Like its name suggests, Neon Trees is a combination of slick pop hooks and sturdy organic rock roots. Both melodic and hard-hitting, the group’s anthems of adolescent angst, longing and love lost and found are all delivered with heart-on-the-sleeve passion.
After various incarnations, the band released EP Becoming Different People in 2006., which featured the tracks “Snap the Flash”, “Sister Stereo” and “Modern Romantics.” However the band’s major break came in 2008 when it was chosen to support The Killers for a string of dates on the group’s US tour. Subsequently Neon Trees was signed to Mercury with the support of Killers’ drummer Ronnie Vannucci Jr.
“Animal” was the lead single from the group’s major-label debut album Habits, and was produced by friend and singer/guitarist Tim Pagnotta. The song reached number one on the Billboard Alternative chart and won Top Alternative Song at the 2011 Billboard Music Awards. It also peaked at number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 and in Australia reached 25 on the Singles chart.
April 2012 saw the release of their second album Picture Show, featuring the single “Everybody Talks”, also co-written with Tim Pagnotta.
On song writing, Tyler Glenn saids, “I’ve always tried to keep my feet on the ground with my song writing, I try to focus on getting out what I’m thinking and feeling. It’s a tool to help me cope with all the weird things that come into my mind. I’m just happy to have found that outlet.”
Tim Pagnotta is the front man and guitarist for veteran California pop punk rockers, Sugarcult. The band has toured the US, the UK, Japan and Europe, stopping only to make new records. Career highlights include playing the main stage at Warped Tour, opening for Green Day on the band’s American Idiot tour and hitting stages at Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds in the UK as well as Summer Sonic in Japan. The band found fans at modern rock radio and MTV 2 and earned critical acclaim in magazines like Alternative Press. With three studio albums, one live album and DVD, Sugarcult have crafted hit singles (“Bouncing Off the Walls,” “Pretty Girl,” “Stuck in America”) and MTV hits (“Memory,” which was also featured in Burnout 3 and NHL 2005 as well as “She’s the Blade”). These tracks have appeared in films such as National Lampoon’s Van Wilder, Old School, American Wedding and Employee of the Month.
Adam Levine is front man and guitarist for hugely successful US pop outfit Maroon 5. The band has released three studio albums, four live albums and 15 singles. Their 2003 major label album debut Songs About Jane featured the worldwide hits “This Love” and “She Will Be Loved”. Their sophomore album It Won’t Be Soon Before Long was their first US number one, and sold double Platinum in the States.
Hands All Over was released in 2010, producing the hit “Moves Like Jagger” featuring Christina Aguilera. It was the band’s first Top Ten single in the US since “Makes Me Wonder” in 2007 and has sold over four million units in the US alone. In Australia, “Moves Like Jagger” reached number two on the singles chart, stayed there for 10 weeks and achieved Platinum sales accreditation eight times over.
Adam has collaborated with various musical acts including Kanye West (“Heard ‘Em Say”), Alicia Keys (“Wild Horses”), Natasha Bedingfield (“Say It Again”) and more recently on Gym Class Heroes’ track “Stereo Hearts”. In 2009 he also recorded a track “Gotten” for Slash’s first solo album.
Benjamin Levin (aka Benny Blanco)
Benny Blanco is an American songwriter and producer who came to the attention of Internet blogosphere, producing a collaborative EP with Spank Rock. Working with producer Dr. Luke, Benny Blanco helped write and produce number one singles for female pop superstars such as Britney Spears, Katy Perry (“Teenage Dream”, “California Gurls”) and Ke$ha (“Tik Tok”, “We R Who We R”, “Blow”), as well for as artists like Justin Bieber, Mike Posner (“Please Don’t Go”) and Taio Cruz (“Dynamite”). He has had a part in co-writing or co-producing twelve number one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 as well as other Top Ten hits. Benjamin has also become a notable re-mixer, creating edits for Perry, Kylie Minogue and Michael Jackson, among others.
Ammar Malik is an American songwriter. He has co-written several pop songs, most notably Maroon 5’s “Moves Like Jagger” and Gym Class Heroes' “Stereo Hearts” which have both been certified multi-Platinum by the RIAA. In 2011 he tied for 17th place in Songtrust’s publication of the top 20 songwriters.
Other credits include Gym Class Heroes ("Ass Back Home"), Taio Cruz ("Make It Last Forever”), Sean Paul ("Put It on You") and two further tracks for Maroon 5, “Payphone” and “Beautiful Goodbye”.
Johan Schuster (aka Shellback)
Shellback is a songwriter, record producer and musician from Karlshamn, Sweden and is part of Max Martin’s Maratone production studio. Together with Max Martin, he is the co-writer of "So What" and "Raise Your Glass" by Pink, "If U Seek Amy" and "3" by Britney Spears, "DJ Got Us Fallin' in Love" by Usher featuring Pitbull and "Whataya Want from Me" by Adam Lambert.
Johan started out as a drummer in local indie rock bands in Karlshamn, before joining the hardcore/metal scene as a vocalist for the bands Skörda and Blinded Colony. Following the release of Bedtime Prayers though Pivotal Rockordings and extensive touring of Europe with Blinded Colony, Johan left the band in August 2007 to focus on song writing.
The careers of Sky Blu (Skyler Gordy) and Redfoo (Stefan Gordy) began in earnest six years ago after their club anthem “I’m In Miami, Bitch” emerged from the underground club scene and caught the attention of Interscope Records via will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas.
Their first album Party Rock included three further hit singles, “Yes,” “La La La,” and “Shots,” all of which sold over four million copies. The duo was rewarded with a nomination for Best Dance/Electronic Album at the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards.
For a time in 2011 the whole world seemed to move to LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” (featuring Lauren Bennett and GoonRock), the opening round of their second album Sorry for Party Rocking. The track topped iTunes charts in seven countries and spent weeks atop the English pop charts. As further testament to the global love for the song, the vibrant music video passed twenty million views on Vevo in under two months.
“Party Rock Anthem” achieved a massive 11 x Platinum sales in Australia, peaked at number one on the ARIA chart and remained in the Top 50 for more than a year.
David Listenbee (aka GoonRock)
David Listenbee is an American producer and musician. Born in New Jersey, he later moved to California and attended high school with Redfoo (of LMFAO) and will.i.am. He began producing projects for LMFAO in 2009 where he co-produced, co-wrote and performed guest vocals on the song "We Came Here to Party". Following that release, in 2011 he scored his biggest success as a featured artist on LMFAO's "Party Rock Anthem." He sang vocals, co-produced and co-wrote the songt. It became a number one hit on the U. Billboard Hot 100 and other music charts worldwide.
Peter Schroeder (aka Pistol Beats) is an audio engineer and music producer from California.
Jessie J graduated in musical theatre from The Brit School in 2006, along with classmates Adele and Leona Lewis. After recovering from a minor stroke at age 18, she secured a publishing contract with Sony and began penning songs for the likes of Alicia Keys, Chris Brown and Miley Cyrus (“Party in the USA”). She was also part of a girl group called Soul Deep, but left after two years. A true online sensation, she built a huge following and eventually signed with Universal to record her debut album Who You Are.
Her debut UK single “Do It Like A Dude” peaked at number two on the UK charts, whilethe song “Price Tag” took her one step further to number one - not only in the UK but also in France, Ireland and New Zealand.
The album Who You Are reached number two on the album charts in the UK. Other singles from the album were "Nobody's Perfect", "Who's Laughing Now" and "Who You Are", which charted within the top 20 in the UK. The release of the fifth single "Domino" spawned international chart success, peaking at number six on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US and becoming her second UK number one. Jessie J was honoured with the Critic’s Choice at the 2011 Brit Awards.
As of early 2012, Jesse has reportedly sold over 11 million singles and 2.5 million albums worldwide. Aside from her musical career, Jessie J is currently a coach and mentor on television show The Voice UK.
Lukasz Gottwald, better known as Dr. Luke, is a Grammy-nominated American songwriter, record producer and re-mixer. Luke performed with the Saturday Night Live Band for ten seasons until 2007. He has co-written and co-produced a string of commercially successful songs and in 2009 was named one of the Top Ten Producers of the Decade by Billboard. He was also named Songwriter of the Year at the 2010 ASCAP Pop Music Awards.
He has written or produced hits by the likes of Ke$ha, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Kelly Clarkson, Avril Lavigne, Daughtry, Lady Sovereign, Britney Spears, and B.o.B. for tracks: "Since U Been Gone", "Behind These Hazel Eyes", "Who Knew", "U + Ur Hand", "Girlfriend", "About You Now", "I Kissed a Girl", "Hot N Cold", "Circus", "Right Round", "My Life Would Suck Without You", "Party in the U.S.A.", and "Tik Tok” to name a few.
Claude Kelly is an American singer-songwriter. He has a prolific discography and is well known for writing songs for artists such as Britney Spears ("Circus", “Gasoline”), Leona Lewis ("Forgive Me"), Akon, Jason Derulo, Christina Aguilera, Toni Braxton, Tamia, Whitney Houston, Jordin Sparks, Kelly Clarkson ("My Life Would Suck Without You"), Jay Sean, Adam Lambert, The Wanted, Jessie J and Charice.
Claude got his big break when he wrote, "Daddy’s Little Girl" for Frankie J’s 2006 album, Priceless. Claude’s work so impressed Akon that in late 2007, the singer suggested Claude write lyrics to some of his music. One of which was "Forgive Me", written for Leona Lewis’ debut album and produced by Akon respectively.
Another song by Claude, "Hold My Hand" featured Michael Jackson and was the first single to be released from Michael (Jackson's first posthumous studio album).
Claude has since been tapped to write songs for R. Kelly, the Backstreet Boys, Christina Aguilera, Toni Braxton, as well as Melanie Fiona, Adam Lambert and Miley Cyrus' "Party in the U.S.A.", which debuted at #2 on Billboard Hot 100.
Bobby Ray Simmons Jr (aka B.o.B, aka Bobby Ray)
B.o.B introduced himself to the world in 2006 with his mixtape Cloud 9 and has since travelled the world, topped the charts and broken down musical barriers along the way.
With his sophomore album Strange Clouds, the six-time Grammy-nominated rapper/songwriter balances duets with everyone from Lil’ Wayne (on the album’s platinum title track, which landed at number one on iTunes upon its release), to the Dr. Luke-produced single “Both Of Us” (which sees B.o.B rapping opposite Taylor Swift).
His Gold-certified debut album, B.o.B Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray went multi-platinum with breakout hits like “Airplanes” (featuring Haley Williams of Paramore) and “Nothing On You” (featuring Bruno Mars), which was nominated for “Record Of The Year” at the 2010 Grammy Awards.
“Being on the road and getting to record this album all over the planet gave me a chance to bring my fans on a journey with me,” said B.o.B who headlined tours throughout Asia, Russia, Spain and the United Kingdom in 2011. He even received a personal invitation from President Barack Obama to perform at his National Gen44 Summit Kickoff Concert in September 2010.
In just six years, B.o.B has been recognised by nearly every award show - from the American Music Awards and the Grammys, to the BET Awards and the NAACP Image Awards. He’s also been endorsed by a national Adidas campaign.
A graduate of The Brit School (other alumni include Amy Winehouse, Jessie J and Leona Lewis), Adele initially attacted attention with her singles “Daydreamer” and “Hometown Glory”. She signed to XL in 2008 and released her debut album 19, which spawned the single “Chasing Pavements”, a track that reached number two on the UK chart. The album brought her mainstream success in America, and at the 2009 Grammy Awards she received the honour of Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
Her worldwide smash 21 was released in 2011, which topped 19 in terms of critical and commercial success. The album is one of the longest-running number one albums in history. This was propelled by the number one singles “Rollin’ in the Deep” and “Someone Like You”, which both became multi-million sellers and broke chart records across the globe.
“Someone Like You” reached number one in 11 countries and the Top five in many more. By February 2012, the track had sold over seven million copies in the US. Across the globe it was the fifth-best selling digital single, selling 8.2 million downloads. The album earned her six Grammy Awards in 2012 including Album of the Year. She also won Best British Female Solo Artist and British Album of the Year at the Brit Awards. Following the Brit Awards, 21 reached number one for the 21st non-consecutive week on the UK Album Chart.
In Australia, 21 spent 30 non-consecutive weeks at the number one position on the ARIA chart, making it the longest running number one album on the chart in the 21st century.
Paul Epworth is one of the most influential British producers of his generation. His recent production credits in recent times include: Adele’s 21, Florence + The Machine’s Ceremonials, The Big Pink’s Brief History Of Love (including their huge radio hit “Dominos”) and Future This, Foster The People’s Torches, Cee-Lo Green’s The Lady Killer, Friendly Fires’ Pala, Plan B’s The Defamation Of Strickland Banks including the massive “Stay Too Long” single.
He has received nominations in four key 2012 Grammy categories – Record of the Year (“Rollin’ In The Deep” with Adele); Song of the Year (“Rollin’ In The Deep” with Adele); Album of the Year (21 with Adele) and Producer of the Year.
Epworth first rocketed into the public consciousness in 2004 with his work on The Futureheads’ acclaimed eponymous debut album. This was followed by Bloc Party’s Mercury-nominated debut Silent Alarm – the album which came to define the Noughties indie sound. Later, in 2008, he was reunited with his art-rock protégés for Bloc Party’s Intimacy album.
Since that sudden arrival in 2004, he launched the careers of Maxïmo Park and The Rakes, as well as amassing production credits for The Rapture, Babyshambles, Plan B and Kano. In 2007 he assumed joint writing and production duties on Kate Nash’s debut album Made Of Bricks, spawning hits like “Foundations”, “Mouthwash” and “Pumpkin Soup”. He also emerged as an acclaimed electronic artist during this period under the pseudonyms Phones and Epic Man, with remixes for P.Diddy, Muse and Nine Inch Nails under his belt.
He’s produced acclaimed albums by the eclectic Jack Peñate (Everything Is New), the darkly new wave Chapel Club (Palace), and singer Sam Sparro, for whom he also co-wrote several songs. He’s also worked with the legendary Primal Scream (producing two standout tracks from the band’s 2008 album).
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$50,000 top prize for 2013 Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition
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Jonathan Biggins and Clare Bowditch to host 2013 APRA Music Awards
Video Interviews: Get to know the winners of the 2013 Professional Development Awards
Nominations Open for 2013 National Indigenous Music Awards
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