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News October 27, 2016

Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition announces 2016 winner

Charts & New Music Editor
Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition announces 2016 winner

18-year-old singer-songwriter Gretta Ray has won the 2016 Vanda & Young Songwriting Award with her winning entry Drive.

After beating out nearly 4,000 other entries from 20 different countries, Ray received $50,000 at a presentation in Sydney, courtesy of APRA AMCOS and Alberts. The prize is the largest winnings amount for any songwriting competition in the world.

Only a few months ago, the Melbourne artist won the prestigious triple j Unearthed High competition that recognises Australian high school talent, adding to her decorated list of accolades.

Ray joins previous winners of the Vanda & Young competition, Husky Gawenda (Husky), Isabella Manfredi (The Preatures), Kimbra Johnson and Megan Washington.

“For any artist this would be an amazing thing in their career. This is not an industry that brings a lot of money to many people. You really have to struggle or get other jobs to support yourself which I will probably have to do too. But this is an incredible privilege,” said Ray.

“I am about to finish high school and now I have this advantage in supporting my journey. I wanted to take a gap year and just throw myself into the music world. This makes that more possible. This is the job I really want to do and this will help make that dream more real.”

Claiming second prize in the competition was Queenslander Emma Louise with her song Underflow, while third place saw a tie between Sydney band Tigertown and hip-hop artist Tia P, with the latter becoming the competition’s first international winner.

Gretta Ray and Tigertown

“To say that I’m elated, is an understatement,” said Tia P upon receiving the prize. “First and foremost, I’m honoured and humbled at the same time that my composition not only came in third place, but more so that I’m the first international recipient of the Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition!

“It’s been said that music is a universal language, well, I’m a true believer and I’m looking forward to traveling to Australia in the near future in hopes of collaborating with my Aussie brothers and sisters.”

The competition entry fee was $50 with all proceeds going to charity. This year, $196,700 was raised for Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Australia, with another $3,300 generously donated by a former recipient of the prize taking the total amount raised to $200,000.


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