Dance Work of the Year - 2011

Title: Chemical Rush
Artist: Brian McFadden
Writers: Brian McFadden*/Antonio Egizii#/David Musumeci#/James Maas
Publishers: Sony/ATV Music Publishing Australia Pty Ltd*/ EMI Music Publishing Australia Pty Ltd#

In a former incarnation, Brian McFadden was part of the million selling Irish pop sensation Westlife.  "Chemical Rush" is the second single released from McFadden's third solo album, Wall Of Soundz. The track came in at Number 26 on the end of year Top 50 Dance Singles of 2010 and Number 36 on the Top 50 Australian Singles of 2010.

The album began life as a side-project cooked up when McFadden met American songwriter/producer Rob Conley, the secret weapon behind hits for Darren Hayes and Axle Whitehead. Conley’s specialty is synthesized soundscapes, dance beats and electro pop and he soon had McFadden leaving his acoustic guitar at home as they met in the middle of their respective talents to create their new direction.

“I’d never considered working like that before,” McFadden says. “In the old days it was always sit down with a guitar, work out the chord, sing some melodies. On Wall of Soundz only one song, “Mr Alien”, started from being written on acoustic guitar, the rest we’d sit down with synths and work out beats or loops and build the song up from there.”

For a man best known for tender ballads and acoustic-driven love songs it was a musical revelation.  After tip-toeing into the electronic genre with the hit “Twisted”, Wall of Soundz sees Brian McFadden pushing new personal and musical boundaries. While he’s dabbled in production in the past, it’s also the first time McFadden has shared a producer’s credit.

McFadden has a few friends along for the ride. First single “Just Say So” features US star Kevin Rudolf. The song debuted at Number 1 on the ARIA singles chart and stayed there for three weeks and has achieved Platinum sales status in Australia. The track was also nominated for Most Popular Australian Single at the 2010 ARIAs.  “Not Now” is a collaboration with up and coming Australian band Amy Meredith – another act Conley is producing. Amy Meredith frontman Christian Lo Russo shares vocals with McFadden – his first male duet since Bryan Adams, while Amy Meredith’s Joel Christian also co-wrote the track.

From the catchy and autotune heavy Chemical Rush (“I’ve done enough live shows that people know I can sing, it’s just an effect make the vocal a sound not a voice”) to the haunting “Mr Alien”, the album also features its own ``mini-symphony” with “When You Coming Home”.

James Maas

James Maas is a solo singer songwriter from Sydney who combines, pop, dance, electro and R&B to create a sound that is quintessentially his own.     

Maas first came to the attention of Dennis Handlin, Chairman, Sony BMG Australia, and radio broadcaster Alan Jones.  With their help he has been able to develop his career as a music artist and join forces with producers David Musumeci and Anthony Egizii (DNA songs) with whom he has been working on his debut album.     During recording with David and Anthony, James found a mentor and musical collaborator in Brian McFadden, and ended up working with McFadden on the track ''Chemical Rush''.  

James has recently been signed to management with the King Kyle Group.

Antonio Egizii & David Musumeci (DNA Songs)

DNA SONGS is David Musumeci and Anthony Egizii – Sydney based writer/producers who have been working prolifically over the last 10 years and have achieved an incredible list of songwriting and production credits (please see below).

DNA have written and produced for Shannon Noll, Jessica Mauboy, Ricki Lee Coulter, Amy Pearson, Deni Hines, Christine Anu, Dean Geyer, Casey Donovan and Kate Alexa, and more recently with artists Marvin Priest, Brian McFadden, Zoe Badwi, Holly Martin and Chris Sorbello.

DNA co- wrote and produced the song “Don’t Miss You” by Amy Pearson which reached the Top 20 on the national ARIA chart and sold over 35,000 copies in 2008, certified gold – the song was also successful in South Africa when it was recorded by South African Idol winners NKD in 2008 and released both as a single and on their debut album in April 2009.

DNA were enlisted by high profile TV Producer Jonathan M. Shiff (Ocean Girl, H2O Just Add Water) to write and produce the soundtrack for the second season of H2O Just Add Water Season 2, released by Mushroom – the TV Series was picked up in over 130 countries worldwide.

DNA composed and arranged “The Spirit Of Life” for the 2000 Paralympic Games performed by industry heavy weights such as Ray Charles, Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight, Jermaine Jackson, All 4 One, Jimmy Barnes, Marcia Hines and Az Yet.

DNA also collaborated with dance/club artist Chris Sorbello in 2009 on seven songs, two of which SO LONELY and DANGERZONE were released through Ministry Of Sound/Universal – SO LONELY reached the ARIA Top 40 and ARIA Top 10 club chart and was also included on 3 MOS compilations in 2010.

DNA secured 4 co-writes on the Brian McFadden album WALL OF SOUNDZ including the second single CHEMICAL RUSH which reached No.12 on the national ARIA chart and stayed in the Top 50 for 8 week and reached gold status with sales in excess of 35,000 units.

DNA are currently working with new Island/Universal artist Marvin Priest, son of reggae pop legend Maxi Priest. DNA co-wrote Marvin’s debut single for the label entitled OWN THIS CLUB – the song has been certified platinum plus with over 70,000 sales with a # 6 national ARIA position, # 1 on the Hot 30 and a Top 5 iTunes hit – just upon release the song was used as a promo with Arena TV for their March 2011 lineup. DNA will continue to write with Marvin for his album release scheduled for mid 2011.

Title: Free Fallin
Artist: Zoe Badwi
Writers: Amy Pearson*/Cameron Denny#/Paul Zala#
Publisher: EMI Music Publishing Australia Pty Ltd*/PeppermintBlue Publishing administered by Warner Chappell Music Australia Pty Ltd#

Amy Pearson

Amy Pearson is an Birmingham-born singer-songwriter living in Australia. Whilst working at a production company in 2003, Amy came to the attention of Gary Barlow (from Take That), one of the UK’s most successful and talented songwriters. Impressed with Amy’s natural talent and anticipating a huge music career for her, Barlow initiated global industry introductions that had her working closely with SonyBMG Australia’s future A&R director.

Through this connection and a certain twist of fate, Amy Pearson found herself moving to Australia and signing to SonyBMG at 17 years of age. Her debut album Who I Am was released April 2008. She is best known for her single "Don't Miss You" which peaked at Number 19 on the ARIA Singles Chart in 2007.

Cameron Denny (aka Kam Denny) and Paul Zala – “Denzal Park”

Whether releasing killer number one original tracks, remixing for internationally acclaimed artists or showing off their wares at the country’s biggest clubs and festivals, Denzal Park have enjoyed a meteoric rise to the upper echelons of the dance music scene.

Kam Denny and Paul Zala have worked together for just three short years. When Zala first approached Denny in a Melbourne club with a fistful of demos, Denny liked what he heard and before too long the pair’s iconic remake of CeCe Peniston’s “Finally” hit the coveted number one spot on Beatport. Signed locally to Australia’s leading Dance label - Neon Records, Denzal Park quickly rose to become a tour de force production team, with their signature sound of uplifting melodies and precise production dominating airwaves, dance floors and charts.

Not content with their own hits “Filterfreak”, “Ascension”, and “I’m a Drum Machine” sprinting to the business end of the ARIA Club Chart, the lads also wrote and produced the music for 2010’s biggest Australian crossover hit, Zoe Badwi’s platinum-selling “Free Fallin’”. Remixing the likes of Dirty South, Wynter Gordon, Axtone Records, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Full Intentionand numerous others is all part of a day’s work for this prolific music machine.

No stranger to success, Kam Denny came to the attention of international heavyweights over a decade ago as 16th Element, with Warp and Well Strung gaining massive global acclaim. Denny then steered the Vandalism/ ship until 2009, putting his unique stamp on a mile long list of international remixes and productions. Newcomer Paul Zala has quickly cemented his place as a premium artist, with his incredible musical talent and unrivalled ear for melody complemented by Denny’s robust production experience.

Title: Hello
Artist: The Potbelleez
Writers: Ilan Kidron*/Jonathan Murphy*/David Greene*/Justin Shave*/Marisa Lock
Publishers: MCDJ Music/Universal Music Publishing Pty Ltd*

Since 2007, fast-rising Sydney-based dance phenomenon the Potbelleez have played over 250 shows and sold 250,000 singles. The Potbelleez first major single "Don't Hold Back" spent an incredible 17 weeks at Number 1 on the ARIA Dance Chart in 2008, selling in excess of 120,000 copies. This undisputed ‘hands in the air’ anthem earned the band 3 ARIA nominations and was named "Number 1 Most Played Australian Song on TV and Radio" in 2008.

Amidst the excitement of their massive debut single the band managed to produce an exceptional follow up single “Are You With Me” which hit the ground running as Australian radio’s Number 1 Most Added Song to national playlists. This track was an instant hit on the ARIA Charts peaking at 15 and going Gold with sales over 50,000.

In 2010 the band settled into Wonderland studio (Bondi Beach) to write and record their second album Destination Now, co-produced by ARIA award winning Paul Mac and Justin Shave.  The first single “Hello” was the Number 1 Most Added track to Australian radio and Number 1 on the iTunes Dance Chart.   The album is slated for release in late May 2011.

The Potbelleez’ legendary live show has hit every major festival in the country including Global Gathering, MTV Snowjam, Future Music Festival, Good Vibrations, We Love Sounds, Homebake and the MTV Awards, as well as headlining incredible events such as The Australian Grand Prix, ‘A-League’ Football Grand Final, Channel 10’s live NYE broadcast at Darling Harbour and the Australian Idol Finale.

Previous APRA Music Awards
2009     Dance Work of the Year  Don't Hold Back David Greene*^ / Ilan Kidron*^ / Jonathan Murphy*^ / Sam Littlemore*

Justin Shave

Justin Shave (aka Shave) is an Australian music producer/composer and part of Sydney based music production team Uncanny Valley.  Shave’s initial foray into production was as one half of Sydney’s [love] Tattoo, penning Fat Boy Slim favourite “Drop Some Drums” and ARIA nominated club classic “The Bass has Got Me Movin’”.  In 2003 he formed pop dance act Etherfox, releasing Latin house anthem "The Whirled You Live" through Ministry of Sound, before relocating to Europe in 2005. Based primarily in London, he collaborated with (and was signed by) the UK’s Shapeshifters, breaks pioneers Stanton Warriors and ex-Sugarbabes Mutya Buena. His work on four Top10 UK and Top 5 Billboard dance productions for the Hed Kandi label drew the attention of the godfather of French disco, Cerrone, for whom he produced two platinum selling tracks featuring house diva Katherine Ellis (of Freemasons fame).

During 2008 he co-wrote and produced Darren Hayes’ (of 25 million selling duo Savage Garden) 3rd solo album This Delicate Thing We’ve Made.  Shave toured extensively with Hayes as Musical Director, performing keytar on stages from Moscow to Chicago. His expertise in the technical field led him to Berlin where he wowed Native Instruments with his custom-built machine, the Okkam 01.

Title: Magic Fountain
Artist: Art Vs Science
Writers: James Finn/Daniel McNamee/Daniel Williams
Publisher: Kobalt Music Publishing Australia Pty Ltd

Art vs. Science formed in Sydney in 2008, with Jim Finn on vocals and keyboards; Dan McNamee (Dan Mac) on vocals, guitars and keyboards; and Dan Williams (Dan W.) on drums and vocals.

After initially winning Triple J’s Splendour in the Grass Unearthed in 2008 they joined the festival fray playing at Parklife, Falls and Good Vibrations, and even received an Unearthed J Award nomination.  

Their self-titled debut EP was released in 2009 and reached Number 6 on the iTunes download chart and peaked at Number 32 on the Australian Singles Chart.  Subsequently they were nominated at the 2009 ARIA Music Awards for Breakthrough Artist Single, and received two AIR Award nominations for Best Independent Single and Breakthrough New Independent Artist, and won the AIR Award category of Best Independent Dance Album.   The band's song "Parlez Vous Francais?" was also voted in at Number 2 on the Triple J Hottest 100 for 2009.

The band released its second EP, Magic Fountain, in August 2010 and reached No. 14 on the Australian singles charts. The band received three nominations at the 2010 ARIA Music Awards, Best Dance Release, Best Independent Release and Best Video for “Magic Fountain”.  

Art vs. Science signed with Kobalt Music Australia, the label's first local signing, and their album, The Experiment, was released in Australia in February 2011.  It debuted at Number 2 on the ARIA Album chart, toppling Rhianna’s latest release into Number 3.  "Magic Fountain" is the second single from The Experiment and came in at Number 9 on Triple J's Hottest 100 of 2010.

Title: Sometimes
Artist: Miami Horror
Writers: Benjamin Plant/Daniel Whitechurch/Joshua Heptinstall

Illumination is the debut album from Melbourne’s favourite psychedelic indie-electronic adventurers Miami Horror. With Illumination, Miami Horror has delivered on two years of teeth-cutting live shows and an ever-escalating wave of musical buzz the world over.

Electro boffin Ben Plant kick started Miami Horror out of a love of Roland keyboards and French house, landing himself on Pitchfork’s hot-list overnight and copping a barrage of high profile remix requests from the likes of Datarock, PNAU and The Presets.

Yet it was while Ben was punching out 2008’s epochal Bravado EP that Miami Horror took off in a completely new direction.  Ben rewired Miami Horror’s genetic makeup, deputising the talents of Josh Moriarty, Aaron Shanahan and Daniel Whitechurch to form a new live band persona of Miami Horror, a whole new beast immeasurably more exciting than before.

Miami Horror has since launched into new stratospheres, their well-polished chops as a group making for some unmissable sets at Australia’s biggest festivals, and that’s not to mention some A-list support slot call ups for everyone from Phoenix, Friendly Fires and La Roux to a hand-picked hook up from Lily Allen.

Recorded in Ben’s own studio in Melbourne, Illumination saw the band call in a cast of guest stars including Swedish singer MAI, Melbourne based chanteuse Kimbra, Dappled Cities’ wordsmith Tim Derricourt for a lyrical assist and also Neon Indian and Vega prodigy Alan Palomo who flew out from the US to add his distinctive haze to multiple tunes (“Soft Light”, “Holidays”, “Ultraviolet”).