Owusu’s “Gold Chains” takes first place in the 2021 edition, ahead of Jerome Farah’s “Mikey Might” and MAY-A’s “Time I Love To Waste,” respectively.
Born in Ghana, and raised in Canberra, the Australian capital, Owusu has swept everything before him on the awards circuit.
“Gold Chains” appears on his debut album Smiling with No Teeth, which won the coveted J Award for Australian album of the year, the Australian Music Prize, and album of the year at the 2021 ARIA Awards, one of his four trophies on the night.
Another honor came from leftfield when former POTUS Barack Obama’s included “Gold Chains” in his “Favorite Music of 2021” playlist.
With his latest crown, Owusu collects a A$50,000 ($36,500) cash prize, one of the most generous sums for a songwriting contest anywhere. Farah receives A$10,000 ($7,300) for his second-place finish, and MAY-A earns A$5,000 ($3,600).
Named after the iconic songwriters and founding members of The Easybeats, Harry Vanda and the late George Young, the competition first took place in December 2009, and has raised nearly A$1.6 million ($1.17 million) for the Noro Music Therapy Australia.
Those funds are generated from the A$50 ($36) entry fee for each song. This year’s pool of 3,837 submissions raised A$192,000 ($140,000), which helped the charity relocate to a new space.
Also joining the winner’s circle this time is hip-hop artist Baker Boy (Danzal Baker), whose single “Move” snags the AMPAL Emerging Songwriter Prize, plus its A$5,000 bounty; while 10 runner-up prizes are handed out, each totaling A$1,000 ($732), and donated by anonymous donors “wishing to help songwriters during the pandemic,” reads a statement.
Successful applicants were selected by a music industry panel which included including KLP, Jenny Morris, Anna Lunoe and reps from Double J, Jaxsta, The Industry Observer, Billboard, Warner Music Australia, Universal Music Australia, EMI Music Australia and more.
Previous winners include Thelma Plum in 2020, Matt Corby and Dann Hume (2019), Amy Shark (2018), Gretta Ray (2016), Husky Gawenda (2014), Isabella Manfredi (2013), Kimbra (2011) and Megan Washington (2009).
Visit APRAAMCOS.com.au for more.