Young Songwriter 2019

WE BELIEVE

We believe that young People can create their future. It is our mission to nurture their creativity, provide freedom from barriers & get their voices heard.

Connecting talented young songwriters results in amazing things.

ENTER YOUR SONGS! 1st Feb to 31st March

In it’s 8th year, The Young Songwriter competition is the leading competition for young songwriters aged 8-18 which celebrates their songwriting talents, gets their songs heard & unites young songwriters across the world in an exciting community.

2019 Judges include Tom Odell, Imelda May, Chris Difford, Rumer, Eg White, Miranda Cooper, Emily Phillips & Dan Gillespie Sells.

Enter between 1st February & 31st March.  There are three main entry categories: UK & Ireland, 8-12 years old; UK & Ireland, 13-18 years old and an International category, 8-18 years old.

After entering, please share examples of how you write songs – any part of the process from how you get into the creative mood to ways you come up with lyrics, melodies and chords. Add#SAYS19 #ThisIsHowIDoIt.  A prize of a Casio keyboard will be given to the best #ThisIsHowIDoIt contributor during the competition period.

Young Songwriter 2019 Rules & Guidelines

In 2019 we’ve made it easier & more cost effective for schools to enter their pupils’ songs. Individual song entries cost £10 (to cover admin costs).  School entries for more than 10 songs cost £5 per song and can be uploaded easily by the school.  Schools entering 20+ songs will have the opportunity of winning a Casio CT-x700 portable keyboard.

GET EXPERT FEEDBACK ON YOUR SONGS

Make sure your songs are the best they can be.  We can provide insightful written feedback on your songs to take your songwriting to the next level.  We look at three parts of your song: lyrics, melody and production/structure.  Learn more about our Song Feedback Service

ENTRY FORMS

JUDGING CRITERIA

We’re looking for pure songwriting talent. Professional recordings are not required as songs will be judged on their originality, lyrics, melody, composition and hit-making potential!  We judge every song on three key elements:  Lyrics, Melody & Chords/Instrumental (see below).  Then there’s the S Factor – is it a sensational song!

Lyrics: Demonstrates both technical and artistic competency, highlighting emerging originality. Material is imaginative and technically accomplished with rhyme, meter & creative language.
Melody: Compliments the chord progression and other surrounding musical characteristics. Melodic content demonstrates variety by using range, rhythm and pitch effectively. Demonstrates the ability to write functional harmonic progressions that complement the melodic content. The melody is memorable.
Chords/Instrumental: Harmonic progressions are balanced and provide a sufficient amount of interest throughout the song in relation to the other musical components.

LEARN & EXPERIMENT

Read our blog posts on the different stages of the creative songwriting process.  Follow us on our social media channels to learn from our community about how they write songs #ThisIsHowIDoIt.

TWITTER, FACEBOOK & YOUTUBE  SongacademyUK

INSTAGRAM  song-academy

Experiment & improvise with lyrics, melodies, chords & instrumental parts and see what comes up.

MUSIC TEACHERS

2019 WINNERS’ PRIZES

8-12 YEAR OLD CATEGORY, UK & IRELAND

A half day recording session with the top producer Paul Stanborough in London

Professional music video and photos from recording session

A Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Studio Pack (including microphone and headphones, along with the interface)

Casio Music’s CT-x3000 portable keyboard

sE Electronics X1S Studio Bundle

Signed Tom Odell ‘Jubilee Road’ Album

Signed copy of Carole King‘s book ’A Natural Woman’

The winner & selected finalists will perform at our Young Songwriter 2019 showcase in London

13-18 YEAR OLD CATEGORY, UK & IRELAND

A half day recording session with the top producer Paul Stanborough in London

Professional music video and photos from recording session

Complete home studio set up, including 2 x KRK RP4 Studio Monitors & Focusrite A 2i2 Studio Pack (interface, headphones and microphone)

Casio Music’s CT-x5000 portable keyboard

sE Electronics X1S Studio Bundle

Signed Tom Odell ‘Jubilee Road’ Album

Signed copy of Carole King‘s book ’A Natural Woman’

The winner & selected finalists will perform at our Young Songwriter 2019 showcase in London

INTERNATIONAL CATEGORY

A Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Studio Pack

Casio Music’s CT-x3000 portable keyboard

sE Electronics X1S Studio Bundle

Signed Tom Odell ‘Jubilee Road’ Album

Signed copy of Carole King‘s book ’A Natural Woman’

2019 SPONSORS

 

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.

Naughty Boy

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.

Tom Odell

It was a great pleasure to judge The Young Songwriter 2018 competition this year. I was incredibly impressed by the level of songwriting and musicianship among these young individuals.

Guy Chambers

I’m very glad to be part of The Song Academy Young Songwriter 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.

Imelda May

JUDGING PANEL

Our 2019 judging panel comprises of a cherry-picked range of influential songwriters and music producers, including Tom Odell, Chris Difford, Imelda May, Eg White, Rumer, Nigel Elderton, Miranda Cooper, Emily Phillips, Dan Gillespie Sells, Lyn Goddard, Tim Laws and James Walsh. All 2019 judges are shown below.

PARTNERS

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

Laura, Finalist

Not only do professionals hear my music, but there’s also a lot I can learn from the other young songwriters around me.

Bella, Finalist

It encourages young people to believe in themselves.

Roman, 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.

Sam, Finalist

#SAYS19 ON TWITTER

#SAYS19 ON INSTAGRAM

Judges

Tom Odell

Tom Odell

Tom is an award winning English singer-songwriter. He released his debut EP, Songs from Another Love, in 2012, and won the BRITs Critics’ Choice Award in early 2013. His debut studio album, Long Way Down, was issued on 24 June 2013, shooting straight to No 1. In 2014, Tom won a prestigious Ivor Novello as Songwriter of the Year.

His second album, Wrong Crowd, produced with the help of producer Jim Abbiss, best known for his work with Arctic Monkeys, Kasabian, and Adele, among others, was released on 10 June 2016.

Tom‘s third album ’Jubilee Road’ was released recently to critical acclaim.

Chris Difford

Chris Difford

Chris Difford is a rare breed. As a member of one of London’s best-loved bands, the Squeeze co-founder has made a lasting contribution to English music with hits such as ‘Cool For Cats’, ‘Up The Junction’, ‘Labelled With Love’, ‘Hourglass’ and ‘Tempted’. Despite the fact that Chris has helped soundtrack so many fans’ lives since his first release in 1977, the passion for innovation and love of playing still drives him to carry on writing rather than sit back and admire his handiwork.

Over the course of a 14 album career with Squeeze, it was clear from the very beginning that Chris Difford has few peers when it comes to smart, pithy lyricism. His ‘kitchen sink-drama’ style has drawn plaudits from fans on both sides of the Atlantic, while his influence is keenly felt today. The likes of Lily Allen and Mark Ronson.

Chris wrote the wrote the lyrics for the fictional band Strange Fruit in the 1998 British comedy film ‘Still Crazy’, for which he won his first Ivor Novello award. The film soundtrack was also nominated for a Grammy. He also has written with Jools Holland, Paul Carrack and Elton John.

Imelda May

Imelda May

Imelda May is one of Ireland’s most celebrated artists - a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Her recently released fifth album ‘Life Love Flesh Blood’ was produced by the legendary T Bone Burnett.

Life Love Flesh Blood shows a change of musical direction. “I love the rawness of rockabilly but it‘s just one of the many musics that inspired me. I also love my punk, blues and jazz and it was always mixed in there.” It is the strength, character, wit and emotion of the songwriting that ultimately sets this album apart from Imelda’s previous work.

Imelda has performed with Lou Reed, Smokey Robinson, Tom Jones, Meat Loaf, David Gilmore, Sinead O’Connor, Wanda Jackson, Lulu, Paolo Nutini, The Dubliners, The Chieftains, U2, Robert Plant and many more.

Nigel Elderton

Nigel Elderton

Nigel is the chairman of PRS for Music which represents the rights of over 118,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers in the UK. With over 40 years’ experience in the music industry, Nigel began his career at Chappell Music in 1975 and joined EMI Music Publishing a year later where he remained for the next 12 years working in many areas of publishing both creatively and administratively.

In 2005, he was awarded the Gold Badge of Distinction by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA) and in 2007, was invited to become a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts (FRSA). More recently, Nigel was awarded the Music Publishers Association’s highest honour the MPA Gold Badge for distinguished service to the music publishing industry.

Emily Phillips

Emily Phillips

Emily Phillips has co-written three top ten UK hits with Rizzlekicks and John Newman, as well as a US top three hit with Big Time Rush. Other recent projects include writing with Shura, Nicole Sherzinger, McFly, L Devine and Maddison Beer. She has penned three songs which have been listed as Radio 1’s ‘hottest record in the world’, including SOAK’s first single off her second album, Everybody Loves you. Emily has recently been appointed as a member of BASCA’s Songwriter Committee.

Eg White

Eg White

Grammy award winning songwriter and producer and musician. Eg is primarily known for his work with successful commercial pop acts such as Adele, Florence and the Machine, Tom Odell, Sam Smith, Will Young, James Morrison, Pink, Maverick Sabre and Rebecca Ferguson.

Miranda Cooper

Miranda Cooper

Miranda Cooper is a British songwriter who has worked in the music industry since 1996 when she gained her first recording contract. In 1997, she met Brian Higgins, the founder songwriting and production tea, Xenomania and started songwriting together, finding commercial success and critical acclaim with their productions for Girls Aloud and Sugababes , Pet Shop Boys, Frank Ferdinand , Kylie & Alesha Dixon

At one point Cooper’s songs spent more years on the UK chart than any other female songwriter in the UK and she has penned 4 number one hits - ‘Round Round’, “Hole in the Head” for the Sugababes and “Sound of the Underground And “The Promise” for Girls Aloud.

Today Miranda continues to work with some of the hottest artists in the world including the likes of pop superstar Kylie Minogue, pop princess Zara Larsson and hotly tipped singer/songwriter Maisie Peters. Miranda has also also recently penned Cheryl’s new single “Love Made Me Do It”.

Rumer

Rumer

Rumer, is a British singer–songwriter. Her stage name was inspired by the author Rumer Godden. Rumer‘s voice has been described by The Guardian and many others as being reminiscent of Karen Carpenter. Supported by leading music industry figures including Burt Bacharach, Jools Holland and Elton John, Rumer was nominated for two Brit awards on 13 January 2011. She has performed at several festivals such as Glastonbury Festival. Her latest album This Girl’s In Love: A Bacharach and David Songbook was released in November 2016.

Tim Laws

Tim Laws

Tim is an Ivor Novello nominated, ASCAP award winning songwriter and record producer probably best known for co-writing Gabrielle’s multi-million selling hit ‘Dreams’ and for my work with Lighthouse Family on their 3 studio albums.

He’s recently been working with: Jan Sievers, Scarlette Fever, Chromatone, SHE, Seth Lakeman, Rubylux, Pere Aristone and Mel C, Billy Ocean, Roachford.....

He’s also written, produced and mixed songs for many, many other artists including Babyface, Stevie Wonder, INXS, Daryl Hall, Gabrielle, Lighthouse Family, Five, Liberty X, Sugababes, Will Young, Mark Owen, Billie Piper, S-Club 7, Kenny Thomas, Kavana, Ce Ce Rogers, Holly Valance, Emma Bunton, Atomic Kitten, Blue and S-Club Juniors (to name quite a few!!). Other hit singles include Liberty X’s top 10 hit ‘Holding On For You’, Mark Owen’s debut solo single and number 3 hit ‘Child’, and even Billie Piper’s number 3 Christmas hit ‘She Wants You’.

Dan Gillespie Sells

Dan Gillespie Sells

Dan is best known for being the lead vocalist and principal songwriter in The Feeling. Their debut album, Twelve Stops And Home sold over a million copies, whilst their second album, Join With Us reached the No. 1 spot in the UK Charts. The band’s 5th album was released in March 2016.

Dan was the recipient of the 2015 Stonewall award for Entertainer of the Decade for his work in the LGBT community and the 2007 Ivor Novello Award for Songwriter of the Year.

Sodajerker

Sodajerker

Sodajerker is the songwriting team of Simon Barber and Brian O’Connor. Their podcast, which features long-form interviews with successful songwriters, has been downloaded millions of times since its launch in 2011. During the 100+ episodes to date, guests have included Paul Simon, Alicia Keys, Noel Gallagher, Cat Stevens, Rufus Wainwright, Neil Finn, Suzanne Vega, Eg White, Guy Chambers, Billy Bragg, KT Tunstall, Johnny Marr, Gilbert O’Sullivan, Gary Numan, Ben Folds Five, Neil Sedaka, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Joan Armatrading, Andy Partridge, Jimmy Webb, Imelda May and Tom Odell, among many others.

James Walsh

James Walsh

After almost a decade with his enormous yet somehow tender, fragile voice fronting multi-million selling band Starsailor, James Walsh has emerged as a singer-songwriter in his own right, with the arrival of his debut solo album, TURNING POINT.

He’s written songs with Eliza Doolittle, Melanie C, Suzanne Vega and collaborated with songwriter/producer Sacha Skarbek in the album ‘Lullaby’.

TURNING POINT was recorded last autumn at Genesis’ legendary Fisher Lane Studios and produced by Harry Rutherford. The songs are inspired by his love of music including, vocally, Van Morrison and Dion, and musically Bruce Springsteen, as well as such stories as that of eccentric explorer Richard Burton.

Sophie Daniels

Sophie Daniels

Sophie is Head of Songwriting at The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance where she has been teaching for over ten years.

Initially from a varied musical education background of pop music, classical and musical theatre, Sophie’s career in music has comprised; performing, writing and recording, roles at major record labels and a constant passion for teaching and enquiry in the world of popular music and songwriting.

Sophie’s work as a songwriter has been particularly within the genres of Country, Pop and Folk. She is currently working with Americana Artists; Hannah Rose Platt, Kaity Rae and Megan O’Neill and Pop Singer/Songwriters; Laura Welsh and Liv Austen.

Sophie runs the innovative Masters programme in songwriting at ICMP which combines the study of Creative Process and hands on tuition in songcraft and hit songwriting with the latest in academic enquiry.

Bobby Pearce

Bobby Pearce

Bobby began as a singer songwriter signed to a management company working with various producers and musicians before joining two artists from the same label to form a band. The band were signed to East West Records part of Warner Music Group and Intercord EMI.
Bobby has toured with The Commitments, played numerous festivals, and has TV and live radio experience. He is now working as a producer/songwriter for various artists and labels and as a vocal/performance coach.

Recent production/songwriting clients include Sam Smith, Snakeyman (Kidulthood).

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