Kevin Parker, the musical genius behind psychedelic act Tame Impala, has been named songwriter of the year at the APRA Music Awards.
The Perth-born musician received the honour at a ceremony in Sydney on Wednesday night for his work on The Slow Rush, the fourth studio album by Tame Impala.
Each of the album’s 12 tracks was written, produced, recorded and mixed solely by Parker.
The album reached the top 10 on record charts around the world, debuting at No.3 on the US Billboard chart and landing the top spot in Australia.
Parker was presented his award virtually by record producer Mark Ronson.
“When you think of the music of Kevin Parker and Tame Impala it’s very easy to get caught up in the atmosphere and the sonics and the waviness of it all – and it has all those things and I love those things,” Ronson said via videolink.
“But really what I love the most at the root of it, is the songs. The hooks, the melodies and that can mean a great chorus or vocal line or the hookiest bass line you’ve ever heard.”
He described Parker’s 2015 hit The Less I Know the Better as having “one of the most iconic basslines of the past 20 years”.
“He really is such a fantastic songwriter. It’s great to see him getting the recognition he deserves tonight, so thank you APRA for having me,” Ronson said.
Song of the year was awarded to Gadigal Land, written by Rob Hirst, Gadigal poet Joel Davison and Bunna Lawri about what happened in Sydney and the rest Australia since 1788.
The song was Midnight Oil’s first single in 17 years and is part of The Makarrata Project, a mini-album of collaborations with Indigenous artists.
First Nations rapper Charlton Howard, professionally known as The Kid LAROI, was awarded breakthrough songwriter of the year for his debut mixtape F*ck Love.
Howard became the youngest Australian solo artist ever to hit No.1 on the ARIA album charts earlier this year at just 17 years old.
“My fans from Australia – I love you very, very much and can’t wait to come back. I’ll see you soon,” he said in a taped acceptance speech from Los Angeles.
Former Byron Bay busker Tones and I took out both Most Performed Pop Work and Most Performed Australian Work for Never Seen the Rain, the third single from her debut EP The Kids Are Coming.
Helen Reddy, the late singer, songwriter and activist whose 1972 hit I Am Woman became a feminist anthem, was honoured with the 2020 Ted Albert Award for Outstanding Services to Australian Music.
Joy McKean, known as the “grand lady” of Australian country music, received the 2021 Ted Albert Award.
The APRA Music Awards was hosted in person at the Sydney International Convention Centre by Julia Zemiro, Ziggy Ramo and Georgia Mooney, after it went virtual in 2020 due to COVID-19.
2021 APRA Music winners
Peer-Voted APRA Song of the Year – Gadigal Land
Songwriter of the Year – Kevin Parker
Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year – Charlton Howard, pfa The Kid LAROI
Ted Albert Award 2021 – Joy McKean
Ted Albert Award 2020 – Helen Reddy
Most Performed Australian Work – Never Seen The Rain, Tones and I
Most Performed Alternative Work – Live in Life, The Rubens
Most Performed Blues & Roots Work – Over Drinking Over You, Busby Marou
Most Performed Country Work – Diamonds, Morgan Evans
Most Performed Dance Work – Rushing Back, Flume feat. Vera Blue
Most Performed Hip-Hop/Rap Work – Misunderstood, Youngn Lipz
Most Performed R&B/Soul Work – Rain, The Teskey Brothers
Most Performed Pop Work – Never Seen The Rain, Tones and I
Most Performed Rock Work – Getting The Band Back Together, Cold Chisel
Most Performed Australian Work Overseas – Be Alright, Dean Lewis
Most Performed International Work – Don’t Start Now, Dua Lipa