A PUPIL at a Saltcoats secondary school has received top recognition of his talents in a UK-wide competition.

Daniel Mackin, 15, has recently been selected as one of the top 30 entries in Young Songwriter 2023 (SAYS23) competition - from over 800 entries - with his original song 'Fraud'.

The song is about changing yourself for someone else’s approval.

Daniel, a fourth year pupil at St Matthew's Academy, says the song explores how by the end of the relationship you feel like you’ve become a fraud as you’ve given so much of yourself away to fit someone else's standards - but how you then realise it’s better to be your true self and alone rather than to be a ‘fraud’ to impress someone else. 

SAYS23 is considered the world’s leading songwriting competition for young aspiring songwriters, aged 8-18, to get their songs heard by leaders in the industry.

And Daniel will now be amongst an elite group being considered for the next stage of the competition - the top 10.

This will be decided on May 12, before the top three entries are then selected at the beginning of June.

The op three finalists are invited to a live showcase in London, with the winner receiving a day in a recording studio with a music producer along with £1,000 towards equipment as well as home studio recording equipment.

It has been an incredibly proud time for St Matthew's Academy pupil who has has been performing and singing for the past six years.

He spoke to the Herald about making the top 30 list, and his aspirations of becoming a musician.

Daniel said: "I feel proud and a sense of achievement to be in the top 30 as the calibre of talent was so high.

"I am very grateful for the opportunity.  It also has motivated and inspired me to continue with song writing.

"I would like to study music after school and continue with my song writing and performing.

"My dream is to be a professional musician and songwriter."

And the young musician has already made in impressive start in his blossoming career.

Daniel is also a talented piano player, and as well as playing and singing, over the last two years he has started to focus on songwriting and spends most of his free time writing songs.

Daniel has had the chance to showcase his talents in a veriety of different venues - most recently in April at the Paisley Food and Beer Festival.  

In March he performed a 30-minute set at popular music venue Broadcast, Glasgow while last year he was selected to perform at Youthbeatz in Dumfries.

He also regularly performs at open mic sessions such as at King Tuts, Glasgow.

Recently, Daniel, who lives in Dreghorn, has also begun recording some of his original songs in a recording studio in Glasgow and has more dates booked to go in to record more of his original songs.

To keep track of the progress of his career, you can find Daniel on Instagram (@Danielmackin__music) and TikTok (@danielmackinmusic_) where he regularly posts his new songs.

And you can listen to Daniel's SAYS23 entry on Soundcloud at on.soundcloud.com/1saDoLJtbhqCXGn59.