DMA’S, Gordi among finalists for APRA AMCOS’ Vanda & Young songwriting competition

The winner will take home $50,000

Tracks by Gordi, DMA’S and Thelma Plum are among the forty finalists for this year’s Vanda & Young Global Songwriting Competition, spearheaded by APRA AMCOS.

The three aforementioned artists each have two songs nominated for the prize — the most of any entrant.

Plum’s ‘Better In Blak’ and ‘Homecoming Queen’ proved popular with selectors, as did ‘Life Is A Game Of Changing’ and ‘Criminals’ by DMA’S. Gordi’s tracks ‘Extraordinary Life’ and ‘Volcanic’ are also featured in the Top 40.


Tash Sultana (‘Pretty Lady’), Ruel (‘Painkiller’), The Teskey Brothers (‘Rain’), Lime Cordiale (‘Robbery’) and Carla Geneve (‘The Right Reasons’) are among the other artists with tracks on the shortlist. Click here to view the full list of finalists.

The winner of the contest will receive a cool $50,000, with second and third place taking home $10,000 and $5,000, respectively. An anonymous donation has meant ten additional runners-up will receive $1,000 in prize money this year.

Per a press release, more than twenty of the tracks in this year’s Top 40 were penned by unpublished songwriters. These finalists will be eligible for the $5,000 AMPAL Emerging Songwriter Prize, which has previously been taken out by Mallrat and Kaiit.

This year’s judging panel includes singer-songwriter Lior, producer Robert Conley, triple j Unearthed’s Dave Ruby Howe as well as representatives from APRA AMCOS, Amazon Music and Universal Music.

All proceeds from the competition’s $50 entry fee have been donated to Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Australia. Thanks to a record number of entrants, the contest has raised $203,000 for its partner charity.


“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,” APRA AMCOS CEO, Dean Ormston, said in a statement.

“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”.

Named for Harry Vanda and George Young, the songwriting duo behind The Easybeats, previous winners of the annual music prize include Gretta Ray, Amy Shark and Megan Washington.