Sam is 18 years old, from Cobham, Surrey. His song ‘UMAKEMEBLUE’ made the Top 30 in The Young Songwriter 2019 competition 13-18 years UK & Ireland Category. Congratulations! Here’s a bit about Sam and his songwriting.
What inspired you to write your SAYS19 Top 30 song? It was inspired by tension in a previous relationship. It expresses how tumultuous things became between us, by describing the emotional highs and lows. I especially wanted to highlight the disregard for personal fault in the situation, something that all of us are guilty of at times.
How long have you been writing songs? I started learning the guitar and writing songs at the age of 11 and began teaching myself to produce and engineer a year later.
How did you get into songwriting? My grandad was a professional jazz pianist so I was exposed to this genre from a young age. Fascinated by his work, I became obsessed with music and began to explore other genres, delving deep into classic rock and funk. More recently, I’ve been listening to lots of hip hop. The combination of these genres inspired “UMAKEMEBLUE”.
What does songwriting allow you to explore and achieve? Songwriting allows me to better understand my own emotions and often is used as a vice for dealing with them. I find it rewarding showing others my music and connecting with people through this.
What’s your favourite part of the songwriting process? Whilst I love coming up with catchy hooks, lyrics are my favourite part of songwriting. I love thinking of double and triple entendres and interesting metaphors to allow the listener a deeper understanding each time the song is played.
What’s the most difficult part of the creative process of songwriting for you? The most difficult part for me is finding a memorable melody. Unlike lyrics and chords, this process is less systematic and I have to wait for the melody to come to me.
Do you start with lyrics or melodies/chords? I start with chords or a hook but never lyrics. I write the lyrics afterwards so that I have decided on the type of emotion or aesthetic that the music is conveying.
What do you like about The Young Songwriter competition? I think it’s great to give young musicians this opportunity especially as the industry is becoming increasingly competitive. Its also great seeing what others are doing as it’s important for us to inspire each other.
Who are your three favourite artists/songs? As difficult as it is to narrow down to three artists – Rage Against the Machine has inspired me to experiment with blending rock and hip hop to further dissolve the boundaries between genres and create a modern and unique sound. Kendrick Lamar made me rethink my approach in lyricism and I love Radiohead for the emotion they invoke in the listener, which I believe is one of the most important parts of making music and is why it brings people together.
10 years from now you will be… I would like to able to be pursue songwriting and producing full-time and will hopefully have made my way up the music industry by working hard to be the best at what I do.
What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not writing songs? I spend a lot of time with my family and close mates and I also love snowboarding.
The top 10 finalists will be announced on the 3rd 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.