Flume, Rüfüs Du Sol Win Big at 2023 APRA Music Awards – Billboard

Dance music reigned at the 2023 APRA Music Awards at Sydney ICC, where Flume and Rüfüs Du Sol scooped several of the industry’s top honors.

With a swag of Grammys, ARIAs and APRAs to his credit, Flume (real name: Harley Streten) is no stranger to awards nights. The producer and DJ was at it again Thursday (April 27), as “Say Nothing” featuring MAY-A won the peer-voted APRA song of the year, the evening’s coveted category.

Flume (in 2017) and co-writer Sarah Aarons (2019) have previously taken out songwriter of the year at the APRA Awards.


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Accepting his latest trophy via a pre-recorded Zoom, Flume pointed out the clubby hit was created through the wonders of technology, as the world’s borders shut fast.

“This song came about during COVID,” he explained. “We were in different places – Sarah was in London, I was in Byron (Bay) and we were just kind of sending stuff back and forth.”

The song, which came in at No. 1 in triple j’s Hottest 100 countdown in January, and is lifted from Flume’s full-length album Palaces, was “done from all corners of the globe,” he continued, “in all different cities and ram shackled together to be something that has obviously connected with people – we’re really grateful to make something that does that.”

Making songs “during COVID was definitely hard,” added Aarons, “and we definitely had a bit of a COVID connection as some would say.”

This time, the songwriter of the year category went to Jonathon George, James Hunt and Tyrone Lindqvist, who together perform as Rüfüs Du Sol. The EDM trio also snagged most performed dance / electronic work for “On My Knees.” Though Rüfüs Du Sol has led the ARIA Albums Chart with three of their four studio album, and won a Grammy Award in 2022, this brace represents their first-ever APRA Music Award wins.

Songwriter of the year “is a pretty ridiculous accolade to get,” enthused Lindqvist in a pre-taped thank-you from South America, where the act is on tour. “We feel really blessed and grateful we can get the nod from the room and everyone in Australia. There’s so much talent coming out of Australia and there has been for as long as music’s been around.”

Sydney-raised, Los Angeles-based singer and rapper The Kid LAROI extended his winning streak at the APRAs, as his global hit “Stay,” co-written and performed with Just Bieber, won for most performed Australian work for 2023, and most performed pop work.

Unlike his contemporaries, the Kid (real name: Charlton Howard) didn’t prepare an acceptance video, with organizers pointing out he’d lost his voice after performing over two weekends for Coachella Festival.

Also on the night, Zambia-born rapper and two-time Australian Music Prize winner Sampa the Great was named breakthrough songwriter of the year by the APRA board of writer and publisher directors.

In a taped piece to camera, Sama noted that September 2022 release As Above, So Below is her first album “done fully in my home country Zambia. It also happens to be the first album I have my first producer credits, so this is very special to me. I choose to share my culture. I choose to share stories from my country, and I choose to share them in my language with this album and I’m thankful for APRA for recognising and appreciating that.”

Other APRAs winners included Miiesha, The Chats, Tones And I, Casey Barnes, Xavier Rudd and others.

The highlight of the ceremony, however, belonged to Men at Work frontman Colin Hay and the late concerts pioneer Colleen Ironside, both of whom were inducted with the Ted Albert Award for outstanding service to the Australian music industry – arguably the most prestigious award on the industry calendar.

It was the first time in the APRAs’ 41-year history that the Ted Albert Award had been bestowed to two individuals.

Legendary concert promoter Michael Chugg was on hand to induct his good friend Ironside with a tribute that was both hilarious and touching, while Hay was introduced by his long-time friend Kim Gyngell, the Australian comedy actor, and via video messages from collaborator Ringo Starr and actor Zach Braff. Hay put the icing on the cake with a speech that poked fun at the Australian vernacular, included a poem on the experience of climbing the summit of pop music, and a remembrance to his late bandmate Greg Ham.

The APRAs found the perfect note to finish on, with indigenous indie-rock outfit King Stingray performing “Down Under,” which they had previously recorded for a national tourism campaign. Hay joined the band on stage, with an acoustic guitar, for the most-Australian musical moment you’re likely to see in this or any other year.

See the full list of winners below:

Peer-Voted APRA Song of the Year
Title: Say Nothing (feat. MAY-A)
Artist: Flume
Writers: Flume* / Sarah Aarons
Publishers: Kobalt Music Publishing obo Future Classic* / Sony Music Publishing

Ted Albert Award for Outstanding Services to Australian Music
Colin Hay
Colleen Ironside

Songwriter of the Year
Jonathon George / James Hunt / Tyrone Lindqvist
Publisher: Kobalt Music Publishing

Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year
Sampa the Great
Publisher: Kobalt Music Publishing

Most Performed Australian Work
Title: STAY
Artist: The Kid LAROI & Justin Bieber
Writers: The Kid LAROI / Justin Bieber* / Isaac De Boni# / Omer Fedi* / Magnus Hoiberg^ /
Michael Mule# / Charlie Puth+ / Subhaan Rahman^ / Blake Slatkin*
Publishers: Sony Music Publishing / Universal/MCA Music Publishing* /
Warner Chappell Music^ / Kobalt Music Publishing+ / Concord Music Publishing#

Most Performed Alternative Work
Title: Hurtless
Artist: Dean Lewis
Writers: Dean Lewis / Jon Hume*
Publishers: Kobalt Music Publishing / Concord Music Publishing*

Most Performed Blues & Roots Work
Title: We Deserve To Dream
Artist: Xavier Rudd
Writer: Xavier Rudd
Publisher: Sony Music Publishing

Most Performed Country Work
Title: God Took His Time On You
Artist: Casey Barnes
Writers: Casey Barnes / Kaci Brown* / Samuel Gray*
Publishers: Mushroom Music / Kobalt Music Publishing*

Most Performed Dance/Electronic Work
Title: On My Knees
Writers: Jonathon George / James Hunt / Tyrone Lindqvist / Jason Evigan*
Publishers: Kobalt Music Publishing / Sony Music Publishing*

Most Performed Hip Hop / Rap Work
Title: LET’S TROT!
Artist: Brothers & Joel Fletcher
Writers: Brothers / Joel Fletcher*
Publisher: 120 Publishing*

Most Performed Pop Work
Title: STAY
Artist: The Kid LAROI & Justin Bieber
Writers: The Kid LAROI / Justin Bieber* / Isaac De Boni# / Omer Fedi* / Magnus Hoiberg^ /
Michael Mule# / Charlie Puth+ / Subhaan Rahman^ / Blake Slatkin*
Publishers: Sony Music Publishing / Universal/MCA Music Publishing* /
Warner Chappell Music^ / Kobalt Music Publishing+ / Concord Music Publishing#

Most Performed R&B / Soul Work
Title: Still Dream
Artist: Miiesha
Writers: Miiesha* / Lucy Blomkamp* / Stephen Collins
Publisher: Sony Music Publishing*

Most Performed Rock Work
Title: Struck By Lightning
Artist: The Chats
Writers: Matthew Boggis / Joshua Hardy / Eamon Sandwith
Publisher: Universal Music Publishing

Most Performed Australian Work Overseas
Title: Dance Monkey
Artist: Tones And I
Writer: Tones And I
Publishers: Kobalt Music Publishing / Warner Chappell Music

Most Performed International Work
Title: As It Was
Artist: Harry Styles
Writers: Harry Styles / Thomas Hull / Tyler Johnson*
Publishers: Universal Music Publishing / Concord Music Publishing*

Licensee of the Year
Triple M

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