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Aussie Songwriters Compete for $135,000

Tkay Maidza, Julia Jacklin, Just A Gent, Montaigne, Christie Lamb, Zaachariaha Fielding + many more in line for a share of $135,000 cash prize pool

40 Australian songwriters and composers across the categories of Popular Contemporary, Classical, Jazz, Film & Television, Country, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Dance/Electronic have today been announced as finalists in the 2017 APRA PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AWARDS (PDAs). This year, 60% of the finalists are women, and the PDAs shortlist features an exciting mix of songwriters and composers including many whose profiles are already on the rise. From Tkay Maidza, Julia Jacklin and Montaigne, to classical composer Katy Abbott, country singer-songwriter Christie Lamb, jazz singer and composer Daniel Susnjar, electronic artist Jacob Grant (pka Just A Gent) and screen composer Amy Bastow, the 2017 finalists highlight the strength of local songwriting talent. Held every two years, the APRA PDAs create serious opportunities for emerging songwriters and composers - just ask previous winners Gotye, Abbe May, Timothy Carroll, Ruby Boots, Briggs, Vassy, Jeremy Rose and screen composer Caitlin Yeo who have all benefited from this career boosting initiative. A panel of local judges comprising Lior, Mia Dyson, Johannes Luebbers, James Blundell, Brooke McClymont, Cat Hope, Dan Zilber, Kevin Bennett, Leah Flanagan, John Ferris and more have determined this group of music creators who are in the running to take home a career-changing cash prize of $15,000. Five finalists have also been named for the Indigenous Music and Media Award from Smugglers of Light, a foundation set up in memory of Eli Westlake, who was tragically killed in 2008 at the age of 21. Eric Avery, Gina Williams, Jessica Hitchcock, Yirrmal Marika and Zaachariaha Fielding are all in the running to receive this very special award and a grant of $12,000. The winners of the APRA PDAs will be announced on 25 July 2017. Without further ado, drum roll please for the finalists of the 2017 APRA PDAs: POPULAR CONTEMPORARY

(3 Awards will be given in this category including Pop, Rock, Blues, Folk, Hip Hop, Dance and R&B) Ainslie Wills, Dave Crowe, Elizabeth Mitchell, Hannah Cameron, Hannah Crofts, Jessica Cerro pka Montaigne, Julia Jacklin, Peter Harding pka Thief, Sophie Payten pka Gordi and Tkay Maidza ABORIGINAL TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER Benjamin Walker, Jess Beck, Joseph Dargan pka Lucky Luke, Robbie Miller and Zaachariaha Fielding CLASSICAL Amanda Cole, Julian Day, Katy Abbott, Nicole Murphy and Tristan Coelho COUNTRY Christie Lamb, Danielle Blakey, Fanny Lumsden, Kaylee Bell and Timothy James Bowen DANCE/ELECTRONIC Jacob Grant pka Just a Gent, Laura Lowther pka Kučka, Nat Conway, Nicholas Drabble pka Set Mo and Oscar Key Sung FILM & TELEVISION Amy Bastow, Angela Little, Claire Deak, Damien Lane and Pru Montin JAZZ Andrea Keller, Daniel Susnjar, Kristin Berardi, Sam Anning and Steve Barry SMUGGLERS OF LIGHT Eric Avery, Gina Williams, Jessica Hitchcock, Yirrmal Marika and Zaachariaha Fielding A playlist featuring the work of PDAs finalists is available on Spotify.


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