Belfast Telegraph

Co Down teen could win chance to work with top music producer Stuart Epps after making it to the semi-finals of the UK Songwriting Contest

By Laura Abernethy

He's worked with everyone from Elton John to Robbie Williams, but now he could be set to give a Co Down teen her big break.

Mollie McGinn (16) from Carryduff is through to the semi-finals of the UK Songwriting Contest and she could win the chance to work with top music producer Stuart Epps, who has been behind some of the biggest songs of the last 40 years.

Mollie entered six songs in the contest earlier this year and two made it through to the semi-finals in the under-18 category.

She will battle it out against other young musicians from across the UK to be crowned the overall winner.

The teenager was just 11 when she penned the song Why?, the first of two to make it through the prestigious competition. The second song, Monster In Me, was written just two years later when she was 13.

She explained: "'Why?' is about all the problems in the world and Monster is more about feeling like there was a monster in me when I'm angry."

She wrote and recorded the music and lyrics for all the tracks herself, but if she wins the competition she has the chance to develop her talents with the help of Stuart and some of the UK's top songwriters. She could also be featured on the UK Songwriting Contest album.

Mollie said: "It feels great to get through to the semi-final. I write songs every day and it's nice to be recognised. I'm going to keep writing more and more and I hope to make a career out of it one day.

"I love both songwriting and playing the music. I've been doing it for as long as I remember."

In between studying for her GCSEs at Assumption Grammar in Ballynahinch, Mollie plays piano, violin, drums and tin whistle and also sings in the church choir. She's been playing music since she could walk and wrote her first song at the age of just 8. Mollie was inspired to get into music by her dad Bernard, who has his own band, Finn McGinn And The Mudguards.

She has also helped her four little sisters Rosie (14), Mamie (12), Sarah (7) and Brigid (6) get into music, and they all play a variety of instruments.

Her mum Nicola said: "We're so pleased for her. It's something that she's always been able to work at without it seeming like work. Sometimes I have to tell her to stop practising because she's been doing it for too long.

"She has her GCSEs and it's important to get her school exams, but I would never discourage her from something that she's so passionate about."

Mollie will find out the results of the UK Songwriting Contest in early December.

Belfast Telegraph


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