Adam has recently joined the Song Academy team. He was awarded a prestigious scholarship to study BA Musical Theatre at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and then studied MA Songwriting at The Institute of Contemporary Music & Performance.
We asked Adam some questions to help aspiring young songwriters on their songwriting journey.
How old were you when you wrote your first song? I was probably about 13 when I first attempted to write a song but from memory it wasn’t exactly the best. The first song I properly wrote was a song called ‘Up’ when I was 19.
What was your first song about? I had left school and started a performing arts course while a lot of my friends had moved on to university. I felt a little left behind by my peers and it was the first time I started to experience severe anxiety. ‘Up’ was my response to my anxious thoughts and feelings, telling myself to try and rise above those feelings and focus forward.
Who inspired you to start songwriting? My biggest songwriting inspiration at that age was John Mayer.
What’s your favourite song you’ve ever written? I wrote a song during my MA called ‘Let Me Down Slow’. It’s a song about a friend of mine who had recently been through a breakup.
How easy did you find it to get your music heard? It’s a tricky industry for that but I think using the platforms that are readily available like Instagram, YouTube and Facebook to promote your music and teasing any releases for at least a month before the release itself is really important to get people excited for it!
What’s your biggest regret as a young songwriter? Not writing the songs I wanted to hear.
What are your top tips for aspiring songwriters? Listen to a lot of music and pay attention to the songs that speak to you and ask why. And more than anything, write YOUR music, not anyone else’s.
How do you write songs? I rarely write lyrics first, that’s usually the second part for me. I will usually play through chord patterns on guitar to find an interesting sequence. Then I’ll sing jibberish over the top which sometimes informs the lyric as a few words can come out of the vocal melody writing. Then when I’m happy with the initial idea I’ll start to scribble down lyrical ideas and try to form a bit of a structure. Then over time and with re-drafting, I’ll try and make it succinct and make sure it’s telling the story as well as possible. Song maps are really helpful too!
What do you especially like about The Young Songwriter competition? I love that the songs are judged by professional songwriters. The feedback you will get is so valuable – these guys really know what they’re talking about! I also love that there’s a platform for young songwriters to get their music heard; it’s the best exposure you’ll get when starting out!
Are you aged 8-18? Have you written your own songs? Then enter The Young Songwriter 2019 competition!