Talented Yeppoon student wins songwriting contest
A YOUNG songwriter is feeling on top of the world after having the opportunity to work with big names in the music industry on a song to be performed by thousands of students later this year.
Yeppoon State High School student Trent May was one of four talented songwriters selected from a national songwriting competition to pen the 2020 Music: Count Us In song titled You Won’t Bring Us Down.
The 16 year old was flown to Victoria earlier this year, prior to COVID-19 restrictions being implemented, where he and three other students worked with long time program ambassador John Foreman (OAM) and ARIA Award winning 2020 Music: Count Us In music mentor Lior.
Trent said winning the competition didn’t feel real.
“It was just really unexpected because I didn’t get my hopes up,” he said.
“I did hope for the best, but I didn’t think too much of it, so it was quite surprising.”
Trent said he found out about the competition through one of his teachers and quickly got to work on writing an original song.
The song he submitted was titled Together and was written around the time of the Australian bushfires.
“The song is protesting but uplifting at the same time,” he said.
“It couldn’t be too dark for children, but I wanted to make it a bit serious.
“It explains a lot about the bushfires and their effects.”
This year’s Music: Count Us In song You Won’t Bring Us Down was also inspired by climate change and the recent bushfires.
The song draws on themes of young people standing up for what they believe in.
“We discussed topics that were quite common and decided on retaliation and protesting based on climate change,” Trent said.
“It’s about telling adults we have a voice and are sticking up for what will be ours one day.”
Trent said working with Mr Foreman and Lior in the songwriting process was an incredible experience.
“Lior really knew his stuff, he got the ideas out of us musically and lyrically,” he said.
“I am going to take away the skills and lessons John and Lior taught me in the songwriting process and use them in the future.”
Feeling passionate about music and the way it can make people feel, Trent wants to take his love for the art and turn it into a career after finishing school next year.
“I have a realistic goal and a farfetched goal, which is to perform on the Eurovision stage,” he said.
“My realistic goal is to be a music teacher. I hate to say it, but I think music is dying and I would love to keep it alive in classrooms.”
He encourages other young songwriters from around Central Queensland to get involved in next year’s competition.
“You don’t have to be the best singer, it’s what you write, so go for it,” he said.
Music: Count Us In is Australia’s largest annual school music participation program which offers a unique opportunity for students to take part, for free, learning the same song in the lead up to Celebration Day, on November 5, which will see students from more than 3500 schools sing the same song, on the same day, at the same time.
For more information about Music: Count Us In and to sign up for free, go to www.musiccountusin.org.au.