French song success

A Headington singer-songwriter has combined her music and language skills to win a national award.

A song written by Numa, U5, won a coveted national music award in her age category from the French Institute in London and Francophonie UK.

Numa came first in her category by writing, producing, filming and editing together a video and song in French called ‘Aujord’hui’. She decided to base the theme of her song on climate issues and used her own photos from climate change protests in Oxford over the last year in her video.

Her entry was shortlisted then, at a live YouTube event on Tuesday 23rd June, her music video was selected from over 100 entries from across the UK.

Her song was broadcast to the virtual audience before being awarded the prize in the 12-15 year old category.

The judge was particularly impressed by her voice and professionalism.

Mme Virginie Crépeau said: “Numa definitely has a talent for performing French songs which is impressive at her age. As Head of French, I am very proud of her achievement. Numa has always been eager to take part in French events and that is pleasing to see for us, language teachers. We are very proud of her.

“I hope she will continue to enjoy French music and write French songs!”

Numa said she immediately knew she wanted to write about some of the problems facing the world today.

She said: “Even though most of the world was under lockdown, I really wanted my song to make a difference, and make people realise that being silent isn’t enough – you have to speak up against these difficulties and problems and make sure your voice is heard.”

After creating a rough demo with her guitar, Numa recorded each individual instrument separately before layering them to create the song.

She said: “I found writing the song really enjoyable! Initially, it was challenging to work on the phrasing and it was significantly harder than writing in English – especially since I am by no means fluent in French – but once I had got to grips with the chorus of my song, the rest followed suit and I felt that it flowed really cohesively.”

She said she felt “surprised and incredibly honoured” to have been chosen as the winner and was full of praise for Mme Crépeau. She said: “Not only did she tell me about this competition but she has always supported me, as a form tutor, a French teacher, and also as an inspirational role model!”

Congratulations to Numa!