Two years after his first blog post for Autism Together, here’s a new article from North East-based songwriter Bobby Latheron. Bobby, who has previously published a book about his life and his autism diagnosis, here talks about how he got started as a songwriter…

Hi, I am Bobby Latheron, a 27-year-old with autism. I am from the North East UK, Middlesbrough, working hard to spread awareness and support for others with autism.

Talking about my struggles, successes and mental health is something I am passionate about and feel is relevant to support and promote awareness to others.

On my journey I have a published book, am currently writing another, and have a passion about song writing. I am an autistic guy looking for my big break and dreaming big every day.

My musical journey from the beginning is quite a long story, but here we go…

When I was little, around four-years old, I used to LOVE karaoke! I would always be singing and I will always remember singing to my grandma. Our favourite was the Celine Dion tune, ‘My heart will go on’. I just remember a microphone was always in my hand. At home or at occasions, I was on it and my love for music just grew and grew. This continued right up until I was 21.

At 21, my sister thought it was time I took the music a bit further, so she bought me singing lessons. Well, to this day it is the best present I have ever received. My own singing lessons! Wow!

I remember it well, it was the night before my first singing lesson, I was at my Autism Matters social group at a restaurant and I was speaking to a member of my support staff. I was so excited to tell her about it, saying where I was going and what I was doing.

When I told her where I was going for the lessons, she told me that one of the members of Journey South lives there. Journey South were a group from the North East who came third in X Factor in 2005. I couldn’t believe it and didn’t believe this could be who was doing my singing lessons. Surely not. They’ll be big time now…

The day arrived. First day of my new singing lessons. EEEEK! Too excited for words and who was doing these lessons? Thoughts were running around my head as I ran around getting ready.

My brother was kind enough to drop me off. This house. Wow! Am I in the right place?

Carl then appeared at the door and welcomed me in. Introductions were made and the studio was just incredible. I just looked around in awe. Guitars, pictures, the studio was big. Pictures of ‘Journey South’ around. I still didn’t ask or say…

He asked me to get ready and go sing a song. I was a bit nervous. Got to the mic, got myself together and I just asked… ‘Are you Journey South by any chance?’ When he replied ‘yes’, oh my days!! It was him. I told him I wasn’t singing in front of him! I was more about writing the songs.

And well, this is where it started. Above you can see a picture of me and Carl. I see him once a fortnight and this has happened for 4 years now and is still going.

I have written about 10 songs but only 9 at the moment have been released. But yeah, that is me dreaming big with the songwriting.

I still sing on the karaoke, it will always be my guilty pleasure and Carl still asks me to sing now and again!

If you would like to learn more about Bobby then visit his website: or check out his book, ‘My World in My Words which you can buy through Amazon or Waterstones online.

You can also read Bobby’s earlier blog on our website.

To hear Bobby’s songwriting collaborations with Carl Pemberton from Journey South and other singers, check out his YouTube channel: Diva Records North East.