Carrickfergus singer in semi-final of UK competition

The artwork for Sarah Jane's co-written song.
The artwork for Sarah Jane's co-written song.

A Carrickfergus-based singer has reached the semi-final of the UK Songwriting Contest 2019.

Sarah Jane Cooper (stage name SJ Cooper) impressed judges in the popular competition with the composition ‘Blue’.

The Glasgow native and now Carrick resident co-wrote the song with Anne-Marie Chambers, who lives in Belfast and John Knight, from Cambridge

Sarah Jane said: “I find this all very exciting and I’m hoping we can go further in the competition. ‘Blue’ is a very different and quirky song which is why I think it caught the judges’ attention.”

A jazz/soul singer who was taught to sing by her mother, Sarah Jane explained she ‘met’ John on the internet at various song writing blogs and boards. They teamed up and began to write songs with a jazz and blues flavour. Eventually Anne-Marie got in touch with Sarah Jane looking for a singer and that led to all three of them working together for the past few years.

“The extraordinary thing about the arrangement is that Anne-Marie and I have never met or spoken with John; all our work is conducted solely over the internet by email and text, but that seems to work fine. Anne-Marie and John are also enjoying success with their electronic dance music and already have had two songs signed.”

The UK Songwriting Contest was launched in London in 2002 in association with The BRIT Trust, The BRIT School, The BRIT Studio, Music Aid International, The Guild of International Songwriters and Composers and Roland Music UK. The BBC supported the event from the start and continues to do so.

Sarah Jane added: ““We’re all hoping for a little bit of success, but we all know how tough the music industry can be, but this is great fun and I wouldn’t have missed it for anything.”

Sarah Jane has a dedicated group of followers who are always keen to hear her sing and do well. Her Facebook page is