In a video extract from the session (see below), 27-year-old Emeli opens up about her songwriting process and shares tips on how to write a great song. She also explains how she wrote songs like ‘River,’ ‘Next to Me’ and ‘Clown’ from her debut album, Our Version of Events.
Emeli wrote her first fully-structured song when she was only seven years old, and has so far received 18 awards—including three Brit awards and four MOBO Awards. She won the coveted Ivor Novello Award for Best Song Musically and Lyrically in 2013 with her song ‘Next to Me’. The same song also picked up the PRS for Music award for Most Performed Work in 2013.
Emeli Sandé may have received huge acclaim in recent years, but she certainly knows how it feels to be a young songwriter struggling for recognition. She once commented: “I was an underdog. Nobody wanted to sign me. When people don’t believe in you, you want to prove them wrong.
“I want to encourage any underdog to achieve their dreams.”
In another pointed remark, she once said: “My song ‘Clown’ was written when I couldn’t find anyone who believed in me as an artist. Maybe those labels will think twice next time a young songwriter comes along.”
Emeli’s advice to all aspiring songwriters is to “keep going” and focus on honing your craft. “Stay brave, I think that’s a big thing,” she says. “Always be ready to go, and don’t always think about the negative. It could go amazing … Don’t give up.”
Here is Emeli’s inspiring video from the coaching session at BBC Radio 1’s Academy in Glasgow …
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“How [Not] To Write A Hit Song! – 101 Common Mistakes To Avoid If You Want Songwriting Success” is available from Amazon as a US paperback, UK paperback and as an eBook from Amazon’s Kindle Store, Apple’s iTunes Store (Books/Arts & Entertainment/Music), Barnes & Noble’s Nook store, and from KoboBooks.