2018 APRA Music Awards return - host, venue, date announced!

Thursday, 22 Feb 2018

Julia Zemiro hosts and Robert Conley returns as musical director

Mark your calendar! The APRA Music Awards, Australia’s longest running contemporary music awards event, turns 36 this year. And, with no sign of slowing down, the Awards return to celebrate the talented songwriters and music publishers that have shined in the past year.

The 2018 APRA Music Awards will be held on Tuesday 10 April at the International Convention Centre Grand Ballroom in Sydney’s Darling Harbour and will follow the tradition of honouring excellence across the music genres of country, blues and roots, urban, dance, pop and rock. The Awards will also feature the announcement of the coveted, peer voted APRA Song of the Year.

Returning to host the event will be multi-talented performer and writer, Julia Zemiro. Well-recognised as the host of the beloved SBS TV show RocKwiz, she is also an outstanding comedian, presenter and music fan.

“For 12 years as the host of Rockwiz, I have had the sweetest gig: working with six generations of Australian artists, watching them work at close range and learning about their trials and tribulations. Hosting the APRA Music Awards is a wonderful celebration of many of these artists, their songwriting skills and the publishers who get them out there. The night itself is a joy: listening to five Song of the Year finalists LIVE, not performed by the artists themselves, but by five different artists. Sometimes an homage. Sometimes a re-invention. Always fascinating. It’s a one-off awards event. See you there!”, said Julia.

The equally multi-talented Robert Conley will return for the fourth time as the APRA Awards musical director. Before arriving in Australia from America over a decade ago, Robert had worked with artists such as Destiny’s Child, Justin Timberlake, Celine Dion, Christina Aguilera and Ricky Martin. Since he has been in Australia he has written and produced with tons of artists from Thelma Plum, A.B. Original, Busby Marou, Grinspoon and Lisa Mitchell to Morgan Evans and Tina Arena, to name a few. He has also launched his own boutique music publishing company, Specific Music, which has signed Dean Lewis amongst a number of other developing artists. Robert will curate the musical performances for the evening.

The event will also mark the final APRA Music Awards to take place under the leadership of outgoing CEO Brett Cottle. With more than 40 years’ service to APRA AMCOS, and 28 of those years as its Chief Executive, Brett has overseen the Awards since 1990 when INXS ruled the airwaves.

“It has been my great privilege to honour Australian songwriters and publishers at every APRA Music Awards since its inaugural event in 1982. Though much has changed over the decades, what has stayed the same since that first year when the likes of Harry Vanda, George Young, his brothers Malcolm and Angus, and Bon Scott all won, is that our songwriters continue to push the boundaries, passionately put in the work, and bravely create songs with meaning”, Brett reminisced.

The nominees of the 2018 APRA Music Awards will be announced on Thursday 15 March.


What will be the APRA Song of the Year? All will be revealed at the 2018 APRA Music Awards in April. Listen to our playlists and see the top 20 contenders listed in alphabetical order by song title below:

Song & Performer Songwriter(s)
BOYS WILL BE BOYS (STELLA DONNELLY)  Stella Donnelly
CADILLAC (ALL OUR EXES LIVE IN TEXAS)  Katherine Wighton, Hannah Crofts, Georgia Mooney, Elana Stone
EVERYDAY’S THE WEEKEND (ALEX LAHEY)  Alex Lahey
FALLIN’ (JESSICA MAUBOY) Ivy Adara, Louis Schoorl, Peter Harding
FIREWOOD AND CANDLES (PAUL KELLY)  Paul Kelly, William Miller
FORGOT MYSELF (JEN CLOHER)  Jen Cloher
HOLD IT TOGETHER (DAN SULTAN)  Dan Sultan, Alexander Burnett
ISN’T IT A PITY (BERNARD FANNING) Bernard Fanning
LAY IT ON ME (VANCE JOY)  James Keogh, Dave Bassett 
MENDED (VERA BLUE)  Andrew Macken, Thomas Macken, Samuel Telford, Celia Pavey pka Vera Blue, Adam Anders 
MURDER TO THE MIND (TASH SULTANA)  Tash Sultana
RUNNING SECOND (AINSLIE WILLS)  Ainslie Wills, Lawrence Folvig
SLEEP DRIFTER (KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD)  Stu Mackenzie
SNOW (ANGUS & JULIA STONE)  Angus Stone, Julia Stone              
STRANGER'S KISS (ALEX CAMERON) Alex Cameron
THAT FAR (6LACK)  Trevor Slade, Daniel Cartisano, Ricardo Valentine, Lucian Blomkamp
WEEKENDS (AMY SHARK)  Amy Billings
WHAT CAN I DO IF THE FIRE GOES OUT? (GANG OF YOUTHS)  David Le'aupepe
YESTERDAY (360 feat Hein Cooper)  Kaelyn Behr, Matthew Colwell, Nicholas Martin, Hein Cooper
YOUTH (TIM ROGERS)  Tim Rogers

Fire up the Top 20 playlist over on Spotify or Apple Music.

See the full list of previous Song of the Year winners here


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