UK Unsigned Songwriter of the Year 2016 Search Begins

‘The  UK Unsigned Songwriter of the Year 2016’ is a groundbreaking competition to find the best, unsigned songwriter in the UK and also raise £50,000 for charity!

Celebrities and multi-million selling songwriters including James Blunt, Pixie Lott, Jack Savoretti, Mike Rutherford, Ralph McTell and Lulu are coming together to help this unique new live songwriting competition raise money for the Stand Up To Cancer campaign and Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy, who will share all profits. (See artist quotes below)




Powerful and like-minded industry partners for the competition include the world’s largest music brand Yamaha, The Songwriting Academy, PRS For Music and Caffè Nero, who are all actively engaged in developing and showcasing emerging musical talent.




This is the first time a live, event based songwriting competition has been launched in the UK where the song is the star, not the singer. Songwriters may use session singers and musicians, and can win without singing a note!

An industry panel will select the top songwriters to showcase their songs at 12 live regional heats at Caffè Nero locations from 26th September, with semi-finals in Manchester and at Yamaha Music London in mid October. Yamaha will be providing PA, backline and instrument support for all the live events and the star-studded Gala Final at The Piano Works, London on 30th October.

The songwriter with the strongest songs will win a first prize worth over £6000, including £1000 worth of Yamaha musical instruments and equipment, a 12 month mentoring programme with The Songwriting Academy, a week’s songwriting retreat in Spain, the chance to have a song recorded in Nashville, a UK Tour by Caffè Nero supported by Yamaha and performance at Cornbury Festival 2017. With playlisting by Caffè Nero and more, this is a do-not-miss opportunity for anyone serious about songwriting.

Songwriters are now invited to enter their songs online at – deadline 1st September 2016. Once entry is complete they will be invited to join in a unique Selfie competition to win a Yamaha Guitar Amplifier and those submitting three songs or more will have the chance to attend a free one-day ‘Introduction to Songwriting’ course in London.

The following artists told us:

James Blunt

“With a changing music industry, new musicians need support now more than ever. ‘The Unsigned Songwriter of the Year’ initiative does that, as well as raising money for two great charities.”

Pixie Lott

“What an amazing way to raise money for a great cause! Every unsigned songwriter in the country should get writing for this competition!”


Pixie Lott



“The opportunity to fight cancer and uncover a new, exciting song-writing talent at the same time, is something I am definitely up for. Lets do it!”




Ralph McTell

Some people say, “It is the singer not the song.” I would say, it is always the song. A good singer can sometimes make a weak song sound ok, but a good song will make even an average singer sound good. It maybe true that “You can’t judge a book by its cover”, but “You can judge a song by its covers.” Good luck to all the songwriters taking part in this exciting and worthwhile project.

Mike Rutherford (Genesis/Mike & The Mechanics)

“Songwriting has always been the most important part of the music world – as I’ve always said, an amazing voice is not so special without THE SONG. I feel the music world is starting to remember this again.”


Andrew Roachford


Jack Savoretti

“This is a great opportunity for up and coming songwriters…which are hard to come by. It is also for a great cause, good luck to everyone who enters.”