The Australian music community was back in full swing to recognise the achievements of songwriters across the musical spectrum and to celebrate their publishers at the 2023 APRA Music Awards.
Flume and co-writer Sarah Aarons have taken out the Peer-Voted APRA Song of the Year with Say Nothing (feat MAY-A), the lead single from Flume’s third studio album Palaces. Both songwriters are multiple APRA Music Award winners, and both have been previously named Songwriter of the Year (Flume 2017 and Sarah Aarons 2019).
Songwriter of the Year is Jonathon George, James Hunt and Tyrone Lindqvist, professionally known as Grammy Award-winning EDM kings RÜFÜS DU SOL. They also took out the Most Performed Dance / Electronic Work for On My Knees. In a statement about the song, James Hunt said: “For this song we had a lot of fun writing something that was darker, driving and a little more edgy. It’s definitely one of the most banging tracks on the record.” These are the first-ever APRA Music Award wins for RÜFÜS DU SOL.
Sampa the Great has been named Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year by the APRA Board of Writer and Publisher Directors. The Zambian-born artist has become one of Australia’s most formidable songwriters.
The Kid LAROI, 2022 APRA Songwriter of the Year, has won two APRA Music Awards. STAY is the Most Performed Australian Work for 2023, and the song (co-written with Justin Bieber), which continues to dominate the nation’s airwaves, is also the Most Performed Pop Work.
Winning her first ever APRA Music Award is soulful songwriter Miiesha who, with co-writers Lucy Blomkamp and Stephen Collins created the beautiful and sparse Still Dream, which is the Most Performed R&B / Soul Work.
Taking out Most Performed Rock Work and their very first APRA Music Award is Sunshine Coast rockers The Chats with Struck By Lightning. Also with their maiden win is Brothers, who with producer, and co-writer Joel Fletcher, have taken out the Most Performed Hip Hop / Rap Work for Let’s Trot!
Two more first-time APRA Music Award winners are Casey Barnes and Xavier Rudd, who win the Most Performed Country Work and Most Performed Blues & Roots Work respectively. Casey lands the award for his country ballad God Took His Time On You, while Xavier delivers a tribute to the natural world in While We Deserve To Dream.
The songwriting collaboration of Dean Lewis and Jon Hume has again seen them score an APRA Award for the breakup ballad Hurtless which is the Most Performed Alternative Work.
Tones And I and her worldwide hit Dance Monkey is the Most Performed Australian Work Overseas for the second year in a row.
APRA Music Awards: Ted Albert Award shared
Comedian, film, television, and stage actor Kim Gyngell was on hand to present Colin Hay with the Ted Albert Award for Outstanding Services to Australian Music. There were heavyweight tributes from The Beatles drummer Ringo Starr (Colin plays in the Ringo Starr And His All Starr Band) and actor Zach Braff, who featured the Colin Hay song I Just Don’t Think I’ll Ever Get Over You in his feature film Garden State. The Ted Albert award is shared in 2023 with the late promoter Colleen Ironside, who was honoured posthumously by friend, concert promoter Michael Chugg.
Kim Gyngell and Colin Hay. Top image: Hay with King Stingray after performing Down Under. Photos: Tony Mott
As previously announced, the Licensee of the Year was awarded to the Triple M network for their excellent music citizenship, while smash hit As It Was by Harry Styles (with co-writers Thomas Hull and Tyler Johnson) is the Most Performed International Work.
Musical Director François Tétaz curated the APRA Music Award live performances for the event which included the five tributes for the Peer-Voted Song of the Year nominees. Yirrmal, with band Darren Middleton, Ben Hakalitz, Dallas Frasca, Schrav and Chris Pearson took on Lupa by King Stingray. Melbourne songstress Queenie reinterpreted I Feel Electric by Daniel Johns, Maxwell Bidstrup and Mark Landon. Becca Hatch, with Lucy Blomkamp, Caleb Williams, Thom Crawford and Skarlett Saramore put their sultry spin on Julia Jacklin’s Lydia Wears a Cross, while Bumpy, Folk Bitch Trio, and Sam Anning, Stephen Magnusson and Erkki Veltheim performed One Song by the late Uncle Archie Roach. With their unique take on Say Nothing, the APRA Song of the Year written by Flume and Sarah Aarons was Perth band Alter Boy. Ruel, Beau Golden and Daniel Walsh performed Overkill (written by Colin Hay). And finally, delivering their rousing rendition of the Men At Work classic Down Under (Under One Sun) was King Stingray, joined on stage by none other than Ted Albert recipient, Down Under co-writer, Colin Hay.
The 2023 APRA Music Awards was held at ICC Sydney, on Gadigal land with hosts Celia Pacquola, Fred Leone and Henry Wagons. National News Corp music writer Kathy McCabe was on hand to present and accept the Songwriter of the Year award on behalf of RÜFÜS DU SOL.
Triple M wins 2023 Licensee of the Year award from APRA AMCOS
Learn more about APRA AMCOS.