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We have invited industry professionals, from Australia and abroad, to judge the competition final entries on our behalf. Among them are successful songwriters, composers, publishers and respected music industry names. Their experience and impartiality will ensure that the best songs will be recognised for the quality they bring to The Song Comp.
Bill Page
Bill Page
Rico Soto
Rico Soto
Hayley Warner
Hayley Warner
Robert Case
Robert Case
Simon Johnson
Simon Johnson
Ella Hooper
Ella Hooper
Matthew Donlevy
Matthew Donlevy
Allan Caswell
Allan Caswell
Lea Goodrem
Lea Goodrem
Roger Corbett
Roger Corbett
Caitlin Harnett
Caitlin Harnett
Greg Agar
Greg Agar
Ryan Sampson
Ryan Sampson
Duncan Hill
Duncan Hill
Jason Mays
Jason Mays
Sven Tydeman
Sven Tydeman
Stewart Peters
Stewart Peters
Danielle Blakey
Danielle Blakey
Ned Kulasin
Ned Kulasin
Adam Argyle
Adam Argyle

Hayley Warner - APRA Songwriter Of The Year 2012 nominee
Hayley was a standout performer in the Australian Idol Top 12. She built a large and loyal following in a very short time and her high energy performances earned her massive credit.

Warner said her main ambition during the idol journey was "not to be boring." Warner has been described as a vocal "powerhouse" whose breathtaking performances displayed her versatility in range & emotion. Hayley's interpretation of Pink's "Funhouse" not only got her a standing ovation on Australian Idol but also scored her a "Rexona Moment". Idol judge, "Dicko" Dickson described her as "possibly the coolest 17-year old girl in the southern hemisphere." After the finale, Hayley was granted a record contract with Sony Music.

Hayley is one of only two contestants in Australian Idol history to make it to the grand final despite appearing in the bottom three or two on more than one occasion during the finals. All other contestants to make the final were in the bottom only once or never at all.

Rico Soto - Oxygen Music Group GM/MD
Rico Soto is the General Manager , Marketing Director and Talent Manager for Oxygen Music Group Recording Studios, Oxygen Records & Hydrogen Records.

With 8 years of experience in the Latin American and International markets as a Marketing Specialist in the music business, Rico specializes in artistic marketing and is a hands-on guru in the industry with a 360 approach to strategic branding.

He's led to success many international music projects in Latin-America and now he’s bringing his expertise to Australia.

Stewart Peters - Song writer / Producer / CEO Soundshed Studios

Stewart has co-written and produced with successful artists such as Allan Caswell, Louie Shelton, Simone Hardy, Mitchell Shadlow, Anita Spring, SNEZ, Glenn Cunningham, Penny Pavlakis, Sarah Gardner (Australian Idol), Jay Collie-Sommerville (Jonah’s Road), Felicity Urquhart among many other songwriters over the past 15 years.

Awards include: winner of various sections of the of the ASAI Awards on several occasions. Stewart has also represented Australia as a finalist with the prestigious Vina Del Mar Song Contest in Chile; finalist in the Yamaha International Song Competition on several occasions; the Australian Song Competition; finalist for the Gibraltar Song Competition and winner of the Blue Mountains Acoustic & Roots competition.

Robert Case - CEO New/Old Pants Publishing

Robert Case President of New Pants Publishing, Inc. (ASCAP) Old Pants Publishing, Inc. (BMI) and New Pants Music, (SESAC) is a graduate of the Colorado Institute of Art, Denver, Colorado in the USA with an Associate’s Degree in Business with an emphasis in Music and Video Business.

Mr. Case’s songwriter’s songs have appeared in TV shows placements including Lions Gate Pictures, CW Network, Discovery Channel, A&E, Fox Sports, NBC, CBS/VHI/Universal HD show Love Monkey, One Life to Live on ABC Daytime, the Soap Network and South Park on Comedy Central in the US and Internationally in Canada, Mexico, Europe, and Asia. 

Jason Mays - Licensing Manager at SHOUT! Music Publishing.

Jason is relieving the lovely Esther Volstad while she is on maternity leave, as Licensing Manager at Hillsong and SHOUT! Music Publishing, representing an array of songwriters in many genres and styles, which include, number 1 ARIA charting albums, number 1 iTunes albums and singles, Grammy nominated songwriters, BMI, ASCAP and Dove award winning songs.

Jason is also an accomplished vocalist and performer with many years of experience both on stage and in the studio.

Matthew Donlevy - CEO Peer Music Publishing Australia

Matthew is the Managing Director of Peermusic Pty Limited, Southern Music Publishing Co (Australasia) Pty Limited and Frankdon Music Pty Limited.

He is also a Director of the Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (since 1991), Australasian Music Publishers Association Limited, David Platz Music (Australia) Pty Limited and Minder Music Australia Pty Ltd.

Matthew's previous appointments include professional manager of ATV Northern Songs and Castle Music.



Allan Caswell - Multi-award winning songwriter

In 2007 when Allan Caswell won his sixth Golden guitar in Tamworth (with Drew McAlister for “Vocal Collaboration Of The Year”), it marked 27 years since his first Golden Guitar in 1980. In the years in between Allan has experienced the highs and lows of a very successful and hugely varied career …

His song “On the Inside” (the theme for the television “Prisoner”) reached No.1 in Australia and New Zealand, No.3 in England and made the Country Charts in the USA (his own version was a top 20 country hit in Europe in 2004).

At last count, Caswell has had well over 900 songs published and over 500 recordings of his songs released world wide by artists of the calibre of Cilla Black, The Irish Rovers, Patti Page, Slim Dusty, James Blundell and The Living End. 

Ella Hooper - Award-winning songwriter

Ella Hooper is a much loved and active part of the Australian music scene.
She began writing her own songs at age 11 and by 13 had won JJJ's Unearthed competition with one of her first compositions with her brother Jesse, a song called Kettle.
As the teenage front woman of her band Killing Heidi she owned the 'Naughties, receiving numerous awards and accolades including a swag of ARIA awards.

Ella was the youngest person and very first woman to be honoured with the prestigious APRA songwriter of the year award, paving the way for young women in the field of songwriting. She has had number 1 singles, some of which have become part of the Aus music landscape (Weir, Mascara) plus number 1 albums and the fastest selling Australian album of all time. She has graced the cover of Rolling Stone twice, toured internationally and received critical acclaim. Her songwriting style like her voice, is unique and recognisably her own. She has traversed rock, pop, folk, alt-country and indie genres with various projects and is now embarking for the first time on a solo album, as well as branching into fields other than music.

Enjoying a vast array of involvement in both TV and radio, Ella has had regular stints on beloved music TV shows Spicks and Specks and RockWiz and and can be heard passionately promoting her fellow musicians every Sunday night right around the country as she hosts 'The Aus top 20', an all Australian music show syndicated nationally on the Southern Cross Austereo network (Fox, 2day, B105, Triple M, Sea FM, SA FM)

She is also host and MC for The Telstra Road To Discovery, a talent development program that scours the country for the next generation of singing and song writing greats.

Duncan Hill - Song writer / President TSA

Duncan Hill is a tireless worker on behalf of song writers, and especially those songwriting members of the Tamworth Songwriters' Association, having been elected president of the TSA in 2011, and having served on the committee for many years.

A keen songwriter, with a good ear for a hit, Duncan is usually busy within the walls of his home music studio, crafting his own songs, and working on demos for other song writers.

Roger Corbett - The Bushwackers - Multi-award-winning songwriter

Roger Corbett is a multi Golden Guitar winning, highly successful songwriter and Australian music producer with numerous successful chart songs to his credit. His songwriting credits include "The Fire Within" the theme song for the opening of the Sydney 2000 Paralympics Games, "Bridge of Love" the hit song for the 1994 International Year Of The Family and hundreds of other recorded songs with artists from every genre.

From his Blue Mountains recording studio, Roger predominately works with Independent artists in the singer-songwriter, folk, pop, rock, country, Christian and children's music genres.

Roger is a member and the manager of the legendary The Bushwackers Band. Named ‘The, ‘Australian band’ by Rolling Stone Magazine, The Bushwackers, now in their 40th year and with 20 studio albums behind them, continue to tour the country playing Festivals, clubs, pubs and events.

Bill Page - Mushrom Music Publishing

Bill Page has spent a lifetime in music. He was at the forefront of FM Radio when it began in Australia in the early 1980's. As Program Director and Music Director at Adelaide’s SAFM Bill was responsible for all the musical content and programming decisions at one of Australia’s most successful FM stations.
SAFM was recognized as a leader in playing cutting edge music with a particular focus on Australian acts. After 10 years Bill moved to Mushroom Records as head of A&R and spent the following 7 years signing and working with a variety of Australian acts developing and nurturing their music.

Now as Creative Manager of Mushroom Music Publishing he is again working with song writers across all genres signing their publishing and working at developing them as writers and setting up co-writing collaborations both locally and overseas as well as pitching songs to local acts from the Mushroom catalogue of local writers and from a variety of International publishing organizations.

Bill has also been head judge of the Telstra Road to Discovery for the past 3 years.

Lindsay Rimes - Song Rimes Studio

SongRimes Studio is the base for EMI Published, award winning songwriter/producer Lindsay Rimes.

Lindsay Rimes, published with EMI Music Group, is a Sydney based songwriter, producer and musician.
Having recently being nominated for Rock Work of the year at the 2012 APRA Awards, with "Switch Me On". Lindsay has written 4 tracks on the soon to be released McClymonts album Two Worlds Collide, including the first single "Piece Of Me".

Artists Lindsay has worked with recently for various projects including Reece Mastin (X-Factor/Sony), Stan Walker (Sony), Lee Kernagan (Sony), Danielle Blakey (POP Winner at the 2011 New Artist to Radio).

Lea Goodrem

Lea Goodrem is involved with artist development both locally and in the international market.

Lea brings a wealth of talent, drive and experience to the judging panel and The Song Comp is very happy to have her involvement with TSC 2013.

Sven Tydeman - MD of KittyGroove Studios

Sven Tydeman is Managing Director of Kittygroove Productions, an independent audio consulting firm, providing turnkey composition and production solutions to music industry professionals, record labels, music publishers and media.

As a producer / remixer / & composer Sven has worked with Josh Pyke (winner of 2 x Aria awards 2007), Tina Cousins, Paulini (Australian Idol), Erika Heynatz (EMI), Candice Alley (Top 40 Billboard USA), Gary Pinto, Thanh Bui (Australian Idol), Toni Pearen, Robyn Loau (Girlfriend) Anthony Snape (Music Oz Artist of the Year 2006), Brielle Davis, Tiffani Wood (Bardot) amongst many others. Sven also specialises in delivering high end audio landscape for film and media tailored to cultural or brand driven requirements.
Sven has had much success in songwriting competitions - Song Writer of the Year at the prestigious Pacific Song Writing Competition 2006, a top 10 finalist in Music Oz Awards 2003, 2004 & in 2005 was one of the few to receive a scholarship award at the Kauai Music Festival, where he also finished in the Top 5 for Song Writing.

Danielle Blakey - Award-winning singer songwriter

Danielle Blakey is a Sydney based singer songwriter - her style is a blend of LA pop with a pure organic acoustic sound, together with a catchy commercial sensibility.

Danielle was the winner of the POP award at the 2011 NA2R (New Artists to Radio) with the track "Fearless". Danielle was previously a finalist in the 2011 APRA PDA (Professional Development Awards). Her single "Fearless" was the 2nd most added track to radio in December 2011.

Whilst working on writing and recording for her own project, Danielle has also been concentrating on writing for major label artists and recently wrote the track "Invisible" on the new Stan Walker album, Let the Music Play (Sony). Danielle recently returned from the US where she was also writing for major label artists.

Simon Johnson

Simon is a freelance bass player and producer in the Australian Country Music Industry.

He operates a recording studio Simon Johnson Music studio from his home on the NSW Central Coast where he specialises in recording and producing quality projects at competitive rates.

Simon Johnson Music studio provides a very friendly and relaxed environment away from the hussle and bussle of the city where you can enjoy your music experience.

It is located on the Central Coast of NSW, more commonly referred to as 'Hillbilly Heaven' the home of many successful Australian Country Music professionals such as Kasey Chambers, Rod and Jeff McCormack, Beccy Cole, Adam Harvey and Gina Jeffreys.

The likes of Beccy Cole, Adam Harvey, Travis Collins and Buddy Goode have all recorded with Simon at Simon Johnson Music studio.

Adam Argyle

Adam is a multi-talented singer/songwriter who signed to Peermusic UK in 2003. He has been involved with the music industry since he was 16 when he signed his first publishing deal with the Nashville-based Acuff Rose Publishing.

In 1998 Adam toured the British Isles as the only support on the Crystal Gayle tour. Adam received recognition from his home county when he was presented with a ‘Yorkshire Young Achievers Award’. However, the highlight of that year was traveling to Nashville to sing on the longest running live radio show in the world, the Grand Ole Opry.

1999 started off with a European tour where he was the sole supporting act for multi-platinum country artist Reba McEntire. He also won at the ‘Best Newcomer’ at the British Country Music Awards and snatched Best Album for ‘Paint a Bigger Picture’ at the British Country Radio Awards. In the summer of 2000 Adam returned to Nashville and became the only British artist ever to perform in front of the 30,000 people at the massive Fan Fair festival. He then decided to concentrate on broadening his style of songwriting. He’s worked with Martin Brammer (writer of ‘Lifted’- The Lighthouse Family) and Gary Clark (writer and producer for Natalie Imbruglia).

Ryan Sampson

Ryan’s early musical journey began when he was named 2006 Overall Queensland Champion of Champions.From there Ryan’s successes have included; Camerata, Junior College, CMAA College of Country Music and Toyota Star Maker - Grand Finalist.Appearing on Australian Idol 2009, Ryan was the only contestant to make it through as an automatic entry in the top 60, completing his Australian Idol journey in the top 40.

View
Ryan Sampson’s appearance on Australian Idol on YouTube:

2011 has seen the release two singles, “Marilyn Monroe was a size 14” and “Edith Annie”, as well as Ryan’s inclusion in major Country Music Festivals including; Tamworth – Charters Towers – Urban – Blue Water – Gympie Muster. On the 8th October 2011, Ryan won “Capital News Australian Independent Rising Star Male” at the Southern Stars Awards – Mildura Country Music Festival. In October 2011 it was announced that Ryan Sampson is a finalist in the 2012 Toyota Star Maker Competition to be held on the 22nd January 2012 at the Tamworth Country Music Festival.

Caitlin Harnett -

Caitlin Harnett hails from Sydney Australia. She first appeared on the radar when at just 18 she was signed to Mushroom Music Publishing and went on to be recognised both internationally and locally for her songwriting. Her music is heard regularly on popular Australian Television Dramas. Over the last 3 years she has released two EP’s. In 2012 she was invited to showcase at the Americana Music Festival in Nashville.

The honesty and vulnerability of her live performances have endeared audiences in Australia, Canada, America and New Zealand. Caitlin’s much anticipated full length recording will be released in early 2014.

"Every now and then you run across an artist who you feel, rather than hear. I closed my eyes, and her music took me away. Yes, I heard it, but I also felt it which is a rare thing. Tim Daley XYZ Networks”

Greg Agar -

Greg is an ARIA & AIMAS Nominated Producer, ARIA winning session pianist and Published Songwriter.

He co-wrote the feature song Hey Babydoll, sung by Al Pacino in his upcoming film Danny Collins (2015) with lead singer Ciaran Gribbin (INXS), and Are you with me for Chinese Movie Tiny Times (2013) which broke records at the box office as the biggest selling movie in Chinese film history.

Greg has written numerous songs for other artists including 5 top 10 hits and 3 feature songs for films across 7 countries. His band Syndicate (SONY Music Australia), debuted their album at #7 on the ARIA albums chart, celebrating a #1 single on the ARIA physical charts for 6 consecutive weeks. More info on Greg Agar's website

Ned Kulasin -

Ned’s Musical career began in the early 80s, when he constructed a guitar from old left over bits and pieces (and a little Gaffa tape) while he was working part time at his local music store.

Spent 5 years working his way through his Original Project Band No EXCUSE.

Studying Music is a life long pursuit for Ned from Jazz fundamentals at the Sydney Con early on, to his current passion for Jazz Funk Piano & Bass Guitar.

His “day gig” struggles lead him into the intriguing world of Musical Instrument Retail & Wholesale. Deciding to take the plunge Ned joined
Carlingford Music Centre 2002 and has experienced the roller coaster Ride of Piano & Musical Instrument Retail.
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