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Vanda & Young Shortlist Revealed

A slew of Queensland artists have made the shortlist for the prestigious 2019 Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition, going into the running for the $50K Grand Prize.

Having made the shortlist previously in 2013 and 2016, Emma Louise is again nominated with Wish You Well, the lead single from her stunning 2018 album Lilac Everything, making the cut this year.

Jarryd James is another repeat finalist for Slow Motion, a song co-written with hit-maker Joel Little - the same songwriting partnership responsible for his smash single Do You Remember which made the list in 2016. 

Other Queenslanders to crack the shortlist include recent Carol Lloyd Award winner Sahara Beck, Wafia & pop-star siblings The Veronicas. QMA 2019 Song of the Year winner Clea Pratt has also been recognised, with a songwriting credit on Austin, TX based artist Max Frost's shortlisted track Money Problems.

The shortlisted songs were selected from a total of 3,683 entries from 48 countries. The Top 40 features 23 first-time entrants with a third of the songs categorised as ‘unpublished.’ 

Four top winners will be announced in July. At stake is a first-place career-changing cash prize of $50,000 courtesy of APRA AMCOS, Alberts and BMG. Two runners-up cash prizes are also on offer with second place receiving $10,000 thanks to AMPAL (Australasian Music Publishers Association) and third place taking home $5,000 courtesy of Aon, and best ‘Unpublished’ work will be awarded $5,000. 

The winning songs will be judged by a range of music industry professionals, including award-winning songwriter Lior, previous Vanda & Young first-place winner Isabella Manfredi of The Preatures, triple j Unearthed’s Dave Ruby Howe, producer Franc Tetaz and more.

Through their collective efforts, songwriters helped raise a total $184,150 for Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Australia (NRMTA), with the full $50 entry fee going towards funding the organisation’s transformative programs.


“It means the world to our organisation and the children and adults we work with daily to have the support of over 3,600 songwriters from around the globe, whose competition entry fees go directly to providing much needed resources for a range of therapies and programs. A heartfelt thank you to Alberts and APRA AMCOS for championing this initiative for the past decade and thank you to songwriting legends Harry Vanda and George Young who continue to inspire.”

Belinda Leonard

In 2018, Gold Coast singer and songwriter Amy Shark took out the top prize for her haunting pop anthem Adore, joining an impressive roll-call of past winners including Gretta Ray (2016), Husky Gawenda (2014), The Preatures (2013), Kimbra (2011)and Megan Washington (2009).

Named after the iconic songwriters and founding members of The Easybeats, Harry Vanda and the late George Young, the competition raises funds for NRMTA and its work with children and adults with physical and intellectual disabilities, autism, trauma, illness, dementia, behaviour disorders and learning difficulties. 

Click below to view the complete shortlist for the 2019 Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition.

View Shortlist


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