Winners for the 2012 APRA Music Awards announced

Thursday, 24 May 2012

World-beating songwriter Wally De Backer (aka Gotye) has tonight added to his accolades by taking out three APRA Music Awards, including the coveted, peer-voted APRA Song of the Year.

APRA (Australasian Performing Right Association) is proud to reveal the winners of the 2012 APRA Music Awards, announced this evening during a red carpet event at the Parkside Ballroom, Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre. Hosted by Jonathan Biggins and Missy Higgins, the awards have celebrated composers and songwriters across 12 categories who have achieved excellence in their craft over the last year.

At tonight’s 30th anniversary event for the APRA Music Awards, Wally De Backer (and Luiz Bonfa’s) global smash hit Somebody That I Used To Know walked away with the top prize (APRA Song of the Year) and has also won the category of Most Played Australian Work. The APRA Board of Writer and Publisher Directors has also rewarded Wally De Backer with the crown of Songwriter of the Year. This caps off a staggering year for Wally De Backer. His haunting break-up ode, Somebody That I Used To Know (from the album Making Mirrors) featuring a sample from Luiz Bonfa’s classic song Seville, has become a chart-topping hit in 11 countries around the world. It was number one for eight weeks on the Australian singles chart and recently hit the coveted number-one spot on the American Billboard chart – a feat not achieved by an Australian artist since Savage Garden in 2000. The single also won triple j’s Hottest 100 in 2011, took out Single of the Year, Best Pop Release and Best Video, with Gotye himself winning Best Male Artist and Producer of the Year at the 2011 ARIA Awards. The statistics on this song (and its accompanying video clip) grow daily, but what we’ve witnessed is a songwriter at the top of his game. Part fanatical recording boffin, part pop genius, Wally De Backer is the APRA 2012 Songwriter of the Year.

The APRA Board of Directors have named Killian Gavin, Jonathon Hart, Timothy Hart, David Hosking and Jacob Tarasenko (Boy & Bear) the Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year for their songwriting achievements on the debut album Moonfire. The phenomenal success of their 2010 EP, With Emperor Antarctica, transformed the Sydney quintet from promising newcomers to bonafide international sensations, helping them land two songs in triple j's 2010 Hottest 100. With all these accolades Boy & Bear found themselves perfectly placed to take things to the next level for their first full-length effort Moonfire. The first single Feeding Line led the way and saw Boy & Bear shift effortlessly into darker, deeper moods, melding huge atmospheres with sonic adventurousness. “Honesty resonates,” says lead vocalist David Hosking. “And I think that if it resonates with you as a writer, then it is going to resonate with the listener as well. I think that just happens naturally.”

Shane Nicholson, one of Australia’s most prolific songwriters, has taken out the Country Work of the Year category with Famous Last Words. Music critics have been unanimous in their praise of Shane Nicholson and have delivered high praise for the lyrical depth of Shane’s songs and the extent of his honest and emotional vocal delivery.

The Blues & Roots Work of the Year has gone to first-time APRA nominees Busby Marou for the emotive Biding My Time from the band’s debut self-titled album. Hailing from Rockhampton, the duo of Tom Busby and Jeremy Marou last year won the Deadly Award for ‘Most Promising New Talent in Music’. The duo are a rare musical talent with a distinctly Australian way of sharing stories has developed into a unique song writing flavour - roots tinged with cracking harmonies, breathtaking musicianship and a natural feel for each others guitars.

The Potbelleez (David Green, Ilan Kidron, Marisa Lock and Jonathan Murphy) along with co-writer Justin Shave has received the APRA Award in the category of Dance Work of the Year for From The Music, a song which reached number one on the ARIA Australian Singles chart, made it into the Top 100 Singles chart of 2011 and has achieved Platinum sales in Australia.

Marvin Priest, the son of reggae royalty Maxi Priest has taken out the category of Urban Work of the Year, along with co-writers Antonio Egizii and David Musumeci for Own This Club, Priest’s official debut solo single and collaboration with Sydney-based hit makers, DNA Songs. Own This Club peaked at #6 on the ARIA chart and stayed in the top 10 for 10 weeks with over 250,000 downloads.

Rock Work of the Year has gone to Birds of Tokyo for Wild at Heart, the third single from the band’s self-titled album.  Featuring uplifting guitar riffs within dark and driving introspective rock lyrics, the single achieved Gold status and was voted number 47 in triple j’s Hottest 100 of 2010. More recently, in 2012 the band has been recording its new album in LA.

It is the second-highest-selling single in Australian history, and now the irresistibly catchy Party Rock Anthem by LMFAO (written by LMFAO members Skyler Gordy and Stefan Gordy along with co-writers David Listenbee and Peter Schroeder) has won International Work of the Year. Heard in clubs and at parties all over the planet, the song has been number one on music charts around the globe including Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.

AC / DC has won the APRA Award for Most Played Australian Work Overseas for the rock n’ roll classic Highway to Hell, written by Bon Scott and the 2010 APRA Songwriters of the Year Angus and Malcolm Young. The song was released way back in 1979, but continues to prove that old is gold.

Widely respected talent agent Mary Lopez was presented with the 2012 Ted Albert Award For Outstanding Services to Australian Music. Mary’s flair for capturing the spirit of Australia through themed productions, huge cast variety spectaculars and ceremonial events is legendary. With her unique talent for bringing together a dazzling range of musical and dramatic performers, Mary is committed to helping young people be the best they can be.

Subscription television partner MAX will broadcast an exclusive APRA Music Awards special on MAX on TUESDAY 12TH JUNE at 8.00PM along with an encore presentation at 10.30am on THURSDAY JUNE 14TH. Featuring exclusive interviews from the red carpet and backstage, as well as a wrap up of all the award winners, this is a special broadcast not to be missed! MAX is available on FOXTEL and AUSTAR.

The 2012 APRA Music Awards were hosted by Jonathan Biggins and Missy Higgins, and featured performances by Tina Arena with Tex Perkins (performing their rendition of APRA Song of the Year Somebody That I Used To Know), Kate Miller-Heidke (who performed The Beards You Should Consider Having Sex With a Bearded Man) , Bob Evans (who performed I Started a Joke by the Bee Gees), Kram (who performed Lanie Lane’s Oh Well, That’s What You Get For Falling in Love With a Cowboy), PVT who performed The Real Thing with Russell Morris, Bertie Blackman (who performed Matt Corby’s Brother) Sophia Brous (who performed Kimbra’s Cameo Lover) and special guest presenters Yusuf Islam, NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell, Felicity Urquhart and Philip Mortlock.

To see the full ist of winners, please click here.