With three nods, Sarah Aarons has the edge leading into the 2024 APRA Music Awards, set for Wednesday, May 1 at ICC Sydney, on Gadigal land.

The chasing pack is close behind, and includes dual nominees Troye Sivan, Budjerah, Ainslie Wills, Styalz Fuego, Amy Shark, The Kid LAROI, James Johnston and MAY-A.

Aarons, the Los Angeles-based, Melbourne-raised songwriter, has a swag of APRA Awards in her collection. At the 2019 APRAs in her hometown, Aarons collected four circular trophies, including the coveted, peer-voted APRA song of the year. The following year, she entered APRA AMCOS’s The 1,000,000,000 List for one billion streams of her Grammy-nominated “The Middle,” performed by Zedd, Grey and Maren Morris; and won songwriter of the year at the inaugural Global APRA Music Awards in L.A. Last year, Aarons jointly won song of the year with Flume, for the EDM star’s “Say Nothing” featuring MAY-A.

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This time, she’s in the hunt for most performed Australian work, most performed pop work, and APRA song of the year with “Therapy,” co-written with Ajay Bhattacharyya and performed by Budjerah.

Also competing for APRA’s song of the year, the night’s top award, is previous winner Paul Kelly and the late David McComb (for “If Not Now”), Angie McMahon (“Letting Go”), Troye Sivan (for “Rush” with co-writer Styalz Fuego) and G Flip plus co-writer Aidan Hogg for “The Worst Person Alive.”

Mega-stars Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Miley Cyrus, Sam Smith, and David Guetta are shortlisted for most performed international work.

Organizers APRA ring in the changes this year with the inaugural most performed hard rock/heavy metal work category, which sees five heavyweights duke it out: Alpha Wolf (“60cm of Steel”), Parkway Drive (“Darker Still”), King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard (Dragon”), Polaris (“Inhumane”) and the Amity Affliction (“It’s Hell Down Here”).

And the breakthrough songwriter category is renamed emerging songwriter, with Beckah Amani, grentperez, MAY-A, Otis Pavlovic and Royel Maddell (Royel Otis), and Scarlett McKahey, Anna Ryan, Jaida Stephenson and Neve van Boxsel (Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers) cracking the shortlist.

First time APRA Award nominees include Tex Perkins, The Buoys, Frank Sultana, Alan Boyle and Christian Harvey (pka Blues Arcadia), Ian Moss, Dean Brady, Kaylee Bell, Skin on Skin, Forest Claudette, Elliott Hammond, Jordan Samatua, Jack Madin and Edward Service (Shouse), Parkway Drive, the Amity Affliction, Polaris, Alpha Wolf and more.

Established in 1982, the Australasian Performing Right Association’s annual songwriters’ ceremony is one of the Australian music industry’s most treasured events, a worthy counterpart to Britain’s Ivor Novello Awards.

The special moments in the APRAs program includes the performance of those song of the year nominees, often completely reimagined, by another star from Australia’s scene, duties for which falls this year to musical director Julian Hamilton of The Presets. TV funnyman Tom Gleeson is host on the night, alongside guest presenters Jen Cloher and Bumpy.

Visit apraamcos.com.au for more.

Lars Brandle
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