March 21st was my birthday. I turned 15 which my parents told me should be a fantastic age to be. my dad has always said it was one of the great years of his life. and my brother, ben, has a birthday a day before me and we always have this tradition of a huge birthday week. I kinda get a double birthday, all the things I choose and I get to tag along on all the things ben chooses. my friend has a birthday a couple of days later too, so it was going to be really, really great. this year – if I can even remember everything – we were going to the movies, we were going to laser tag, we were going to a great Ethiopian restaurant in Birmingham and a vegan Indian restaurant in Leicester, we had tickets to see the lightning seeds sing one of my favourite albums. and we were going to an escape room so we could get stressed out for an hour before realising that ben cracks codes better than all of us. our birthday weeks are always so much fun but this year, the coronavirus came and all the country just shut down a few days before I turned 15. one of my best friends came to my house and put my present on the doorstep on the last day of school before they were ordered to close. he knocked on the door and I spoke to him as he stood way back from our house. it was weird having to stand so far apart. at some point, he said ‘you know, I might not actually get to see you till September now’ and I think then, without realising it, Birthdays in June was pretty much written. I came in, heartbroken just a bit. my dad talked to me and told me I should write a song called ‘birthdays in June’ and I laughed at him, I told him it was a silly idea and he couldn’t be serious. but he was, and the more I thought about it, I thought about all these people in lockdown, all those birthdays missed, weddings cancelled, mother’s days spent apart on facetime or zoom, and I realised just how much my friends and family were important to me. I never meant to take them for granted or not realise that laughing with them, messing around with them, hanging out and going places with them was the best thing in my world. suddenly all the hugs and the goofing around disappeared and I never even got to tell them how much it all means to me. and although the pandemic has been way, way more devastating to millions of people than it has been to me, so many have lost people they loved, this song really isn’t about coronavirus at all, it’s not even really about the lockdown. it’s actually about all the people I love and how much they mean to me. it’s a hopeful song, and I don’t write those often. I’m really proud of it and I hope you love it as much as I do. and maybe all those people who I’m way too awkward and shy to tell to their face might realise now that ‘I just need you more than I ever thought or knew’.