The 2020 Vanda & Young Global Songwriting Competition Top 40 finalists have been announced and more than half are unpublished.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More than half of the Top 40 songs were provided by unpublished songwriters and one of those will follow in the footsteps of Mallrat and Kaiit and win the A$5,000 AMPAL Emerging Songwriter Prize.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