Amy Shark wins 2018 Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition for Adore

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Gang of Youths’ David Le’aupepe takes 2nd and 3rd place, Mallrat wins best “Unpublished” work


Winner Amy Shark (photo: Bobby Rein)

2017 and 2018 have been stellar years for Gold Coast singer/songwriter Amy Shark and the celebrations are far from over after it was announced today that she has taken out the top prize in the 2018 Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition with Adore.

Courtesy of APRA AMCOS, Alberts and BMG, Amy has received A$50,000 - the largest first prize for any songwriting competition in the world – saying,

“It’s such an honour to win the 2018 Vanda & Young Song Comp for Adore. I wrote this song in my bedroom and it's a testament to what just one piece of music can do and how important it is to keep doing what you love. I’m proud to be part of a legacy of songwriters that together have raised over $1 million dollars for Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Australia.”

Amy Shark was finally able to commit to being a full time musician when Adore soared to the prestigious #2 spot on Triple J’s 2016 Hottest 100, followed by winning two ARIA Awards (Best Pop Release and Breakthrough Artist) in 2017 and Pop Work of the Year at the 2018 APRA Music Awards.  Her debut album, Love Monster, is to be released on 13 July and Amy has just announced she will embark on the national Love Monster tour commencing in Adelaide on 24 August.

Amy also receives an additional A$5,000 Show Group travel package awarded in honour of the late Graham Fear OAM, the greatly-admired Show Group GM and long-time Nordoff-Robbins board member and supporter who passed away in December 2017.

David Le’aupepe, frontman of APRA and ARIA Award-winning rock outfit, Gang of Youths, has claimed both 2nd and 3rd prizes with Let Me Down Easy and The Heart is a Muscle respectively.  Currently on tour in the UK, Le’aupepe receives A$10,000 thanks to AMPAL (Australasian Music Publishers Association) and A$5,000 courtesy of media sponsor, Seventh Street Media.

On hearing of his dual win, Le’aupepe said “There’s a sense of discomfort I feel when it comes to these things, because accepting praise is not exactly my forte. I never in my wildest imagined that in a competition like this, among so many actually talented writers, that I would manage to place. Thank you to those Judges who saw beauty and value in these songs of mine/ours, for it’s a reminder to me that they may not be completely garbage after all. Thank you to the scores of writers more deserving and gifted than me for shining as bright as you do. Lastly, thank you APRA AMCOS and Vanda & Young for contributing to such a worthwhile initiative in NRMTA. Their work is well and truly the most extraordinary part of this.”

This year a new prize was added to the pool for Best ‘Unpublished’ Work and the inaugural winner is another Queenslander, Grace Shaw, aka Mallrat.  The Brisbane-based teenager with a knack for creating outrageously catchy pop tunes won for Better.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
Grace Shaw said today, “I’m so honoured to be the first winner of the Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition Unpublished prize. This category means a lot to me and all the unpublished writers out there entering songs, and I’m stoked that we helped raise over $1 million for Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy and their beautiful work.”

Applicants paid an entry fee of $50 per submission with all money raised going directly to Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Australia (NRMTA). This year’s competition raised an astounding $203,000 from entries making a total of over $1million raised to date.

Named after the iconic songwriters and founding members of The Easybeats, Harry Vanda and the late George Young, the competition raises funds for NRMTA and its work with children and adults with physical and intellectual disabilities, autism, trauma, illness, dementia, behaviour disorders and learning difficulties.

APRA AMCOS Chief Executive, Brett Cottle, said, “Congratulations to the winners and thank you to all the songwriters who generously participated in the Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition. It’s a special competition for many reasons, with the tremendous support for Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Australia very heartening. Songwriters truly make a difference.”

David Albert,  Group CEO, Alberts, added, On behalf of Alberts, I would like to thank all the songwriters who entered and shared their work in this year’s Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition. Their support has helped to push the overall amount raised to above $1 million since the competition’s inception; an incredible result and a demonstration of the commitment of the music industry to important community initiatives. It is a privilege for Alberts to partner with APRA AMCOS and BMG and we are proud to be able to continue the legacy of Harry Vanda and the late George Young.”

Amy Shark joins previous winners of this prestigious competition, Gretta Ray (2016), Husky Gawenda (2014), Isabella Manfredi (2013), Kimbra Johnson (2011) and Megan Washington (2009).

The complete winners’ details are:

1st Place – A$50,000: Adore
Amy Shark (Published by Mushroom Music Publishing)

2nd Place – A$10,000: Let Me Down Easy
David Le’aupepe of Gang of Youths (Published by Universal Music Publishing)

3rd Place – A$5,000: The Heart is a Muscle
David Le’aupepe of Gang of Youths (Published by Universal Music Publishing)

Unpublished Work – A$5,000: Better
Grace Shaw aka Mallrat (Unpublished)

Voting results were extremely tight for this year’s prize pool and the organisers and judges have given the following entrants an honourable mention:

  • David Le’aupepe (Gang Of Youths) – Do Not Let Your Spirit Wane
  • David Le’aupepe (Gang of Youths) – What Can I Do If The Fire Goes Out
    Angie McMahon – Slow Mover
  • Ruel – Don’t Tell Me 
  • Amy Shark – Weekends
  • Hatchie – Sure 
  • Gordi – On My Side
  • Ainslie Wills – Running Second
  • Alex Lahey – Love You Like A Brother
  • Dean Lewis – Be Alright

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