Aurelia is 17 years old, from Wandsworth, London. Her song ‘Stupid Squirrel’ made the Top 30 in The Young Songwriter 2019 competition 13-18 years UK & Ireland Category. Congratulations! Here’s a bit about Aurelia and her songwriting.
What inspired you to write your SAYS19 Top 30 song? At the time of writing stupid squirrel I had been feeling very anxious from things that were happening in my personal life and had a lot of obstructive thoughts and feelings; this song was about the fragility and naivety of myself, as well as how I am in a way thankful for staying child like. Although it often makes things seem a million times more scary and overwhelming, it also makes small things much more exciting, I feel like it also helps with my creativity.
How long have you been writing songs? I started singing as far back as I can remember, I began to write songs (albeit very very bad ones) when I got into secondary school. I started taking it more seriously in the past couple of years.
How did you get into songwriting? Since I was very young I have always enjoyed writing poetry using different techniques, especially metaphors, poetry definitely helped me get into songwriting a whole bunch more. However I think the main thing that spurred me to write was when I started learning guitar by myself. I would just play simple chords and improvise a tune, not really taking it very seriously at the time, it just felt natural. I definitely started feeling the urge to actually make proper songs after I learned basic production skills after studying music at GCSE.
What does songwriting allow you to explore and achieve? For as long as I can remember I have always struggled with expressing my feelings. I find it hard to pinpoint exactly what I’m feeling and why, and I find it even more difficult trying to explain my feelings to another person. When I write songs, I change my feelings into metaphors that seem to capture how I am feeling in that current moment, though those metaphors may not make sense to some people I know that it may for a few. I believe we shouldn’t narrow down complex feelings to one simple word or cause, as everyone feels things differently. For me, using metaphorical descriptions and stories help me to get across these feelings that I wouldn’t be able to explain otherwise. I also really love writing about issues that aren’t just about broken hearts, but about important issues we currently face as a society, such as mental health, or even things like climate change. I want to be able to help the world as well as people with the things I create.
What’s your favourite part of the songwriting process? Definitely writing lyrics, it’s the part that I always have the most fun with and try to come up with experimental ways to represent feelings and themes!
What’s the most difficult part of the creative process of songwriting for you? I have always found coming up with a melody difficult, as for me most of my favourite songs I have created have had a melody which came naturally with the lyrics. If the melody is unclear and doesn’t come easily with the lyrics I write I usually find it hard to continue writing that particular song.
Do you start with lyrics or melodies/chords? For me this is really flexible and changes a lot depending on my mood. Sometimes I’ll get a tune in my head and start writing finding chords and lyrics from that melody and sometimes I start with a couple of lyrics that I wrote and liked.
What do you like about The Young Songwriter competition? I loved the experience of being introduced to new sounds and being inspired by the amount of young people trying their hardest like I am. Being selected for the top 30 was also an amazing experience and has definitely increased my confidence about the songs that I create and has made me want to try even harder to pursue what I want to do. It kind of turned my dream into a goal, so as to say.
What are your three favourite artists/songs? I find it really hard to narrow down favourites, especially when it comes to specific songs, but I think my main inspirations when it comes to creating music are Queen, Gorillaz and cavetown. Each of these artists have such unique sounds to their music, which is what I want to achieve within my own and are probably the most influential to my style at this current moment, especially Gorillaz and cavetown. I also really like artists such as Dodie, Rex Orange County, spookyghostboy, the list goes on.
Ten years from now you will be… Writing songs ! Hopefully ! It’s what I enjoy the most and I hope that I can keep creating tunes that bring happiness to people and target issues that I feel need exposure :)
What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not writing songs? Well I take art at college, so I very much enjoy doing art and character design, as well as watching too much anime and netflix. I also very much enjoy playing Splatoon with my friends whenever I get the time !
The top 3 songs will be announced on the 23rd May. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to hear the announcement first! #SAYS19 #songwriting #newmusic #expressyourself #beheard
The Young Songwriter 2019 showcase & 10th anniversary of Song Academy celebration will be on Saturday 22nd June at 7pm at The Tabernacle, Notting Hill, London.