winners of wam song of the year 2021 revealed!

Following the much-anticipated live reveal at the sold-out Awards event, we’re proud to announce the winners of the 2021 WAM Song of the Year competition presented by Act Belong Commit. An exciting mix of emerging and established acts, the winning songwriters are a true reflection of the overwhelming talent, ingenuity and diversity renowned in WA’s contemporary music community.

Taking out the coveted Overall Grand Prize was alt-country/rock singer songwriter Siobhan Cotchin with her song Just The Way It Is. Known for coupling luminous, jangly melodies with honest, raw and emotive lyricism, Just The Way It Is explores the space left by the departure of a relationship and the dualism of sadness and hope that emerges. With extensive national and local radio airplay under her belt, Declan Byrne of Triple J noted Cotchin as ‘one to keep an eye on’.

No stranger to WAM’s Song of the Year stage, Timothy Nelson’s Folk category winning song, Biding Time was declared Runner-up, and Schools 15-18 years category winners Detour received Second Runner-up for their pop-rock anthem, Left Shoe.

It was WA’s First Nations songwriters that truly shone throughout the evening, with Cyndy Moody & Phil Bartlett taking out the Country category with Ngany Koorlangka (My Kid) and Kimberley artist Matalja winning Outstanding Indigenous for her debut release Malu Mabu Liyan.

Global category winners Warralgurniya captured the room with a stirring live performance of their winning song Warri Yungu, Warri Baba. Led by 87 year-old Thiinma man Peter Salmon and performed in the critically endangered Thiinma language, Warri Yungu, Warri Baba was recorded as part of WAM’s Sounds of the Mid West regional recording project, with Mr Salmon travelling from his Upper Gascoyne home for the special live performance.

Taking out the Act Belong Commit category was songwriter and Whadjuk and Ballardong woman, Natasha Eldridge, for her powerful song written for NAIDOC Week 2020, Always Was Always Will Be. Healthway A/CEO Jeremy Hubble congratulated WAM on becoming a leader in promoting and raising awareness about positive mental health in the music industry. “Through our partnership with Act Belong Commit, we have been able to recognise inspirational artists such as Natasha. The song explores her rich and ever-present connection to country, embodying a powerful message of community and belonging.” Mr Hubble said.

Other winners included Adrian Dzvuke, RATSALAD, Brayden Sibbald, Daniel Susnjar, Maver, The Harvest Trail, Jean-Michel Maujean, Pat Chow and Angelina Curtis (full list below).

WAM CEO Natasha Collier applauded the nominated and winning songwriters, noting the vital role WA artists play on the national and international stage. ‘I have watched with pride as my home state has emerged as one of the country’s cultural superpowers. Our songwriters are among the best in the world, and our contemporary artists are an absolute force – with millions of fans globally. The full list of Song of the Year award winning alumni is a true testament to the rich song-writing talent West Australian music has to offer.’

Award winning singer-songwriter Odette Mercy and media personality Blake Williams took on MC duties for the sold-out Awards ceremony at Fremantle live-music venue Freo.Social, with audiences tuning in online for the live-streamed event. The evening also saw live performances from award winners Sydnee Cartner and Detour, plus nominees Chaos Divine and local tunes from RTRFM’s Homegrown DJs.

WAM SONG OF THE YEAR 2021 WINNERS!

GRAND PRIZE

WINNER Just The Way It Is Siobhan Cotchin
RUNNER-UP Biding Time Timothy Nelson
SECOND RUNNER-UP Left Shoe Detour

ACT BELONG COMMIT
Presented by Act Belong Commit | Studio Sponsor Lolly Box Music

WINNER Always Was Always Will Be Natasha Eldridge
OTHER NOMINEES
Loud Jordan Anthony, Are You Ok? Kelea, Cactus King Brown, Everglow PINSTRIPE, Grow Sam McGovern

BLUES/ROOTS
Presented by Clancy’s Fish Pub Fremantle | Studio Sponsor Artisan Music

WINNER Just The Way It Is Siobhan Cotchin
OTHER NOMINEES
Devils Curse Helen Townsend & Belle Harvey, Peaceful Kind of Love Jimmy McGrath, Storm Michael Day, Weeping Willow Mossy Fogg, Darkness In The Light Tracey Barnett

COUNTRY
Presented by Country Music Club of Boyup Brook | Studio Sponsor Shanghai Twang Studios

WINNER Ngany Koorlangka (My Kid) Cyndy Moody/Phil Bartlett – Ngaalang Moort
OTHER NOMINEES
Old Man On The Hill Al Mac, Charlotte Avenue Brandon Poletti, The Right Reasons Carla Geneve, Attention Claudia Tripp, Some Things Don’t Last a Very Long Time Jack Davies and The Bush Chooks

ELECTRONIC
Presented by Freo.Social | Studio Sponsor Fremantle Recording Studios

WINNER Coppola (feat. Marksman Lloyd) Maver
OTHER NOMINEES
Kind Regards Drew Mayhills, Highs Lows Fourth State Turiya, For Phil My Brother Fran, IIX House of Commons, The Protest Sonic Reflection

EXPERIMENTAL
Presented by RTRFM 92.1 | Studio Sponsor Pavement Studios

WINNER Coodamurup Jean-Michel Maujean
OTHER NOMINEES
Morning Call Furchick, I’m Gonna Kill You But I’m Gonna Take My Time House of Commons, Hela Kuti Injured Ninja, The Call samarobryn, Ashes to Oceans Matt Tondut

FOLK
Presented by The Poster Girls | Studio Sponsor Tone City Recording Studio

WINNER Biding Time Timothy Nelson
OTHER NOMINEES
The Right Reasons Carla Geneve, It Goes For Miles Helen Shanahan, Loving You’s Like a Mouldy Cup of Tea Jack Davies and The Bush Chooks, Clocks Kris Nelson, Wadandi Boodja The Nomadics

POP
Presented by Lyric’s Underground | Studio Sponsor Soundbaker

WINNER Grid Wasteland, Sydnee Carter
OTHER NOMINEES
Whole Anna Schneider, In The Fire Coterie, Out Of The Blue Ella Gilbert, A Pane Of Glass No Charisma, Your House Timothy Nelson

OUTSTANDING REGIONAL
Presented by Spotify | Studio Sponsor Real2Reel / James Newhouse

WINNER Afterglow Brayden Sibbald
OTHER NOMINEES
Good Faith Intrusion, Justify My Shadow and I, Everglow PINSTRIPE, Indigenous People Rocky Ridge Band, Fever Dreams Technicolor Dream Machine

PUNK/HARDCORE
Presented by Rosemount Hotel | Studio Sponsor Blondel Recording Studios

WINNER Bloke RATSALAD

OTHER NOMINEES
Love Hate Cryot Girl, What Moral Compass Desert Dogs, We’re Just Blood Electric State, It Gets Worse Pat Chow, Cracks Sly Withers

ROCK
Presented by Badlands Bar | Studio Sponsor Debaser Studios

WINNER It Gets Worse Pat Chow

OTHER NOMINEES
I Wanna Know Big Orange, The Fair-Weather Friend Blues Siobhan Cotchin, Phone The Psychotic Reactions, Baanigarr The Struggling Kings, Skeleton Song Triangle Fight

SCHOOLS 14 & UNDER
Presented by Perfect Pitch Publishing | Studio Sponsor Vision Studios

WINNER Old Land’s Tale Angelina Curtis

OTHER NOMINEES
Surely Bailey Perrie, Knock Knock Connor Perrie, Take my Heart SubZero, Ghost Tex Holmes, WOAH Vahsoong

SCHOOLS 15-18
Presented by Mega Music | Studio Sponsor John Butler Studio

WINNER Left Shoe Detour

OTHER NOMINEES
Big White Lies Ani, Moving On Castle Hughes, The Time Machine Song Farraday’s Cage, Drop Dead Gorgeous ORCA, Away Patio Living

GLOBAL
Presented by XVinylX / Vinyl Café | Studio Sponsor Blackbird Sound Studio

WINNER Warri Yungu, Warri Baba Warralgurniya

OTHER NOMINEES
Locked Up Dr Cuz and Friends, Jesus Gav Brown, Standing Strong Randa And The Soul Kingdom, We Got It Wrong SKELTON, These 4 Walls VERONIKA

HEAVY/METAL
Presented by Kosmic | Studio Sponsor Sumo Sound Studios

WINNER Hunter The Harvest Trail

OTHER NOMINEES
Put It To Rest Car Park Social, No Saviour (Rise & Fall) Chaos Divine, Suffer Slow KIMURA, Freeworld Psytopia, Gravy RATSALAD

HIP HOP/NEW R&B
Presented by Sorrento Strategic Music | Studio Sponsor Forest Studios

WINNER Darling Adrian Dzvuke

OTHER NOMINEES
Right to Censor Bluntfield, Out Of The Blue Ella Gilbert, LadyBird Mali Jo$e, Till Dawn nxlly, Mother God Racka Chachi

JAZZ
Presented by Alex Hotel | Studio Sponsor Tunafish Recording Company

WINNER Cantuta Daniel Susnjar

OTHER NOMINEES
Stranded Brodie Stewart, Uber-Fugue Harry Mitchell, Song For A Better Day Jayden Blockley, The Funk You See John Pin, Ebor Zac Grafton

OUTSTANDING INDIGENOUS
Presented by Nannup Music Festival | Studio Sponsor Poons Head Studios

WINNER Malu Mabu Liyan Matalja

OTHER NOMINEES
Wet Season Main River Band, Youngest OG Sarmec, Baanigarr The Struggling Kings, Ngaalija Yangoogoo Yaanaa (Come Let’s Walk Together) Theona Councillor, Warri Yungu, Warri Baba Warralgurniya

WAM RECOGNISES THE GENEROUS SUPPORT OF OUR SONG OF THE YEAR PARTNERS AND SPONSORS.

PRIZE SPONSORS

Alex Hotel, Debaser Studio, Firestarter Music, Mega Music, Perfect Pitch Publishing, @placeorpoint, RTRFM, Spotify, The Poster Girls, XVinylX and Vinyl Café

STUDIO SPONSORS

Artisan Music, Blackbird Sound Studio, Blondel Recording Studios, Debaser Studio, Forest Studios, Fremantle Recording Studios, John Butler Studio, Lolly Box Music, Pavement Studios, Poons Head Studios, Real2Reel/James Newhouse, Shanghai Twang Studios, Soundbaker, Sumo Sound Studios, Tone City Recording Studio, Tunafish Recording Company, Vision Studios

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