IN MEMORY of a 'uniquely funny' and 'eccentric' musician young songwriters are being given the opportunity to win a studio session to professionally record their music.

James Whitworth, from Wheatley, died in August 2015 after being hit by a van in Hoxton, East London while returning home from a friend's birthday party.

The 30-year-old, who was friends with Julian Corrie, better known by his stage name Miaoux Miaoux and his new role as Franz Ferdinand's keyboard player, had just rented a studio to finish his second album.

His sister Carol Whitworth along with his best friend and flatmate Simon Haycock scoured his labyrinthine filing structure, doodle-laden notepads and sprawling audio projects to piece together the album, Aperture, which has been mixed by the Franz Ferdinand star, and will be released next month.

The talented musician and producer, who played everything from the piano to saxophone, studied on the prestigious Tonmeister Course at Surrey University.

After graduating in 2008, he wrote, performed and produced his first album, Tranquilo Tigre, which has been described as 'alternative pop', in his bedroom.

The former St Clare's Oxford pupil continued to write his compositions of humour and heartbreak while working as a programmer in London and in honour of his creative drive his loved ones have launched a songwriting competition aimed at young people.

The lucky winners, who will be chosen after entries close on September 22, will get the chance to have their song professionally recorded in a studio.

Ms Whitworth, who is also a musician, said: "My brother was always an avid songwriter from an early age - even before he could write he would come up with little ditties that our mum would write down."

The 39-year-old added she was motivated to create the competition by her brother's personality, explaining: "James was a one of a kind - uniquely funny, talented and eccentric. I could always rely on my brother for a big old hug or some hilarious improvisational randomness if I needed cheering up.

"We didn't hang out much together when we were kids as we were seven years different in age but in the last few years we had become very close and also realised how similar we were! It was amazing to see that my brother had inspired so many people in his short life."

She continued: "It's deeply saddening that we won't be able to create music together in the future but hopefully I can help inspire others to make music through projects like this one and through writing and playing music myself.

"I think it's a shame that music doesn't appear to be so valued today as a subject even though it can be highly beneficial in both an academic and social sense as well as providing a valuable creative outlet in these stressful times."

Ms Whitworth said once the album is launched on October 27 via bandcamp she wanted to look at creating bursaries for keen young musicians who would otherwise have to give up lessons for financial reasons.

For more information about entering the competition visit or for some inspiration, listen to James Whitworth's music at