Melina Blanco is 17 years old from London and her song ‘Wish You Could See’ was selected as a top 60 song in The Song Academy Young Songwriter 2020 competition 13-18 year UK/Ireland category. We caught up with Melina recently to talk about all things songwriting!
What inspired you to write your song? I wrote this song on the day that would’ve been my grandpa’s birthday. I was in his house in Argentina, surrounded by memories of him and people who loved him. I was emotional and instantly started writing the lines of the chorus in my notes, thinking about how I “wish he could see me” today. It just took off from there.
What got you into writing songs? Growing up I was constantly making up songs, whenever and wherever I was. I started to take it more seriously when I learned more about chords and began to play more instruments. Over the years, songwriting has helped me express my feelings and thoughts through music and lyrics.
What is your favourite part of the songwriting process? My favourite part of the songwriting process is the moment where I have at least a solid verse and chorus. I immediately get so excited to see how the lyrics and chords and melodies are working together. It’s like an adrenaline rush- to finally stop and look back proudly at what I’ve just made.
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 was sitting in my grandma’s kitchen while everyone else in the house was sleeping, with the guitar we keep in that house and my notes app opened on my phone. It took me a little under and an hour.
How do you usually start a song? How do you find that spark? It really depends on the song, but lately, I’ve been starting with lyrics or general concepts for things I want to say in a song. I use my notes and voice memos apps a lot, so whenever I get a lyric idea or an idea for the chord progression, I record it.
Who would be your dream artist/writer/band to collaborate with?
I am greatly inspired by female alternative artists such as Marina or Lana Del Rey, so definitely one of the those two.
What made you enter #SAYS20? How did you hear about it? I heard about it through taking lessons with the Song Academy for a few terms.
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? The best thing to remember is to enjoy the process. Enjoy writing the song, recording it, and even submitting it. Of course, getting recognition for your hard work feels amazing, but focusing on the process instead of the results is the most fulfilling.
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? I really like Fences by Stan Buckroyd, Where You At? by James Bakian and As Long As You’re Mine by Hetta Falzon. I’d love to collaborate with any of those three.
What do you like about the Song Academy Young Songwriter competition? I like how everyone has a chance to submit a song, no matter how many years of experience or level of production. It’s also such a good way to connect with different artists and hear everyone’s different musical styles.