Young songwriters between eight and 18 years of age are being encouraged to start writing for Song Academy’s 11th annual Young Songwriter Competition in the new year.
Entries will be accepted throughout February and March 2021 for the chance to be appraised by multi-million selling songwriters and artists and win some impressive prizes.
Even young people who have not yet written a song are invited to give it a go. ‘We believe that songwriting and music can transform the lives of young people by helping them to find their voice,’ says the Academy. ‘Young people are growing up in a competitive, fast changing, uncertain and potentially isolating environment, which can cause various pressures and lead to issues with their mental health. Through songwriting young people can communicate their thoughts and feelings and connect to others. This creative and therapeutic process helps young people discover and develop their identity, overcome challenges, feel empowered by speaking up and advance their creative and social skills.’
Over the years, the competition has been judged by a remarkable line-up of great songwriters, including Imelda May, Guy Chambers, Rumer, Emily Phillips, Sacha Skarbek, Tom Odell and Fraser T Smith.
Every young person has something to say, a story to tell, or a message to share
Smith, who has had success with Stormzy, Dave, Adele, Drake and Sam Smith says, ‘With so much going on in the world, it’s never been more vital for young people to be able to channel their energy and emotions into something positive, which is what The Young Songwriter competition encourages and facilitates through songwriting. Every young person has something to say, a story to tell, or a message to share – that’s why Song Academy is so important to our community’.
The Academy was founded by entrepreneur Rowena Atkins 18 years ago to inspire and guide young people to express themselves through the creative process of songwriting. Having seen how her eight-year-old daughter’s confidence changed after she spontaneously made up a song on her own, she gathered an extensive and diverse community of songwriters, producers and mentors to form the academy. Together they work with community groups, schools and the music industry to nurture new creative talent.
‘Song Academy inspires young people to speak up, express themselves, celebrate their individuality and get heard,’ says Atkins. ‘By connecting them to a vibrant community of their peers who all love writing songs, as well as exposing their songs to key players in the Music Industry, we help to build young people’s confidence, self-esteem and drive to achieve their potential.’
Prizes for the winners in the four categories of the 2021 competition include having the song recorded by a top producer in London with a professional photo and video shoot of the session, £1,000-worth of Yamaha equipment and a Focusrite Scarlett Solo Gen 3 Studio Bundle. Winners will also have the opportunity to perform in a special Young Songwriter 2021 Showcase at the famous Tabernacle in London’s Notting Hill.
The competition will be separately judged for UK & Ireland 8-12-year-olds, UK & Ireland 13-18-year-olds, International 8-12-year-olds and International 13-18-year-olds. Its sponsors are PRS For Music, ICMP, Yamaha, Focusrite, Soundtrap and Kobalt.
More information is available at www.songacademy.co.uk/says21