The 2020 Vanda & Young Global Songwriting Competition Top 40 finalists have been announced and more than half are unpublished.

The announcement of this iteration of the Vanda & Young Global Songwriting Competition brought some familiar names and some new ones. Alongside established artists such as Gordi, DMA’s, and Thelma Plum – each with two songs apiece on the shortlist – are ones-to-watch including Georgie Fahey, Aya Yves, and Ginny Mee.

The competition opened 11 months ago but was extended due to the impact of COVID-19 to ensure songwriters had enough time to enter. And they did in their droves: an all-time record 4,061 entires from 46 countries raised just over A$203,000 for Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Australia.

More than half of the Top 40 songs were provided by unpublished songwriters and one of those will follow in the footsteps of Mallrat and Kaiit and win the A$5,000 AMPAL Emerging Songwriter Prize.

As well as providing songwriters with a platform during a turbulent time for music, the generosity of an anonymous donor means that more songwriters will take home cash, with ten runner-up prizes of A$1,000 going to Top 40 finalists.

“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,” Dean Ormstone, CEO of APRA AMCOS, said.

“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.”

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The 1st place winner will receive a career-changing A$50,000 furnished by APRA AMCOS, Alberts and BMG; 2nd place A$10,000 courtesy of Banki Haddock Fiora; and 3rd place A$5,000 courtesy of Aon.

At the heart of the Vanda & Young Global Songwriting Competition is the financial support that songwriters provide with their full A$50 entry fee directly supporting the transformative programs of Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Australia. In twelve years of the competition’s existence, entrants have contributed over A$1.4million, making a huge impact on the lives of others with their songs.

Named after the iconic songwriters and founding members of The Easybeats, Harry Vanda and the late George Young, the long-running competition has served as a career springboard to an impressive group of artists: Matt Corby and Dann Hume in 2019 for ‘Miracle Love’, 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). Previous top finishers have also included Sarah Aarons, Gotye, Meg Mac and Gang of Youths frontman David Le’aupepe.

This year’s judging panels includes including award-winning songwriter Lior, APRA AMCOS Ambassador Dallas Frasca, triple j Unearthed’s Dave Ruby Howe, producer Robert Conley and reps from Amazon Music and Universal Music.

The top prize winners will be announced in March 2021. Visit here for more information.

The 2020 Vanda & Young Global Songwriting Competition Top 40:

(Performer – Song Title – Songwriters)

Alfie Arcuri – ‘Handsome Man’ – Alfie Arcuri & Cameron Nacson

Annie Hamilton – ‘Panic’ – Annie Hamilton

Anthony Forrest – ‘Colours’ – Anthony Forrest

Aya Yves – ‘Brave’ – Vendulka Wichta, Bri Clark & Michael White

Azure Ryder – ‘Dizzy’ – Azure Ryder & Chris Collins

Baker Boy – ‘Meditjin’ – Danzal Baker, Jerome Farah, Jessica Bourke, Dion Brownfield & Dallas Woods

Carla Geneve – ‘The Right Reasons’ – Carla Geneve

CLEWS – ‘Crushed’ – Lily Richardson & Grace Richardson

Clio – ‘Slow Burn’ – Clio Renner

DMA’s – ‘Life Is A Game of Changing’ – Matthew Mason, Thomas O’Dell, John Took, Liam Hoskins, Thomas Crandles & Joel Flyger

DMA’s – ‘Criminals’ – Matthew Mason, Thomas O’Dell, John Took, Liam Hoskins, Thomas Crandles & Joel Flyger

Emily Hatton – ‘Why’d You Have To?’ – Emily Hatton, Timothy Hickey & Lachlan Coffey

Evie Irie – ‘Carry Your Heart’ – Evie Rosenberg, Andy Seltzer & peter Hanna

Future Jr. – ‘Sounds Like Rain’ – Matthew Nainby & Michael Fatkin

Genesis Owusu – ‘Don’t Need You’ – Kofi Owusu-Ansahy, Andrew Klippel, Kieran J. Callinan, Michael Di Francesco, David Haddad & Julian Sudek

Georgie Fahey – ‘On Fire’ – Joel Huey & Georgie Fahey

Ginny Mee – ‘Rise & Fall’ – Virginia Shedden

Gordi – ‘Extraordinary Life’ – Sophie Payten

Gordi – ‘Volcanic’ – Sophie Payten

Indira Elias – ‘Dreamy Youth’ – Indira Elias, Olivia Bernard, Jarvis Morrow & Zigi Blau

Jack Carty – ‘Oh! Imagination’ – Jack Carty

James McGuffie – ‘Lemon Tree’ – James McGuffie

Jamesson – ‘Primate Terminal’ – Elijah Uka-Maae

Jemma Siles – ‘Merlot’ – Jemma Siles & Cameron Nacson

Kaylee Bell – ‘That Summer’ – Kaylee Bell, Taylor Acorn & Andrew Pacheco

Kirstyn Niccolle – ‘Hurdles’ – Thomas McKInnen, Spike Levy & Kirstyn Dryer

Lime Cordiale – ‘Robbery’ – Louis Leimbach, Oliver Leimbach, Daniel Chore, Shane Abrahams & Jonathan Pakfar

Merpire – ‘Village’ – Rhiannon Atkinson-Howatt

Missy Lancaster – ‘Wild’ – Alexandra Lancaster, Isabella Kearney-Nurse & Roberto De Sa

Ninajirachi – ‘Alight’ – Nina Wilson

René Le Feuvre – ‘Rich Girl’ – René Le Feuvre

Ruel – ‘Painkiller’ – Ruel Van Dijk, Mark Landon & Sarah Aarons

Shannen James – ‘Arrows’ – Shannen McInerney & Dylan Nash

Stella Donnelly – ‘Beware of the Dogs’ – Stella Donnelly

Tash Sultana – ‘Pretty Lady’ – Tash Sultana, Matt Corby & Dann Hume

The Teskey Brothers – ‘Rain’ – Joshua Teskey, Samuel Teskey, Brendon Love & Liam Gough