Young Songwriter 2016 Live Showcase performers

An incredible line-up for Sunday 12th June! Read about what inspired them to write their songs.



Last week, The Young Songwriter 2016 winners, Gus Harrower and Sam Hancock recorded their winning songs with the top producer Paul Stanborough. They will perform alongside runners up and highly commended songwriters at the Westfield Shopping Centre, Shepherd’s Bush in London on 12th June, between 2pm and 5pm in the Hammersmith & FulhamHF ArtsFest Partner Logo ArtsFest 2016.  Press release – Song Academy Young Songwriter 2016 Live Showcase at Westfield


Rumer photoRumer, performing ‘Reach Out’ with her husband musical director Rob Shirakbari from her new album ‘Into Colour’.  Into Colour’, Rumer’s second album of original material follows the million-selling debut ‘Seasons Of My Soul’, which won Rumer a Mojo Award, BRIT nominations, and support from the likes of Burt Bacharach, Elton John and Richard Carpenter. ‘Reach Out’ depicts that point in depression “when it’s hard to reach someone, and when it’s hard to be reached.” It’s one of a handful of tracks to contrast love with spirituality, though for Rumer, in that rich vein of classic Soul, it’s not about a God of one faith so much as “a mystical higher power, and just wanting someone to be there for you.”

Cassidy Janson, lead in BEAUTIFUL The Musical performing one of cassidy-janson-298x298Carole King’s hit songs. BEAUTIFUL tells the inspiring true story of Carole King’s remarkable rise to stardom, from being part of a hit songwriting team with her husband Gerry Goffin, to her relationship with fellow writers and best friends Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, to becoming one of the most successful solo acts in popular music history. Along the way, she wrote the soundtrack to a generation, with countless classics such as You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman, Take Good Care of my Baby, You’ve Got a Friend, So Far Away, It Might As Well Rain Until September, Up on the Roof, and Locomotion.


Cenk Oguz, 10 years old from Chelsea, London. Cenk Photo
Title of song entry: Lunchroom Rendezvous
Theme & Inspiration for the song: Lunchroom rendezvous is about the excitement of maybe meeting your first girlfriend. “I attended an all boys school and next door was an all girls school and we only got to see each other at lunch time in the cafeteria. Each day prior to entering the cafeteria, my friends and I would think about the best way to get to sit next to the girls that we wanted to talk to that day. It made us very nervous and a bit silly each time we did it but it ended up being the best part of our day everyday.
Judges comments: Part of Song Lyrics: Monday morning I open my eyes. The weekends gone it’s time to fly. School is ready and waiting for me. Today’s the day so set me free… Run for the bus every day of the week. Dreamin’ of girls near fell off my seat. Holding my breath cause I just can’t wait. Always the chance I’ll meet my date… This is how it’s gonna’ be. We are the boys you want to see. Roll your eyes and…toss your hair. Throw down your books cause we don’t care. We are rockin’ we are cool. Pay attention we run the school. Here’s my number, dial it in. Speed call me later and you’ll be innnn…

Judges Comments: ” Youthful – very fun!” Tom Odell; ” What a charming song! I like the honesty in the song. So cute.” Rumer; “A shot in the arm from Cenk -… what a performer” Jamie Theakston

Sophie Elise Atkinson, 11 years old from Oxon, Oxfordshire.  Sophie Elise
Song Title: Believe
Theme & Inspiration for the song: Sophie Elise’s song is about believing in yourself, having hope & not pretending to be someone you’re not. “I wrote this song for my teenage sister who was struggling with confidence and low self esteem which was affecting her life and the people around her”. Sophie is raising money for the charity, Little Wings to help support children to achieve their dreams.
Part of Song Lyrics: I believed in myself because of hope, and it has taught me how to cope, when you believe you will succeed, and never feel the need to beg and plead, so believe.

Judges Comments: ” I believe!! it’s very accomplished.” Tom Odell; “Meaningful message and good chorus” Rumer;

Ben Cutler, 12 years old from Belfast, Northern Ireland.  Ben Photo
Song Title: Hey Hey
Theme & Inspiration for the song: “’Hey Hey’ shows how I feel about exams when I’m happy/when I’m not happy”. Ben began writing songs last year after going to the Belfast songwriters festival that Dawsons sponsor.
Part of Song Lyrics: Going outside don’t know what the day is holding. Exams all day my brain is folding. All my friends say they’re doing just fine. Oh that’s not the story of mine. And I say hey, hey, hey. And I say hey, hey, hey. Oh how are you doing. And I say hey, hey, hey. And I say hey, hey, hey Oh what’s the story with you.

Judges Comments:  ” Yeah! what an energy.. keep writing!” Tom Odell; “I really like the common conversational touch in the lyrics and the fact that I can feel someone communicating in a lively way with me.” Eg White; “This is a boy in love with his guitar! I get the sense that the songs just flow out of him … big career ahead” Jamie Theakston

Lottie Jenkins, 12 years old from Swindon, Wiltshire.  Lottie Jenkins Photo low res
Song Title: Kiss Your Old Life Away
Theme & Inspiration for the song: Lottie’s song is a story of love and hope. “So many people in our world, for whatever reason, do not have the chance or are unable to find a way out of darkness – a sad place, a lonely place. This song is a story about somebody who finds a way to grow, thrive and be happy. A new beginning”.
Song Lyrics: He said ‘fly with me, we will find a bird of heaven’. He said ‘swim with me, we will find a fish of glory. So come with me. Kiss your old life away. So come with me Kiss your old life away’.

Judges Comments: ” Love the Elton vibe! Chorus went somewhere unexpected which was great!” Tom Odell; “I like this and the spiritual imagery. It’s very unusual.” Rumer; “Love the sentiment here …. Well done Lottie” Jamie Theakston

Sam Hancock, 11 years old from Sale, Manchester.  Sam Hancock photo
Song Title: Superhuman
Theme & Inspiration for the song: Sam’s song is about the feeling you get when you accomplish something amazing. He wrote it to inspire people. “I love the feeling of nailing something – getting something right. When you accomplish something that you have been looking forward to, it makes you feel great and as though you can tackle anything. I know I am young, but sometimes the smallest voices can say the best things”.
Part of Song Lyrics: We’re superheroes dressed in normal clothes. We’re fighting the dark, we are the heroes. We’ll go past all the planets at Super sonic speeds .We are superhuman Protectors of the galaxy.

Judges Comments: ” Something wonderful about this. There is a great natural flow to this song. Feels effortless but always keeping your attention. There is a very innocent dream like feel to the lyric, which keeps you listening.” Tom Odell; “Empowering message. Talented boy!” Rumer; “Great, imaginative lyric” Guy Fletcher

Max Eastland-Park, 12 years old from Chiswick, London. Max photo
Song Title: Depression
Inspiration for the song: Max’s song is about understanding teenage depression. “I wrote ‘Depression’ because there was a girl at my school who had a great life and was depressed. I didn’t understand how she could be”.
Part of Song Lyrics: I’m not the bad guy, I’m just thinking things through, I am there for you. In the hardest of times, But I don’t understand, How you’re so blind, ohhhhh, And I know, That I’ve never felt the same way. And I know, that you’re going through hard times. Now I know, that it’s not your fault it’s not mine. You’ll be yourself, it just takes time, Come on my dear.

Judges Comments:  ” This is very deep for some one so young. I really like it. It has a very Nick Drake feel to it.” Tom Odell; ” Love this, Marvin Gaye vibes.. And I like the message and am very impressed that he created this demo by himself.” Rumer

Eddie Atkins, 8 years old from Fulham, London.  Eddie photo Westfield
Song Title: Questions
Theme & Inspiration for the song: I wanted to write a song about all the questions in my head that are unanswered and how awesome it would be to answer them all when I’m older. I want to be a scientist!
Part of Song Lyrics: Sitting at my desk on Monday morning. Learning ’bout the Big Bang. History’s like a puzzle without all its pieces. Who knows how it all began! Questions, questions. whizzing round my head. I can’t get them out, despite all I’ve read. I wanna be a scientist – the finest. Invent a time machine. Go back in time and answer the rhyme. Create the future for all mankind!

Judges Comments ” This is insane!!! I love it. He sounds like Joe Strummer! Lyrics are genius” Tom Odell; ” I love this kid! Great song, sooooo charming. Superfun.” Rumer; ” I love the lyrics – ‘Questions whizzing round my head, can’t get them out, despite all I’ve read’! Genius!!! Really great stuff and Eddie shows real potential.” Tim Laws; ” This really felt like the authentic voice of an 8 yr old …… I expect big things to come from our youngest finalist!” Jamie Theakston

Erin Jordan, 11 years old from Warrington, Cheshire.  Erinsongwriting
Song Title: Promises
Theme and inspiration for the song: Erin’s song is about friendship and betrayal. “I was inspired after thinking about all the things people say they will do and then don’t do”.
Part of Song Lyrics: My name was written next to yours in the sky that turned to grey. My heart used to be a whole but when you left it fell apart. Oh all of those promises, promises you never kept. Well now I realise, realise why I’m glad you left. You used to make my head spin around but now you’re gone, I’m safe and sound. Don’t make promises you can not keep Well, maybe next time you’ll think before you speak. Oh all of those promises, promises you never kept.

Judges Comments: ” Heart breaking! This is really strong. Simple and moving. Good middle 8 as well.” Tom Odell; ” Very catchy song, great melody. Simple idea, but very effective!” Rumer; “Strong lyrical hook” James Walsh

Daisy Peacock, 11 years old from Sheffield.  Daisy photo
Song Title: Beautiful
Theme & Inspiration for the song: “Beautiful was based on an idea that everyone is on a journey in their life, and sometimes it’s easy, sometimes it’s harder, but the harder it is, the better you feel when you ‘look out at the top of this mountain” you’ve climbed. For my whole life, I have been a very anxious and nervous person, and lately, I just haven’t felt it so bad. I have just got through a really hard part of my journey, and wrote this song as my way to help the next person, still fighting their way up”.
Part of Song Lyrics: After all the darkness. After all the storms. After all the screaming. Hope comes knocking on your door. After all the weaknesses. After all the tears. After all the turning of tables.You never disappeared.

Judges Comments: ” Wonderfully beautiful. Love her voice . Well done Daisy!” Tom Odell; “I love the way Daisy makes me feel like she’s just broken free and is singing at the top of the mountain with arms wide open! Great playing and singing!” Tim Laws; “Just beautiful … loved the lyrics of the chorus” Jamie Theakston

Ameya Kohli, 12 years old from Ascot, Berkshire.  Ameya photo

Song Title: Daisy Chains

Theme & Inspiration for the song: Ameya is autistic with Aspergers and her song ‘Daisy Chains’ is an upbeat song about friendships. “At my age and for someone with Aspergers making friends and generally interacting is very very difficult! This song reflects my experience with friends but in a positive manner with quirky and upbeat lyrics. I want to give inspiration to anyone experiencing the same sort of difficulties!”

Part of Song Lyrics: She thought I’d be just like ‘er. Like-the-other-Buds she knew. Hangin’ out, laughin’ out, foolin around. Oh it took me by surpriiise She noticed me its true ‘n’ I realized I could blossommm too. Daisyyy Chaa-ains oh how you/ cha/a/ange. D-aisy Cha-a-a-ains. It Just aint the saaaaaame. She introduced me to the others. They all looked at me n sniggered. A thorn to them/ they turned away I barely got/ to have a say How I felt betrayed. All the signs were there a-ga-a-in. My petals they were frayed. I weren’t one for display.

Judges Comments: ” I like the lyric a lot. Feels accomplished.” Tom Odell; ” A really strong idea, and fun! Clever use of language. Very impressive!” Rumer; “breezy, bright, accomplished … couldn’t help but sing along!” Jamie Theakston


Emi McDade, 18 years old from, Highnam, Gloucestershire. Title: Illusions
Theme & Inspiration for he song: Illusions is about the breakdown of relationships. “I’d been thinking a lot about the way in which someone can be in an unhealthy relationship, imagining the way they wish it might be, and subsequently living in a delusional mind set with skewed perceptions of reality”.
Part of Song Lyrics: My thoughts, illusioned. Such beautiful combinations of it all, my love Oh my love. Your words, such a beautiful contradiction. The silence aches from your tongue, my love Oh my love. Though your blood runs as steel, your very touch stings like silver. You’ve already gone, you’re already gone. As you’re stealing away from the truth that lies between us. I already know, I already know he’s the one. He’s the one. Playing anagrams with your emotions. Just to feel like someone understands, my love Oh my love. Please forgive my childish ways, but I thought love would be easy. Such a beautiful mistake – how can it be the one that kills me, my love.

Judges Comments: “Interesting chords & piano” Tom Odell; “Great song, dreamy voice and production. Very impressive!” Rumer; “Beautiful song – beautiful voice” Jamie Theakston

Gus Harrower, 17 years old from Edinburgh, Scotland.  gus photo
Song Title: Wanderin’ Man
Theme & Inspiration for the song: Wanderin’ Man is a song about love. “I was inspired by the movie ‘Into The Wild’ and the story of Christopher McCandless. He was a man who left his life behind him to literally go ‘into the wild’ and start anew. The story inspired me because here was a man who chose his own path and wasn’t forced by others to do any differently”.
Part of Song Lyrics: Burn your dollars. Leave everything behind. Work towards your future. Then walk away down the line. Juggling blood and fire. Burning people in your path. Moving towards better things. The wilderness makes you laugh. Never stopping to say “I miss you.” Running towards the sunrise. North is where you’re heading. North is where you’ll lie. Words in your pockets. Natures in your eyes. Tilt you head up and look towards the skies. Wanderin’ Man never seems to cry. Counting the days down with beauty in your eyes. Beautiful blueberries keeping your life. Wanderin’ Man keep living your life.

Judges Comments: ” Uplifting. It’s good!” Tom Odell; ” This young man is very promising.” Rumer; ” Well done Gus – loved this song” Jamie Theakston; “Great song with exciting chorus. Good sense of lyric and timing and well performed.” Guy Fletcher; ” Nice stuff. Good lyrics. Newton Faulkner with a bit of Jack Johnson’s playfulness.” James Walsh

Roman Lewis, 15 years old from Chelsea, London.  Roman Lewis
Song Title: Lighter
Theme & Inspiration for the song: Lighter is about empowerment. “This song is about how hard the music industry is and how we have to grow accustomed to rejection but never give up and never give in to it”.
Part of Song Lyrics: Life has gone from my dreams. The days a lie but the night beams. I’m not as strong as I used to be. I’m not as strong as I used to be. My mind keeps wondering about If I had the lungs to scream and shout. Maybe they’d see the real me. But I’m not as strong as I used to be. I’m a lover not a fighter But my fag don’t need no lighter. Cause my flames in my heart. Go ahead and try to fool me. But you know you’re just not cool be. Fake and I’ll be off the chart. Cause I’m a fully loaded gun.

Judges Comments: ” Great voice. Crazy he’s 15. I like it a lot. There is a unique lyric here, keep writing, could be huge!” Tom Odell; “Very promising talent.” Rumer; ” Very accomplished – love the George Ezra vibe” Jamie Theakston

Sam Ahira, 17 years old from Harlington, Bedfordshire.  Sam Ahira photo
Song Title: Coming Home
Theme & Inspiration for the song: Coming Home is about love, reunion and finding happiness. “Throughout my teenage years, I’ve gotten lost and faced many obstacles. I’d forgotten who and what really matters to me. This song is about how I’ve found my way back to happiness through spirituality and the people I love”.
Song Lyrics: I was on my way back to you, Every colour falling through, The moment I saw you I knew, in time, Everything will be fine. And everything’s a line, You’re at the end of mine, And I’ll be there in time, You’ll always be my light. I was lost in tangles of blue, Every ocean falling through, The moment I saw you I knew, in time, Everything will be fine. And everything’s a line, You’re at the end of mine, And I’ll be there in time, You’ll always be my light.

Judges Comments: “Amazing musicality. Full of depth. I love it. ” Tom Odell

Fintan Rawsthorne, 13 years old from Tonbridge, Kent. Title: To My Head
Theme & Inspiration for the song: This song is about insanity, confusion, anger, rebellion. “People can make you abide by certain rules and regulations that are outrageous and wrong, and it just makes you go insane. ‘To My Head’ talks about how the media will try to persuade you to do certain things, and you feel constant pressure to stay ‘sane”, even when you feel like you are about to go off the edge. It talks about how society won’t “let you leave” and will force you to do what it wants, when it wants, and how it wants. However, I am able to regain my confidence, get back on my feet, break free from the rules that society puts on me, and live freely as I please, away from the madness.
Part of Song Lyrics: And its all going to my head, my minds telephone line is dead and its all going to my head am I going insane? Why wont it just stop? Everything is spinning and nobody makes it stop the rules of everything, they put me in a box on the influence of drugs this world isn’t too nice to you, so take your depression pills. Tried to find a way out but they locked the door, of course they don’t want to me to leave they don’t want to me to leave. My brain bubbles with acid, feet are glued to the axis, they don’t want me to leave so I stop and then I breathe.

Judges comments: “I like it. Reminds me of sort of MIA lorde vibe. Insightful lyrics.” Tom Odell; “Love the dark, menacing vibe. Amazing work for a 13 year old.” Tim Laws; “Original, catchy. I found myself singing along to it” Jamie Theakston

India Whitehurst, 15 years old from Fulham, London.

Song Title: Everything to Lose
Theme & Inspiration for the song: ‘Everything To Lose’ is about gambling and risk. “It’s about a man who has everything: money, fame, love and happiness, and yet he takes it for granted. Suddenly it all comes crashing down around him and he is left with nothing, not even the girl who loved him, because he has not valued her. The song has a moral, which is a warning about the fragility of wealth/material possessions versus the stability of love (which is intangible)”.
Part of Song Lyrics: Strolling down a city street, leaves falling at his feet He’s got the world in his hands. Take a look left and right, he’s breezing through, But we all got something to gain, and everything to lose. All he really wants is success: fame, money and happiness. He takes the ups and discards the downs. Well darlin’ that’s gotta come back around, ‘Cause we all got something to gain, and everything to lose. Life’s a game and love’s for the taking, no one knows when it’s real or he’s faking. The poker face has won him over. Gambling away the chips in his shoulder. ‘Cause we all got something to gain, and everything to lose.

Judges Comments: “Amazing voice and interesting lyric. I like it.” Tom Odell; “I did like the gambling the chips on his shoulder line” Eg White; “Loved it lyrically” Jamie Theakston

Jonty Harrison and Cassie Jackson, 17 and 18 years old from Oxon, Oxfordshire.  Jonty & Cassie
Song Title: Can’t Buy Forgiveness
Theme & Inspiration for the song: ‘Can’t Buy Forgiveness’ is about girl power! “During a flight back from holiday, a man threw a huge tantrum demanding to be put in 1st Class. Cassie was sat next to him feeling very uncomfortable. The hostesses tried to offer him free champagne and chocolates out of guilt, but he didn’t back down. The arguments eventually died down, while Cassie awkwardly sat in her seat in awe at the unpleasant man. The man then turned to Cassie, apologised for the drama, and offered her the box of chocolates he had received. Cassie, like any hungry human being, took the chocolates and kindly said thank you, but in the back of her mind, she wondered if that was enough of an apology/gesture for him to deserve her forgiveness. It was at that moment that the concept was created”.
Part of Song Lyrics: When we were together, I used to spend a lot of time Thinking about you, ‘Cos you were always on my mind. I loved you, you knew that. When you made me breathe so deep, I couldn’t see how you could let go of me. But then you kissed her, Boy, you went behind my back………‘Cos I’m not taking you back Even though you bought me that Diamond ring, you know it don’t mean a thing. I’m not taking you back Even though you bought me that Diamond ring, ‘cos you can’t buy forgiveness!

Judges Comments: “Pretty impressive” Tom Odell; ” Felt very contemporary – loved the girl power vibe” Jamie Theakston; ” Jonty is on point with his production here and Cassie delivers a superb top line. A superb collaboration!” Tim Laws

Josh Whittaker, 16 years old from Poole, Cheshire.  Josh photo
Song Title: Switch Up
Theme & Inspiration for the song: Switch Up is about young love. “I wrote this song about two people meeting and one of them persuading the other to give them a chance because he’s been waiting for that moment and trying to “find” the girl for a long time. He does this by telling her that she can do anything she wants when he’s there and try to show that he is worthy of her love and emotions.
Part of Song Lyrics: When two becomes one. And the lines are crossed. I will be here right here next to you. You can follow the path. That I have set for you. And I’ll make sure no one hurts you oh yes I will do …Don’t be scared of your flaws. Give them room for applause. And I’ll make sure no one hurts you oh yes I will do. You can speak out and stay strong. And follow the ways. And everyone will love you each and every second of every day.

Judges Comments: ” I think it sounds like a future hit!” Tom Odell; ” Very professional – loved this” Jamie Theakston; ” Josh has a great voice and has written a great lyric and melody and has delivered his vocal in a very professional way. Excellent stuff.” Tim Laws

Charlotte Lowe, 18 years old from Southampton, Hampshire.  Charlie LoweCharlie LoweCharlie Lowe
Song Title: Sweet Dreams
Theme & Inspiration for the song: “This is a love song about a girl who is forced to move away from her love and this is painful for them both.
Part of Song Lyrics: You say you dread the day I call somebody else baby, You say you’ll hate the name that replaces yours in my dreams, But we’ll have to accept that it’s not my choice to leave, You say ‘baby remember me’, And I know you won’t sleep tonight, But I promise you the pain will pass in time, And you should know I’ll always love you, And I will always remember you so, Sweet dreams, For when you’re over me, To me this doesn’t change how I’ve always felt about you, But I can see the pain in your eyes when you mutter how it’s nothing new, And that breaks my heart.

Judges Comments: “Big uplifting chorus.” Tom Odell; “Charlie delivers her vocal beautifully. I like the twist on the lyric at the end of the chorus.” Tim Laws; “Nice song idea, with a strong chorus.” Rumer


Silvia Cook, 9 years old from Wandsworth, London.  Silvia Cook Photo
Song Title: Someday
Theme & Inspiration for the song: ‘Someday’ is a song about helping a friend. “I saw someone being left out in the playground and I wrote this song to make the feel better”
Part of Song Lyrics: Someday, someday I’ll be in the wind like a flying bird, Someday, someday. I will sing the sweetest song you’ve ever heard. I will fly away, forget the hurtful things. I’ll get there some day. I just need to spread my wings. Life is a plane soaring through the sky, Life is a plant just waiting to die, You can do anything if you try…

Alex Roche, 10 years old from Chelsea, London.  Pupil at The American School.Alex Roche Westfield
Song Title: Bad Boy
Theme & Inspiration: “My inspiration came when a friend made a mistake that caused some trouble. That got me thinking about my song and then I remembered how people get into trouble and what they are usually called. They are called Bad Boys which gave me the title of the song. I wrote the line ‘cracking all the codes’ because I was nosy at school and I was always trying to figure out who had done the wrong thing when I had learnt about it. The line ‘ breaking all the rules ‘ is about when me and two of my friends got into trouble for something one of them did – we were supposed to say who had done it but we all took the blame instead.”
Part of Song Lyrics: I’m smashing outta school. And I’m breaking all the rules
and I’m cracking all the codes. And I’ll take on everything that comes my way. I’m cruising on my own. And I know which way to go. So don’t be blocking up the road. Coz I can’t stop being a bad boy all day long.

Oscar Welsh, 14 years old from Saxmundham, Suffolk.  oscar welsh photo
Song Title:  Cappuccino                                                                                                                                                                  Theme & Inspiration for the song: Cappuccino celebrates a love for coffee. “The lyrics ‘ever since I met coffee, I fell in love’- are very literal- this is what happened when I found out it gives you energy AND tastes good. When messing around with the piano I found a cool and cheeky set of chords which really set the base for a light and funny song. When our coffee machine made me a ‘Nice hot cappuccino’, an idea sparked and I started writing. I decided that I would use my laptop to record the song, and have lots of different tracks all on top of each other creating more of a band-like sound. I picked trumpets, piano, a bass and beatbox (kind of self taught – I just gave it a go).
Part of Song Lyrics: Ever since I met coffee, I fell in love, ever since I met coffee I just can’t get enough. Cos I can do what ever I want if that caffeine does its job cos, ever since I met coffee I just can’t stop. Nice, Hot cappuccino I got a test tomorrow, but I know I can make it with a sip or two. …. I Love my new girlfriend she’s so damn hot, she never answers back and she’s tall and dark, If I leave her for too long she goes cold, ever since I met coffee, I fell in love..

Melanie Baker, 17 years old from Penrith, Cumbria.  Melanie Photo
Song Title: Unrequitedly
Theme & Inspiration for the song: This is a song I wrote after falling in love with someone who didn’t feel the same, and never would.
Part of Song Lyrics: I didn’t mean to fall the way I did I didn’t mean to fall in love unrequitedly I didn’t know how much it would hurt to love someone so so so much and never have that love returned And oh, how stupid I was to think that you felt the same to think that we shared the same love. All I need is you And all I want is for you to need me too The way that you look at me… Does that mean something? Or am I just longing? And oh, my heart might just break in two if I can’t stop loving you, if I can’t stop loving you.

Camellia Kelly, 17 years old from Surrey.  Camellia photo
Song Title: Canvas
Theme & Inspiration for the song: ‘Canvas’ is about relationships. “Basically, I began to like one of my ex’s best friends, but it turned out that this guy just happened to keep the most wonderful company and to this day we’re together. At the time it was awkward and I wasn’t sure whether to go for it or not, and I know it’s cliche – but my god, I went weak at the knees because of this boy! I saw it as a new page and seeing as I like arty creative stuff in my spare time, I thought I’d think of it as painting on a new canvas as if I were starting again with him.”
Part of Song Lyrics: I don’t know what to say sorta dumb, sorta fun but it’s all pretty pair shaped kinda cliche but it’s cool, I’m a fool and I, I don’t know what to do I’m sorta glad that I have your hand to hold on to sounds kind of mad, but it’s cool, I’m a fool and I oh we are painting on a pure canvas (of us, canvas, of us) far from colourless when we are making our own colourful mess acting recklessly oh cant you see that we’re pleasantly wonderful and so naive we’re waking up to sunshine and we’ve got a lot of feeling we just don’t know how to feel them.

Maisie Kate Shelbourne, 15 years old from Lincoln, Lincolnshire.  Maisie Katie
Song Title: Jumping From Swings
Theme & Inspiration for the song: ‘Jumping From Swings’ is about growing up and overthinking. “The main point of inspiration came to me when I was thinking about how, when I was younger, making decisions for example “jumping from swings” used to be so easy as I wouldn’t think, I’d just do. However, as I get older it’s becoming harder to just do things without overthinking the whole situation. Also, my brain tends to get crammed full of thoughts, especially at night when I’m laying in my bed in the silence. This is something I kinda wish didn’t happen so I just if I just compile all of this into some sort of song maybe it wont be so stuck in the back of my mind.”
Part of Song Lyrics: Don’t think just don’t think at all cos thinking leads to overthinking wanting to swim when your already swimming don’t moOoOve keep everything quiet keep everything still and try not to stress as the cool breath of reason sets your thoughts to rest oOoh nOoO I wish I could let it go but my head is where my heart is and my thoughts are mind is I’m overthinking over thoughts jumping from swings never took so long befoOoRe.

Clara Sanders, 17 years old from Gloucestershire.  Clara photo
Song Title: Wire
Theme & Inspiration for the song: Wire is a song about vulnerability. “This is a personal song, regarding a time in my life, I wanted to explore a state of mind and the pressure/ fragility I felt at the time. I like the imagery of a wire because it is both strong but fragile in that it can be cut at any time.”
Part of Song Lyrics: You, oh you fill me with fear, you could hurt me my dear, oh oh. And I, see right through you like glass, know this smile is a facade, oh oh. So take me away from here, where the fumes and the people disappear. Oh you, pull me tight, like a wire. And you, fray my edges with your fire. Oh you, pull me tight, like a wire, And you, fray my edges with your fire Words trickle out of your lips, I feel your hands on my hips, oh oh. And with, every kiss you poison me, cause your words too sickly sweet, oh oh.

Ralph Taylor, 17 years old from Framlingham, Suffolk.  Ralph photo
Song Title: Two Cigarettes
Song Theme: Love, smoking being the metaphor for it
Theme & Inspiration for the song: ‘Two cigarettes’ uses smoking as a metaphor for love. “It’s about a lovely girlfriend who wasn’t a smoker, it’s about the relationship when I was with her, and then months after we broke up.
Part of Song Lyrics: Two cigarettes go to waste, when I’m with you, you take my breath away. No we don’t have to wait, but if you want to, baby that’s ok. From the moment I saw your eyes, I knew I wanted you right by my side. Everything felt so right. Now I can say you’re mine, my love doesn’t need to hide Everything fell in line. Two cigarettes that never change, it seems so strange, to smoke our love away You’re the lighter to our flame, cos when our hearts fade, you spark them up again.

Elidh McKnight, 15 years old from County Armagh, Northern Ireland.  Elidh photo
Song Title: Breathe
Theme & Inspiration for the song: “‘Breathe’ is a song about observing someone I know experiencing regret at letting someone go”.
Song Lyrics: Oh there she goes again. Chasing you around your head. You’re in between again. She’s always two steps ahead. There isn’t a reason why she’s on your mind. But don’t you know that she’s going to leave you far behind. Breathe and dance until you’re numb. Cause it’s hard when you care about someone. Just keep breathing, believing Just keep breathing, believing.

Georgie West, 14 years old from Blackheath, London.  Georgie photo
Song Title: Skeleton Dreams
Theme & Inspiration for the song: ‘Skeleton Dreams’ is about someone falling in love.
Part of Song Lyrics: Your eyes are bigger than I’ve ever seen skeleton dreams, they are causing a scene. I’m tired of just being nothing when you’re not by my side. I can’t see through the mist round my eyes. Show me the truth before I go blind. I’m tired of waiting for nothing. My lips just tell me lies. So maybe ignorance is bliss and maybe that is all I have. But one thing, darling, is for sure it’s not the same for me anymore.

Ella Bleakley, 14 years old from West Hampstead, London.  Ella photo westfield
Song Title: Rewind
Theme & Inspiration for the song: “This song is about losing someone to cancer. The person in this song was special to me, but she died when I was quite young, so I didn’t fully experience all the awful things her closest friends did. A couple years ago my mum was diagnosed with cancer, and it was one of the hardest things in my life to get through. I had a lot of close family friends supporting me and my brothers, but I still thought no one would fully understand how it felt. I wrote this song because I know many people are losing people to cancer, and I think they can relate to this song.”
Part of Song Lyrics: … And you left the world so soon, And I hope you’re gonna miss me too. Cause every little piece of me, Loves every little piece of you, and now that you’re gone, I hope that you realise. That every little part of me, Loves every little part of you. And now that you’re gone I wish I could rewind.

Spencer Winningham, 15 years old from Hammersmith, London.

Song Title: September
Theme & Inspiration for the song: September is about summer love.
Part of Song Lyrics: I don’t want to see September come But I know it has to end I know you will remember us That moment when you said Let’s go somewhere and be alone Since then you’re in my head But when the leaves start falling September is the end It went too fast the time is gone for us it’s more than anyone what we thought was endless found its end I stare into those auburn eyes thinking about before you know that you’ve been my disguise but to me that’s so much more.

Gilska Weerakkody, 16 years old from Chiswick, London.

Song Title: Stay Away
Theme & Inspiration for the song: “My inspiration to write ‘Stay Away’ came from a mother’s intuition about her son’s future as a result of his continuing ‘Bad’ behaviour regardless of her struggles to protect her son from harm and repeating his mistakes and his negative approach to life. The son in his own way recognises what his mother is trying to tell him but he cannot help himself and he always remembers what she tried to tell him after his actions ends him in trouble. He see’s his life going too fast and it’s always too late to be smart.”
Part of Song Lyrics: Touch my neck and feel my heart. The pulse you hear is locked within your ear. Don’t regret the things you did. Cause everyday the memories don’t seem to fade away. Cus my momma told me not to cry, stay away stay away, From the crowded place Of love. My momma told me To take care Stay away stay away From the haunted layer of love.

Annie Horton, 17 years old from Woodbridge, Suffolk.  
Song Title: You Say
Theme & Inspiration for the song: You say is about domestic violence, controlling relationships and concealment of the truth. “The original inspiration for the song actually came not from the topic itself, but from the idea of a song with a ‘hidden message’ in it – a song that you have to look at from more than just a face-value first impression. From there it wasn’t difficult to make the leap to a topic that is metaphorically similar to the song itself – the line ‘concealer on left cheek, see you next week’ rather epitomises that key idea of a reality that is lying just under the surface, yet most don’t look closely enough to see it.
Part of Song Lyrics: Say you love me. Make a promise. Never do that thing again. Never let me .Never forget me. Never leave me all on my own. And say you love me. (You say you love me.) Long sleeves, just cold, Black eye, my fault. Bruised knees, fell down, Can’t talk right now. No sleep last night, I’ll be alright. Concealer on left cheek, See you next week…. I see me lie at night; I know you’re in the right. Because I’m always wrong – Should be glad you came along. Question in my mind, “Please get home on time”. Too afraid to ask, Break this perfect mask….Long sleeves, holding, Black eye, hitting. Bruised knees, pushed me, Hush you’re listening. No sleep for you, Got to stay true. Concealer on left cheek, Gone by next week.

Tom Roddis, 14 years old from Essex, London.  Tom Roddis photo
Song Title: No Apology
Song Theme:
Inspiration for the song: No Apology is about when someone is cross with you and you feel you’ve done nothing wrong. “it’s a story of a misunderstanding, when someone was cross and they didn’t let the other person explain. Sometimes you just have to walk away and leave things unsaid.”
Part of Song Lyrics: Do you think it hangs there like a cloud about my head? Do you think I dwell on all those untrue things you said? Well I suppose I have at times, when I’ve written down these lines. Do you really think that what you said is true? What goes around, comes around for what I did to you? Well I never was unkind So I will not look behind. And I make no apology, apology Cause I, I’m feeling free I’m feeling free, I make no apology.

Charlie Smythe, 18 years old from Wharfedale, Leeds.  Charlie Smythe
Song Title: Look Back and Smile
Theme & Inspiration for the song: ‘Look back and smile’ is a celebration of youth and optimism. “I was looking forward to the summer and the great times that me and my friends are going to have. The idea of the invincibility of youth and endless optimism appealed to me (even though I know it doesn’t always turn out that way!). I hope the song generates happiness and raises people’s mood.”
Part of Song Lyrics: …. It’s the greatest atmosphere And it’s simply cos you are here It’s a time when we’ll look back and smile…….. Oooohhhh, ahhhhhhhh. And we’ll dance like champions And we’ll realize we’re the ones It’s a time when we’ll look back and smile……. Oooohhh, ahhhhhhhh. We’ll guess what it’s like when we’re 20 And stick all the leaves on the trees Won’t worry about time – we’ve got plenty See what I mean……. We’ll dance in the yard when it’s raining smother our crumpets in jam. Follow in Peter Pan’s footsteps That’s how I am…….. Here comes the sun…….!

Lilah Atkins, Ginevra Benedetti, Ella Bleakley, Max Elliott, Roman Lewis, Claudia Namor, Gilska Weerakkody, Emma Whiley, India Whitehurst, Spencer Winningham, David Zazo, from across West London
Song Title: Right To Be Loved
Theme & Inspiration: Right To Be Loved was written to remind the world that everyone has a right to be loved, has a right to belong and a right to a brighter future. The aim is to raise awareness of the large number of vulnerable children in care and the difference that adoption and fostering makes in the world, for both child and parent. The premiere performance of ‘Right To Be Loved’ was at the Voice In A Million (VIAM) concert at SSE Wembley in March this year. VIAM is a promoter of school/singing events with the ambition to positively change the perception of Adoption and Fostering both in the UK and worldwide.

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