Hammersmith teen conquers the world with a fiery song

A musical Hammersmith teenager has been named a finalist in a prestigious local songwriting competition.

Matilda Mann impressed judges in the Song Academy Young Songwriter of the Year competition with her ‘stripped-back’ sound and ‘heartfelt’ lyrics and will join her fellow finalists in the 13-18 category in a live showcase at Westfield in White City next month.

“I’ve always had a passion for music and after having some piano lessons I found that I liked putting some words to chords I had made up,” said Matilda, who started song writing when she was 11.

Winning song

The 18-year-old’s song ‘Like Lava’ was picked out of almost 500 entries into the eighth annual song writing challenge, which is judged by music industry experts including singer songwriters Tom Odell and Imelda May.

Matilda Mann impressed judges in the Song Academy Young Songwriter of the Year competition

She beat off competition from hundreds of talented youngsters to make it to the final of an annual song writing contest. This year’s competition attracted close to 500 high quality entries from cities across the world, from London, Dublin, Cairo, Helsinki, and Johannesburg, to Nashville, New York, Reykjavik, Zagreb, and Melbourne.

“I find it a great way to express myself,” Matilda added. “My favourite part of song writing is coming up with the lyrics. To me the lyrics are the most important part of any song and I usually send the most time on that part of the process.”


Folk and jazz, rock, soul, pop, reggae and even punk are some of the musical genres that impressed the judges, who have picked out a total of 23 finalists across three categories, including international entrants.

Judge Tom Odell said: "When I was 13 years old I started writing songs, and over the following years I became more and more obsessed with it. But the thing that always kept me awake at night was how to get them out there for people to hear them."

The final winners will be announced on Monday 14 May, and all finalists and highly commended entrants will perform live at Westfield London on 10 June, from 2-5pm.

Song Academy founder and Hammersmith resident Rowena Atkins explained: “It’s a springboard for the next generation of creative stars to get noticed by key players in the music industry, build confidence, have their voices heard and shine in the limelight.”

Find out more at www.songacademy.co.uk.

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