (in which he plays the lead role of Atti). Sebastian has also appeared in a number of TV shows, West End musicals and is a keen songwriter.

Miriam is a 16 year old actress, singer songwriter and dancer who has been on a number of TV shows, including the CBBC drama Almost Never, BBC Blue Peter and The Voice Kids. Plus Miriam has performed in several West End musicals including, Young Nala in the Lion King, Lavender in Matilda and Violet Beauregarde in Charlie & the Chocolate Factory. Miriam is also in the current National Theatre production of ‘Our Town’ as Rebecca Gibb at The Regents Park Open Air Theatre.

The Young Songwriter 2019 competition is sponsored by PRS for Music, RSL, YouTube Music, Focusrite, Dawsons Music, Casio Music and ICMP.

Artists performing on Saturday 22nd June
Winners of The Young Songwriter Competition 2019, UK & Ireland Categories.
Selected finalists of The Young Songwriter Competition 2019.
Song Academy alumni and leaders of Song Academy programmes.
Past finalists of The Young Songwriter Competition.
Celebrity singer songwriter – to be announced.

Rowena Atkins, Founder & CEO Song Academy  “We believe that it is more important than ever, in this fast-paced, competitive and technological world, for young people to believe in themselves and be inspired by their future. Songwriting is an antidote to the pressures on young minds and allows young people to express themselves creatively and gain clarity on what’s going on in their heads and the world outside. Each year, The Young Songwriter Competition brings together young songwriters from across the world who listen to each other’s stories, feel a sense of togetherness, unite in a vibrant songwriting community and get their songs heard.”

Quotes from The Young Songwriter Competition judges and sponsors:

Tom Odell, singer songwriter
“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. I can’t wait to hear the songs!”

Imelda May, singer songwriter
“I’m very glad to be part of The Song Academy Young Songwriter Competition 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.”

Naughty Boy, producer and songwriter
“Young songwriters are the future of music. A great song will always stand the test of time far beyond our years. I think this competition is important because every songwriter I’ve worked with was always waiting to be discovered.”

Simon Barber & Brian O’Connor, founders of Sodajerker
“Judging the 2018 Young Songwriter Competition was a fascinating experience, not only because of the wonderful breadth of talented writers who submitted work, but also because of the incredible range of responses that the songs elicited from the judges. It was heartening to see each judge devote such a great deal of time and attention to thinking about the qualities of each song, and whatever the outcome, all finalists should be proud to have reached that stage of the competition. We are delighted to play a small role in such a fantastic scheme led by such a generous organisation. The opportunity that it offers young songwriters to be heard by leading figures in the music industries is second to none.”

Azi Eftekhari, Head of Music Partnerships in the UK, YouTube
“It’s so important to nurture young songwriters, helping them harness their creative energy, express themselves, and be part of a community. YouTube Music is proud to support the Song Academy Young Songwriter competition and we can’t wait to see how these talented songwriters grow through this truly impactful programme.”

Quotes from past The Young Songwriter finalists:

Laura, Young Songwriter finalist “Being a self confessed bedroom musician the Young Songwriter competition has given me the opportunity to take my songs into the real world.”

Roman, Young Songwriter finalist “It encourages young people to believe in themselves.”

Sam, Young Songwriter finalist “I like how it is focused on songwriting and not particularly vocal or instrumental talent, especially in this day and age, where that’s a critical factor for success. But if you can write a hit, it’s arguably more impressive than if you can sing one, and I think this competition shows that.”


Who are we? A Song Academy overview.

Song Academy is a unique platform for young people (age 8-18) to express themselves through songwriting and connect with like-minded peers. Founded 10 years ago, it continues to inspire and nurture the next generation of songwriters and creative leaders who will pave the way for the future of music.

Song Academy prides itself on encouraging its members to focus on the creative process of songwriting, as opposed to the performance element – producing powerful and honest lyrics, composing inventive melodies and exploring production components. The team of Song Academy leaders are experienced in developing young songwriters’ skills to be able to write heartfelt songs that move and inspire others, in varying styles – paying careful attention to each members’ own individual sound and allowing that to flourish – whether that be a genre that is more or less commercial. In a world that is increasingly technological and fast-paced, Song Academy offers a safe and exciting space for young people to express their thoughts and feelings alongside others who seek the same experience and opportunity. It is tantamount that the youth of today feel listened to, appreciated and understood, and the process of songwriting – under the guidance of experienced songwriting professionals – offers this release, structure and encouragement. Song Academy is the ultimate after-school club – providing its members with a platform to either pursue their songwriting career goals or simply to be creative in an inspiring environment.

Song Academy runs after-school clubs, holiday workshops, school workshops, birthday parties and an annual international 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 the advancement in the technical songwriting ability of our members.

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