Cathy Jain is 15 years old from Nantwich, Cheshire and her song ‘I See Us In Heaven’ was selected as a top 10 song in The Song Academy Young Songwriter 2020 competition 13-18 year old UK/Ireland category. We caught up with Cathy recently to talk about all things songwriting!
What inspired you to write your song? This song was inspired by my interest in the ways young people relate to each other. I wrote this song from the point of view of someone who is trying to find their place and identity by observing the people around them. I wanted to build a sense of mystery and darkness as well as hint at the idea of temptations and desire. E.g. What people desire to be like and how they choose to act and appear .
What got you into writing songs? I started writing songs when I was around 9 or 10. I was very creative so instead of writing a normal diary, I thought I’d write a musical diary to make it more fun and exciting—it turned out to be a great decision and lots of bops came out of it :)). I also was (and still am) the biggest fan of Taylor Swift and absolutely worshipped her. I really admired her ability to express emotions in her music and that made me want to do the same.
What is your favourite part of the songwriting process? My favourite part of the songwriting process is finishing a song and then coming back to it with fresh ears a while later to find that it’s still a banger. That sense of achievement and pride after writing a song I really love is just the best feeling in the world.
Describe your setup that you used to write your #SAYS20 entry, was it just a pen and paper or a fully kitted out studio? ‘I See Us In Heaven’ was written in my bedroom where I write all my songs. I started by just humming to some chords on the guitar and then wrote down the lyrics onto my computer as soon as the inspiration came.
How do you usually start a song? How do you find that spark? It always depends, I think the spark can come from anywhere. Sometimes I start with a great lyric idea, sometimes the melody comes to me first. I get inspiration from my experiences, people I know, songs I listen to, books I read etc. A lot of the time I make up characters in my head and write songs from their p.o.v, building a little world of stories.
Who would be your dream artist/writer/band to collaborate with?I’d love to collaborate with Conan Gray as I think we have a very similar taste in music. He is also such a playful, humorous character which definitely comes across in his music. The songs he writes can also be very personal and relatable, especially to people of our generation, and I think that’s something very important in songwriting.
What made you enter #SAYS20? How did you hear about it? It was recommended by a family member and there was someone I recognised who participated in a previous year.
What would you say to someone aged 8-18 who is thinking about entering the Song Academy Young Songwriter competition next year? Do you have any tips for them? This is a great opportunity to showcase your love and interest in songwriting. Be confident in writing your songs, don’t overthink it or worry about other people’s opinions, let it come naturally and enjoy it.
What are your favourite other entries from this year’s competition? Who out of the other entrants (it doesn’t have to be a finalist!) would you like to collaborate with? Songs I like:
- Straight Up by Eliza Mai: I love the vibe of this song, it’s the chill pop/rnb sorta style I really like.
- You and I by Abby Allan: This is a very romantic song and feels personal. Her voice is also very pretty and nice to listen to.
- Paint Me In Colours by Alex Carroll: Her voice is very sweet and gentle, sounds like something I’d listen to when I sleep.
Collab – Any one of these artists would be great to collaborate with:
- Pressures – Louis Martino: I really like his voice and think our voices would fit together very nicely in a collab, especially in harmony.
- Can’t Think Straight – James Bakian: I really like the beat and the production of this song. The repeated hook is also good.
- Fences – Stan Buckroyd: the chorus is amazing, I also really like the guitar bits
What do you like about the Song Academy Young Songwriter competition? I love hearing so much amazing music from young artists. I think it’s great how young people are given this opportunity to share their music. Songwriting can be so personal and I love how so many people are brave enough to showcase their work.