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WAM SONG OF THE YEAR ► 2015/16 winners announced!

9 Apr


At the close of the 2015/16 WAM Song Of The Year Awards Party we’re excited to announce it was Beni Bjah – with his song Survivor – holding the coveted Grand Prize, the win marking a significant moment in the competition’s history, with Beni being the first-ever Indigenous artist to take the peak honours.

Beni Bjah’s hard-hitting wake-up call explores complex racial and cultural issues facing Australia, impressing a pool of industry professionals that judged all songs anonymously. His profoundly unapologetic lyrics and well-crafted songwriting stood tall amongst some of WA’s most applauded artists, a testament to the #WAMSOTY competition really being all about the songs and not stature of artists. After seeing huge Indigenous engagement over the past year – including the Sounds Of The Goldfields and groundbreaking all-Indigenous languages Sounds Of The Pilbara recording projects – WAM couldn’t be more thrilled.


Judged by a diverse panel of independent industry heavyweights from the likes of triple j, Inertia, Spinning Top Music, The West Australian, Mudhoney, Lubricated Goat, You Am I, Pendulum, triple j Unearthed, BIGSOUND, Branded/Music Matters Live, 4ZZZ, RRR, Music Row Voice, Maric Media, Earache Records, Xpress Magazine, RTRFM, Live Music Office, Firestarter,, Perfect Pitch Publishing, Pilerats, Association of Artist Managers, Birds of Tokyo, Eskimo Joe, Dave Hole and more, the list of winners reflect the extraordinary depth of WA songwriting talent, featuring an inspiring mix ranging from established leaders in their genres (including WA Music Award and past #WAMSOTY winners) to exciting revelations of artists with big futures ahead.

WAM’s CEO Mike Harris said, “Congratulations to all winners, short-listed finalists and entrants in this year’s WAM Song Of The Year. Entry numbers were up again this year, and I know that judging was very difficult due to the consistently impressive quality of the songs submitted. WA has a long and proud history of contributing strongly to the national music scene and, when we see so many high quality songs as yet unpublished, it is hard not to see that continuing. Special mention to Beni Bjah for his standout song Survivors, and for being the first Indigenous artist to take out the main prize. Thanks as ever to those who support this important event, plus the category and studio sponsors for so generously helping WAM champion WA music.”

As the 2015/16 Grand Prize Winner, Beni Bjah walks away with $3,000 cash, plus prizes supplied by sponsors Albert Studios, Audiofly, RØDE Microphones, Perfect Pitch Publishing, Sonic Lolly, Berklee, Diskbank, Firestarter, State Of The Art Festival and more. Perth extraordinaire MC Magnus Danger Magnus hosted The Awards Party in front of a full house of nominees, fans, sponsors, industry VIPs and music lovers, transforming B-Shed warehouse also with performances by category winners Rag n’ Bone (Rock), Katie J White (Blues/Roots), Grand Prize & Outstanding Indigenous category winner Beni Bjah, plus DJ Lady Carla who kept the good times rolling til late.



 ROCK: Rag n’ Bone, Death Rattle Waltz

POP: Joni In The Moon, War And Porn

ELECTRONIC: Tobacco Rat, Trenchtown 2020

FOLK: Galloping Foxleys, My Love Affair With Archer

EXPERIMENTAL: Tangled Thoughts Of Leaving, Shaking Off Futility

BLUES/ROOTS: Katie J White, River

COUNTRY: Lynn Hazelton & Bill Chambers, Melita Station

URBAN/HIPHOP: Marksman Lloyd, Pause (Feat. Coin Banks & Nic Di Lena, Prod. Sable)

HEAVY/METAL: Chaos Divine, Badge Of Honour

PUNK/HARDCORE: Nerve Quakes, Monarch

WORLD: Eastwinds, Blame Lulu Peanuts – Metsahällilaul

SCHOOL 14 YEARS & UNDER: Madi Henry, Stronger

SCHOOLS 15-17 YEARS: Charlotte Viney, With You



JAZZ: Daniel Susnjar Afro-Peruvian Jazz Group, Pius Bartosik



#WAMSOTY proudly acknowledges the generous support provided by our:

Major Partners: APRA AMCOS, Audiofly and City of Fremantle
Associate Partners: Fremantle Ports, Patrick
Grand Prize Sponsors: Alberts, Perfect Pitch Publishing, RØDE Microphones, Berklee Online, CCA Productions, Firestarter Distribution, Sonic Lolly, Diskbank
Category Sponsors: Cool Perth Nights | Mojos Bar, Country Music Club of Boyup Brook, Nannup Music Festival, Perth Jazz Society / The Ellington, Sunset Events
Studio Sponsors: Artisan, Blackbird Sound Studio, Crank Recording, Debaser Studios, Fremantle Recording Studios, GibSONICS / Belltones Studio, Poons Head, Shanghai Twang, Sonic Lolly, Soundbaker, Sovereign Studios, Sumo Sound Studios, Tone City Recording Studio, Rada Studios, Underground Studios

Full list of  partners here and studio sponsors here.

Government of Western Australia Department of Culture and The ArtsGovernment of Western Australia Department of Culture and The Arts

WAM is supported by the State Government through the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries and Lottery West, and is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.