A South Shields songstress is in the running for a national award thanks to her touching musical tribute to her dad.
Jen Stevens’ self-penned track Little One has reached the semi-finals of the UK Songwriting Contest.
The 29-year-old’s song is an emotional tribute to her relationship with her dad, John, and the way they’ve supported each other since the tragic loss of her mum Anne three years ago.
Jen, from Chichester, is well known as the frontwoman of band Jen Stevens and the Hiccups, but this song is from her upcoming debut solo album.
She said: “Little One is what my dad calls me and this song is about the journey I’ve been on over the past couple of years.
“I’ve picked myself up out of a deep, dark hole, with a lot of help from some wonderful people, and now I feel strong and ready to face the world again.”
Jen wrote most of the lyrics for the song while sat at the beach in her hometown.
She added: “I wrote this song as part of the grieving process after I lost my mam and it’s all about me and my dad coping.
“Somebody had said to me after they heard it that I should try to get some more recognition for it than just playing it at gigs.
“I read about this contest and it seems to be really good. Some of the people who’ve won in the past have gone on to work with some top producers, people who have worked with Sting and Elton John, so it seemed like it was worth entering.
“It’s a really good feeling to be shortlisted to the semi-finals for the songwriter award, it’s a massive compliment.
“I’m still with the band but I decided to release a solo album because I write so much that some of the songs aren’t always suitable for the band, and I wanted to put them out there rather than just play them at my solo gigs.
“I recorded it all live at the Customs House with a grand piano and am just busy adding in backing vocals and things now. I’m hoping to release it in time for my 30th birthday in August.”