Rosie Trentham is 16 years old from London and her song ‘Road To Heaven’ 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 Rosie recently to talk about all things songwriting!
What inspired you to write this song? I wanted to write a song about love but not in the conventional way that song writers normally do. This song is about an event in history where love conquers over evil. When Russian soldiers went into the former concentration camp of Treblinka in Poland in 1944, the area was completely deserted except for a peaceful farm and a field of lupins. When they looked more closely, they could see the terrible things that had happened there. This song started life as an instrumental piece that I’d written just for piano. The lyrics and violin part were added later.
What got you into writing songs? About three years ago, I reached the final of a competition called ‘Open mic UK’ as a singer pianist. Each round, we only had one song to impress the judges and I realised it would help me significantly if I had written it myself. This gave me a lot motivation and made me very critical of what I was writing from the very start.
What is your favorite part of the songwriting process? I really enjoy involving other people in producing a finished version of a song. Once you’ve finished the main frame and lyrics, it’s always interesting to see how other instrumentalists and performers can add different ideas to what you initially intended and can make the song much more compelling.
Describe the set up for writing your song? Before recording the song, it existed mostly as chords and lyrics in my head and a string part written down roughly on paper.
How do you usually start a song? I hardly ever practice the piano but I play the piano a lot. This means I spend a lot of time improvising and making up little tunes and riffs and sometimes, if I think they’re good enough, I’ll follow them into a song. Normally the riff will inspire an idea or thought which eventually turns into lyrics.
Who would be your dream artist/band to collaborate with? Lin Manuel Miranda because everything he writes is brilliant.
What made you enter #SAYS20? How did you hear about it? The previous winners of Song Academy have done really well, so it seems like a really good platform to be seen and heard.
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? Enter the competition… what’s the worst that can happen?
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 would want to collaborate with someone who was a really good live performer. I’ve seen Max Elliot play at the Basement Door in Richmond a couple of times and he is a really talented vocalist and instrumentalist. It would be really fun to collaborate in a live performance.
What do you like about the Song Academy Young Songwriter competition? Getting to hear other people’s songs.