17-year-old Newcastle twins came second place in a prestigious international song writing competition out of over 20,000 other entries.
Hannah and Grace Stobart, who are collectively known as Twayn, came second in the Liverpool International Song Writing competition, the ‘Road to Nashville’, which was held in Nashville, Tennessee, (at the end of last) month.
The twins, who attend Sixth Form at the Royal Grammar School in Newcastle, wrote their winning song ‘sweet 16’ when they were just 16 years old. The song explores the challenges faced by teens and the complex struggles of growing up.
The Road to Nashville is one of the largest song writing competitions in the world. This year, it received over 20,000 entries from 31 countries. The competition was co-founded by leading social psychologist, Dr Shamender Talwar, who is also co-founder of global charity The Unity of Faiths Foundation (TUFF) and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts for his endeavours in trying to make the world a kinder place. The competition is a unique concept whereby musicians submitting their entries can, at a click of a button on the website, request support from a life coach or psychologist, completely for free.
Hannah said: “Our song, ‘sweet 16’, is about the difficult teenage years. It’s not uncommon for people our age to find themselves struggling at school and feeling somehow on the outside looking in, so the theme really resonated with this competition and its focus on mental health challenges”.
Grace added: “sweet 16 talks about the loneliness and self-doubt suffered by many in our age group. There is often the sense that everyone else has it all, which is often exacerbated by social media. It sometimes feels like your own life is a constant battle whilst everyone else appears to have perfect friendships, relationships, a better social life – but that’s not necessarily the reality”.
The girls added, “This has been a trip of a lifetime, and we have met and sung for some of the biggest names in the industry. What’s more, we spent time with a lovely bunch of musicians and made some friends for life. Hanging out in an environment so supportive of music and musicians has been wonderful, and we couldn’t be more grateful for this opportunity. We are still pinching ourselves, to be honest!”
Director of Music at the Royal Grammar School, Newcastle, Neil Smith, said: “Everyone at the RGS is absolutely thrilled for the girls. It’s an incredible achievement to come second at this prestigious event. Hannah and Grace have done a fantastic job, the song is brilliant, and it’s great to see them achieve so much at such a young age.”
You can follow Twayn on Instagram @twayntwins. The duo is planning to release further music in the coming months and their current track can be found by searching Twayn ‘sweet 16’ across the usual streaming platforms.