Commonweal School’s Performing Arts Department are currently bouncing off the walls with excitement as one of their students, Lottie Jenkins, age 12, is in the final top ten of a national young songwriter competition.
The competition has two categories 7 – 12 years and 13 – 18 years and the winners will be announced on 8th May. On the judging panel are Tom Odell, Rumer, Eg White, Fraser T Smith, Lou Rhodes, James Walsh, Guy Fletcher, Nigel Wright, Lyn Goddard and Jamie Theakson.
The public can choose their own winner on the Twitter Poll @songacademyuk. All finalists will perform at the Westfield, London on 12 June. The competition is in association with PRS, Dawsons, Access to Music, Fasida and Yamaha.
Josie Williams, Community Arts Development Officer at Commonweal School, said: “We are so excited! It is such an accolade to reach the top ten out of hundreds of entries from across the UK. We first came across Lottie when we were looking for young people to perform at the Little Big Festival and our own singer songwriter event, that was two years ago and we were so wowed by her she made the hairs on the back of our neck stand up. It was even better news when this amazing young lady came up to join us at Commonweal School.
“Lottie is only 12 and has an amazing voice for someone so young and she writes her own material! When the email for the competition came in the very first name that came into my head was Lottie’s so Nick Weaver our Performing Arts technician got Lottie into the studio to record her song.”
Lottie said: “I started singing as soon as I could talk and used to record songs on my mum’s phone. My mum and the school has encouraged me and are really supportive. I have singing lessons and enjoy blues and pop. I write the lyrics and the tune and my teacher does the sheet music for me, but I would like to learn to play the guitar so I can write the music myself. I’m am so excited and didn’t think I would get through to the final ten singers.
“The song is about a girl who hasn’t had a good life, it’s kind of a metaphor, she meets a man and her life is turned around, come with me and everything will be ok. I have no desire to become a star as you wouldn’t be able to buy a coffee without getting recognised by people. I think I want to be a business woman when I grow up. I am going to take GCSE Music and Business Studies when I go into Year 9. It doesn’t matter if I don’t win, being top ten in the country is good enough for me.”
“As a Performing Arts Academy we recognise and encourage talent. Our faculty are very passionate about the Arts and we have all had experience performing professionally. We are so pleased for Lottie who is lovely girl, quiet and unassuming, but with this big warm voice with such depth and maturity, she sings well beyond her years,” said Ali Sutcliffe, Head of Faculty.
“Lottie found her voice at very young age and has been singing every day ever since. The song writing ability came out of nowhere. One day she said ‘ mum, listen to this’ and there was a song. She’s singing three of her own songs at the Bandstand in Old Town on 14 May, at the singer, songwriter showcase and I couldn’t be more proud.” said Lottie’s mum Debs Robinson.