2019 Professional Development Awards Finalists Announced

Tuesday, 03 Sep 2019

Baker Boy, Tones and I, Angie McMahon and many more in line for a share of $135,000 cash prize pool

The 40 finalists for the 2019 APRA PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AWARDS (PDAs) have been revealed today, showcasing a range of Australian songwriting and composing talent across the categories of Popular Contemporary, Art Music, Jazz, Film & Television, Country, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Dance/Electronic.

With profiles steadily on the rise, this year’s ‘shortlist’ includes hip-hop artist Ziggy Ramo, chart-topping pop artist Tones and I, singer-songwriters Marlon Williams and Mojo Juju, Americana artist Gretta Ziller, classical composer Amanda Cole, jazz drummer and composer Daniel Susnjar, electronic artist and producer Beatrice Lewis, screen composer Angela Little and more, with women representing 52% of the finalists.

Held every two years, the APRA PDAs create serious opportunities for emerging songwriters and composers - previous winners Gotye, Ainslie Wills, Timothy Carroll, Ruby Boots, Briggs, Vassy, Jeremy Rose and screen composer Caitlin Yeo have all benefited from this career-boosting initiative.

A panel of local judges comprising Lior, Jenny Morris, Jonathan Zwartz, Brooke McClymont, Cat Hope, Dan Zilber, Leah Flanagan, Tania Doko, Francois Tetaz and more have determined this group of music creators who are in the running to each take home a career-changing cash prize of $15,000. A complete list of this year’s PDAs judges can be found here.

Eight 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. The award provides a promising Australian Indigenous music or media practitioner with a grant of $12,000. 

The winners will be announced on Wednesday 25 September 2019. 

Without further ado, the finalists for the 2019 APRA PDAs:

POPULAR CONTEMPORARY (3 Awards will be given in this category including Pop, Rock, Blues, Folk, Hip Hop, Dance and R&B)
Angie McMahon
Charlotte Thorpe (Charlz)
Dave Crowe (Resin Moon)
Ecca Vandal
Maaike Lebbing (Kito)
Marlon Williams
Martha Brown (Banoffee)
Mojo Juju
Rainbow Chan
Toni Watson (Tones and I)

ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER
Allara Briggs Pattison
Danzal Baker (Baker Boy) 
Deline Briscoe
Rhyan Clapham (DOBBY)
Ziggy Ramo

ART MUSIC
Amanda Cole
Colin Black
Natasha Anderson
Tilman Robinson
Wally Gunn

COUNTRY
Casey Barnes
Gretta Ziller
Imogen Clark
Melanie Dyer
Sarah Grace Buckley

ELECTRONIC/DANCE
Beatrice Lewis
Elise Reitze-Swensen (Feels)
James Vincent (JIM ALXNDR)
Jock Nowell-Usticke (BAYNK)
Mark Maxwell

FILM & TELEVISION
Angela Little 
Jed Palmer
Matthew Chin
Piers Burbrook de Vere
Pru Montin

JAZZ
Daniel Susnjar
Kristin Berardi
Matthew Keegan
Niran Jay Dasika
Steve Barry

SMUGGLERS OF LIGHT
Dan Riches (Ardiol Media)
Daniel Rankine (Trials)
Jessica Hitchcock
Kirsty Lee Akers
Miiesha Young
Mi-Kaisha Masella
Patrick Mau (Mau Power)
Richie Guymala (Black Rock Band)

Stream music from the finalists at Apple Music and Spotify.


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