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Smithtown H.S. East student finalist in songwriting contest

Julia Graye, a junior at Smithtown High School

Julia Graye, a junior at Smithtown High School East, is a finalist in a songwriting contest. Credit: Jenn Drucker

A Smithtown student with a love for songwriting is a finalist in a worldwide competition.

Julia Graye, a junior at Smithtown High School East, is one of 15 finalists in the teen category of the International Songwriting Competition, a contest for aspiring and established songwriters around the globe.

Graye was selected for her indie folk song, “Labyrinth,” which was produced at Bloom Music NYC in Manhattan and inspired by John Green’s 2005 novel, “Looking for Alaska.”

“To reach the finalist round is an incredible honor,” said Graye, 16. Of her love of writing music, she said: “My favorite part about songwriting is you can really be true to yourself.”

The teen began piano lessons at the age of 7 and guitar lessons a year later. She began writing songs at 10. She has sung at venues such as The Bitter End in Manhattan and the Great New York State Fair in Syracuse, performing there in 30-minute cycles in 2014.

Graye also has attended the School of Creative and Performing Arts in Manhattan and the Future Music Moguls program at the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at NYU. She also works with Songs of Love, a nonprofit that provides personalized songs for sick children.

She currently has three songs on iTunes and is working on an album to be released in June.

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