Nadine has recently joined the Song Academy team.   Nadine is a singer-songwriter and graphic designer, currently working on her own artist project NADINE, alongside collaborations with other artists and producers.

We asked Nadine some questions to help aspiring young songwriters on their songwriting journey.

How old were you when you wrote your first song?  I think I was about 6 when I wrote my first song in rural Switzerland where I grew up. Poor Dad had to listen to me hammering around on the small organ that happened to be in his office.

What was your first song about?  I can remember it quite well, I sang “To Bethlehem goes Joseph” (in Swiss German) something about the journey in the Christmas story.

Who inspired you to start songwriting?  I used to watch my Mum perform with her band and always thought that was something I wanted to do as well. I loved experimenting with songwriting especially once my Mum had bought herself a big keyboard. I loved playing around on it and expressing my own moods and ideas.

What’s your favourite song you’ve ever written?  I think my favourite song of the ones I’ve written is ‘Bloom Out of Season’, a song still in the recording process. From the songs already released I’d say my favourite might be ‘Freedom You Won’, not because I think it’s the best song I’ve ever written but because I feel like I’ve been able to nail a very specific emotion I personally needed to express.

How easy did you find it to get your music heard?  Being heard can be challenging. My music tends to travel quite slowly. Sometimes I get some heartfelt feedback maybe a year after I’ve released songs! Spotify feels slightly random to me and I’m still learning about how to extend my reach through it.

What’s your biggest regret as a young songwriter?  I don’t have huge regrets as a songwriter but I wish I would have been more confident in my online presence. (Swiss culture doesn’t really appreciate self-promotion and I still have to tell myself it’s ok!)

What are your top tips for aspiring songwriters?  My top tip is to find a way to enjoy the process of songwriting and everything around it. If I only focus on trying to reach peak moments, I get too exhausted in the process and it’s less rewarding in the long run.

How do you write songs?   I believe you don’t have to wait for an especially creative mood when wanting to write a song. Sometimes playing around can spark ideas. I often just try different chord patterns on the keyboard and freely sing melodies and (sometimes silly) words that come to mind. I always record myself so I can stay in the flow and transcribe some fragments later on (if I’ve liked any). For me melodies and chords flow quite easily, but the lyrics take a lot of work and craft. I find it important to always being open to redraft and then also get constructive feedback from songwriters I trust.

What do you especially like about The Young Songwriter competition?  When I started songwriting I didn’t even know that being a Singer-Songwriter was a thing (and didn’t have an educational environment where songwriting was seen as something to be invested in) so I’d say that what excites me about the Young Songwriter Competition is simply that it exists!

Are you aged 8-18?  Have you written your own songs?  Then enter The Young Songwriter 2019 competition!