2022 Vanda & Young Global Songwriting Competition Winner Revealed

8 June 2023 | 8:00 am | Mary Varvaris

The #1 artist winning the Vanda & Young Global Songwriter’s Competition takes home the largest monetary reward for any songwriting competition in the world.

King Stingray, Budjerah, Tia P & Charley

King Stingray, Budjerah, Tia P & Charley (Source: APRA AMCOS)

2022 Australian Music Prize and ARIA Breakthrough Artist winners King Stingray can now add another award to their shelves: first place in the Vanda & Young Global Songwriter’s Competition.

The #1 artist winning the Vanda & Young Global Songwriter’s Competition also scores a solid amount of cash, and King Stingray are taking home a whopping $50,000 for their song Milkumana. Co-written by bandmates and childhood friends, Roy Kellaway and Yirrŋa Gotjiringu Yunupingu, the $50,000 prize is the largest monetary reward for any songwriting competition in the world.

“We can’t believe it, we are so over the moon to win the Vanda & Young Global Songwriting Competition,” Kellaway said in a statement. “It means so much to us, we really do believe what we are singing about and our songs tell a story and a message.

“We feel really lucky that we can share stories. The song Milkumana is about leadership and the people we look up to and now, all of a sudden, we’ve become leaders in our community and that concept is just so amazing. We come from a small place and we’re singing about big things.

“Thanks so much for the love, we can’t believe it.” 

Coming in second place is Coodjingburra man Budjerah with his soulful hit, Ready For The Sky, taking home $10,000 to share with his co-writer Ainslie Wills. King Stingray appear again in third place, winning an additional $5,000 for their single Camp Dog.

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Winning the $5,000 AMPAL Emerging Songwriter Prize is Charley’s Worst Taste In Girls’ co-written by Charley, Antonio Egizii and David Musumeci. In fifth place, scoring the inaugural American Songwriter Spotlight Award, a $1,500 cash prize and a feature on American Songwriter is That Action by Tia P.

Budjerah commented, “Thank you so much to the Vanda & Young Global Songwriting Competition. Ready For The Sky is a song that I co-wrote with Ainslie Wills nearly three years ago over FaceTime in the middle of COVID, and it’s really amazing that now the song is out and we’re very, very grateful that we got second place.”

Charley, shouting out her song’s queer-pop origins, added, “I'm so stoked to have won this award – this song means so much to me as it's my first queer song and having had so much support from my fans and music community/industry after coming out means the WORLD. 

"This song came from such a sad moment in my life so having some type of reward for it is very bittersweet. Thank you so so much!”

American Songwriter Contest Manager, Shane Whalen, continued, “American Songwriter is proud to partner with Vanda & Young because we both share a passion for discovering and recognising songwriting talent around the world.

“Huge congrats to Tia P for taking home the first-ever American Songwriter Spotlight Award. Tia and her music embody what it takes to stand out in a world filled with emerging talent."