Vanda & Young songwriting competition announces 40 finalists from record 4,061 entries
The 2020 Vanda & Young Global Songwriting Competition has unveiled its 40 finalists, as submissions hit an all-time high of 4,061 entries from 46 countries.
This significant number of entries raised just over $203,000 for Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Australia, with the $50 entry fee swung directly over to the association. In the competition’s 12 years, entrants have contributed over $1.4 million in combined fees.
The 2020 round opened 11 months ago on March 10 and was extended due to COVID-19 to ensure songwriters had time to enter.
“In the most challenging year ever for songwriters, it is heartening and not at all surprising that songwriters from around the world generously entered the Vanda & Young Global Songwriting Competition in record numbers,” said APRA AMCOS chief executive, Dean Ormston.
“Their entry fees support an incredible cause, and our aim as organisers is to support their creative endeavours and help them get their songs heard and shared with the broader music industry and music fans.”
Finalists this year include chart-makers such as Lime Cordiale, DMA’S, Tash Sultana, Teskey Brothers, Gordi, Baker Boy, Thelma Plum, Washington, Ruel and Stella Donnelly – some with multiple entries.
APRA also noted an abundance of acts-to-watch including singer Georgie Fahey, Canberra’s Aya Yves and Melbourne folk-pop artist Ginny Mee.
More than half of the 40 finalists are unpublished songwriters. One unpublished songwriter will follow Mallrat and Kaiit in taking out the $5,000 Australasian Music Publishers Association (AMPAL) Emerging Songwriter Prize.
Thanks to an anonymous donor, more songwriters will take home a cash prize this year, with an additional 10 runner-up prizes of $1,000 going to top 40 finalists.
The first place winner receives $50,000 from APRA AMCOS, Alberts and BMG. The second place gets $10,000 courtesy of IP and media law firm Banki Haddock Fiora, while the $5,000 for third place is from insurance brokers and risk managers Aon.
Past winners of the competition include Matt Corby & Dann Hume (2019), Amy Shark (2018), Gretta Ray (2016), Husky Gawenda (2014), Isabella Manfredi (2013), Kimbra (2011) and one of this year’s top 40 finalists Megan Washington (2009).
Half of the 40+ judging panel come from media, covering The Music Network, Nova, Double J, Foxtel Music Channels, Triple M, triple j Unearthed and Billboard. The music industry is represented by staff from Universal Music, EMI Music, Amazon Music, Music SA, Seismic Talent, Noise Management and TRIBE. The APRA AMCOS ambassadors who cast their votes are Brendan Gallagher, Dallas Frasca, Eric Chapus, Jonathan Zwartz, Kav Temperley, Lior, Les Gock, Mark Lizotte and Robert Conley.