Moving to a new city to start life as a student can be a simultaneously daunting and exciting experience. We spoke to Brighton based BA (Hons) Songwriting student Amelia Barnard about her latest single “New Room”, which focusses on the theme of leaving home for the first time.
What was the inspiration behind your track?
I’d come from a small village in the middle of nowhere and was moving to a small town on the outskirts of Brighton (Lewes) to attend a music college 4 years ago. I was 18 years old, and even though I was moving in with my auntie and cousin, it was still a huge step for me. So, this song is about all the feelings that come with taking a step into the big wide world all by yourself: the nerves, the excitement, the sadness but most importantly the feeling of the unknown. The narrative throughout the song actually follows the events exactly of that day I moved out, so it’s very autobiographical!
What did your process involve?
It actually took me a while to write this song. I think I wrote it 6 months after I moved out of home. And even then I still cried while writing it! I think it was very cathartic for me, to put my feelings and emotions about the day into song. I write my songs on guitar first, working out the chords and melody and structure of the song. And then once I’ve got those completely nailed (and only then) will I start to think about the arrangement: what instruments are going to play and when, and what they’re going to play. Melody is very important to me, so I like to make sure I’ve got that bang on before I move on to other elements of the song.
Do you have a favourite line/section of the song?
Oh that’s a tough one! If we’re talking musically, I really like the strings that come in on the second chorus. It’s really subtle, but it adds another hook to the song. But I can’t take credit for that, Wynter (a second year production student) came up with that! Lyrically, I’d have to say the last line of the Bridge, “When you drive off I don’t think I’ve ever felt so numb” because as I was writing the song, this was the point where I started crying! But it was the release for me, where I let all my emotions go. And I think I felt relieved, because I was able to put into words exactly how I felt about that day.
Can you describe your sound in three words?
Oh my goodness that’s hard! I can describe my sound in 5 words, but let’s see if I can get it down to 3!…..okay: Honest, open and relatable.
What’s the best thing about studying at BIMM?
I’ve learned so much about the business side of the industry while studying here, which I feel has given me a bit of a head start compared to other people who will enter this industry; I don’t feel as naive anymore. But I think most of all, I’ve met such amazing people; the tutors and other students. I’ve met people that I’ll be friends for life with, and I’ve learned so much from others as well. People are so willing to collaborate here. What you have as a weakness, other people will have as their strength. So, it’s great to study in an environment like that.