Paul Kelly has once again shown why he is so well adored as one of Australia’s greatest artists taking home the 2018 Song of the Year award at the APRA’s. And it appears that it was all thanks to a mate.
His song Firewood and Candles was based on a friend’s doomed romance following a bad first date and it got him home in 2018. But it wasn’t all his work as he recounts getting together with Billy Miller who was a member of The Ferrets in the 1970s and they would write songs together.
Kelly explained that he was “with a friend of ours who was talking to us about his love life.” They were at Kelly’s Melbourne home and the friend was saying how he had put in a bit of effort having cooked a meal and got candles and firewood as the woman was coming to his place. Ultimately the date went badly and Kelly recounts him saying, “All that firewood and candles, all for nothing.”
It was also a big night for A.B. Original who became the first hip-hop duo to be named Songwriter of the year as a result of their work in their album Reclaim Australia. Their album was full of meaning and got to the core of the racial and cultural issues surrounding the Aboriginal debate.
Amy Shark received an unsurprisingly warm homecoming after taking out Pop Work of the Year for her popular song Adore.
The 2018 APRA awards also took on another task in raising awareness for NOW, an anti-harassment campaign. Musicians from around Australia gathered on the night wearing purple to represent the campaign and show their support.
Australia’s impact internationally was also highlighted on the night with a number of US-based Aussies receiving awards for their music producing abilities.
Sarah Aarons, an Australian composer based in LA, was named the Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year after working her way up to become one of the most sought-after composers in the US right now. She has recently written hits for Zedd, Demi Lovato and Jessie Ware all of which have featured high up in the charts.
Additionally, on the back of co-writing Praying for Kesha, Ben Abrahams received the Overseas Recognition Award. This was shared with Kylie Sackley who has been writing for country music stars Faith Hill, Sam Hunt and LeAnne Rimes.