News May 10, 2018

Amy Shark’s ‘Adore’ wins Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition, Gang of Youths’ Le’aupepe takes 2nd and 3rd place

Amy Shark’s ‘Adore’ wins Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition, Gang of Youths’ Le’aupepe takes 2nd and 3rd place

The rise and rise of Gold Coast singer songwriter Amy Shark continues – this time with the Vanda & Young songwriting competition announcing her ‘Adore’ as its 2018 winner.

The huge array of judges – covering music industry and media figures and APRA AMCOS ambassadors – also acknowledged the rapidly escalating acclaim for Gang of Youths, with its leader David Le’aupepe taking out #2 and #3 spots.

Two other Le’aupepe compositions also got honourable mentions.

This year’s competition generated 4,056 entries by 3,296 songwriters from 30 countries.

The competition raises money for the Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Australia from the $50 entry fee it charges for each submission.

This year’s entries clocked up $203,000, bringing its tally for the charity to an astounding $1 million.

The NRMTA works with children and adults with physical and intellectual disabilities, autism, trauma, illness, dementia, behaviour disorders and learning difficulties.

Amy Shark’s wins gets a A$50,000, courtesy APRA AMCOS, Alberts and BMG.

It is the largest first prize for any songwriting competition in the world.

Shark says, “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.”

The song’s success – #2 on the triple j 2016 Hottest 100 and two APRA wins the year after – allowed her to follow her music career in a full time capacity.

In the latest update, her debut album Love Monster is set for a July 13 release, with a national tour kicking off in Adelaide on August 24.

Shark also receives a further $50,000 Show Group travel package.

It was set up by the entertainment travel group in honour of its late GM Graham Fear OAM, who passed away in December 2017, and was a long-time Nordoff-Robbins board member and supporter.

Le’aupepe polled at #2 with ‘Let Me Down Easy’ and at #3 with ‘The Heart Is A Muscle’.

He receives $10,000 from AMPAL (Australasian Music Publishers Association) and A$5,000 courtesy of media sponsor, Seventh Street Media.

Speaking from the UK where the band is touring, Le’aupepe responded: “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.”

The inaugural $5000 prize, for Best ‘Unpublished’ Work went to Mallrat, aka Queensland based Grace Shaw.

Known for catchy pop hooks, the winning song was ‘Better’.

Shaw acknowledged, “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.”

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. I

“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.”

The competition was named after the songwriting and production team of Harry Vanda and the late George Young, who started off with the Sydney based record label and publisher Alberts with their ‘60s band The Easybeats, and went on to put the company on the global mark with the legendary band and their many hits since.

Alberts group CEO David Albert thanked the writers who entered.

“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.”

With voting so tight this year, organisers and judges decided to give an honourable mention to:

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 ‘

Ainslie Wills – ‘Running Second’

Alex Lahey – ‘Love You Like A Brother’

Dean Lewis – ‘Be Alright’

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