Delaney Davidson

“Delaney Davidson’s work continues to impress, as does his commitment to ongoing collaboration with other artists. His plans are excellent and reflect both his considerable talent and drive. We feel confident that not only he, but our wider music community, will benefit from him receiving this award.”

Delaney Davidson is a singer songwriter, musician, and visual artist. Artist Laureate of New Zealand 2015, three times winner of the NZ Country Music Song of the Year Award, awarded NZ Country Music Album Of The Year, finalist for the Silver Scroll Award, and winner of the One Man Band Competition in Zurich. His seminal influence and work with Marlon Williams on their ‘Sad But True’ series as well as his visionary production on Tami Neilson’s acclaimed album’s ‘Dynamite’ and ‘Don’t Be Afraid’ have also earned him great praise from the media and huge respect amongst his peers.

Initially inspired by the songs of Hank Williams and the Birthday Party, and the performance styles of distilled Johnny Cash and dead-pan Buster Keaton, Delaney synthesizes this into his own persona. A wry sense of humour, some theatre of unease, and a voice classed as “not conventionally beautiful” all combine to breathe life and space into the niche he has carved out for himself, winning him critical acclaim across the world.

Generally dealing with the darker side of things, Davidson’s lyrical content ranges from classic murder ballads to songs with a deeper insight into the human condition and a sympathy and acceptance of the quirks of life and human foibles. Combining the older style of beerhall musician and the traditions of pantomime and audience involvement, his live show is renowned for its sublime dance competitions and bawdy sing-alongs.

The Professional Development Award will allow Delaney to travel to the US to strengthen his knowledge and awareness of production, further develop his song writing, and build connections to some musical heavyweights.

He will work with multiple Grammy and Emmy winning artist George Pajon Jr of the Black Eyed Peas (who has also worked with Carlos Santana, Sting, Macy Gray, Kelis, Nas, Damian Marley, Sérgio Mendes, John Legend and many more). Then he will attend a co-writing seminar run by Grammy nominated Pat Macdonald at the Steelbridge Songwriters Festival in Wisconsin, and will also attend co-writing workshops in Cleveland with award winning artist Uno Lady.

“This PDA will allow me to accept invitations to work alongside some of USA’s top music supervisors and Grammy award winning artists - learning and developing my skills to further my work as a producer of local and international talent.

As I continue my song writing work, both solo and with collaborators, I will continue to create ways that New Zealand artists are able to travel and connect with other musicians both internationally and throughout New Zealand - acting as ambassadors, building bridges and forging ties through music around the world.”

Brooke Singer

“Brooke Singer’s innovative originality, accomplished work, and proactive approach have established her as a force to be reckoned with. We look forward to seeing her achieve more great things.”

Wellington-based dream-pop artist, producer, and songwriter Brooke Singer has been performing and releasing music since 2006 in folk duo Ragamuffin Children and indie pop band The O’Lovely’s, and since 2012 with dream-pop luminaires French for Rabbits. A graduate of music composition from Canterbury University, she has been an active member of the New Zealand music community for over 10 years.

Brooke has had a successful songwriting career with nominations for the NZ Folk Album of the Year, Silver Scroll, over 15+ million streams on listening services, TV synch’s on popular shows including Vampire Diaries, Switched at Birth, The Bachelor Germany and Being Human. Although signed to US label Fat Possum Records sub Muscle Beach, she has impressively self-managed six extensive international tours including festival appearances, and has opened for Lorde, Jose Gonzalez, and Agnes Obel.

Since attending APRA Songhub Sphere program in late 2018, she has been avidly delving into co-writing. In March 2019, she spent time in LA co-writing with Joey Waronker (Beck, Atoms for Peace, Elliot Smith), Joe Harrison (Lianne la Havas) and in June in Australia with Japanese Wallpaper, Lanks, Jol Mulholland and Shannon Fowler during Native Tongue’s annual writing camp.

In 2019 she is working on the third French for Rabbits album, and a new solo project as a culmination of extensive co-writing. She is also honing her skillset as engineer and producer having recently completed recording and mixing an album for Timothy Blackman and an EP for Flip Grater. She is also on the organising committee for Girls Rock Camp Pōneke and is a music mentor for the New Zealand Music Commission.

The APRA Professional Development Award will allow her to pursue further co-writing opportunities in Los Angeles, New York, and Melbourne. She’s looking to spend a week in Melbourne to expand on the co-writing she did at Native Tongue’s writing camp in June and further her production education. And she will return to Los Angeles and New York later in the year to continue working with Joey Waronker as well as co-writing sessions arranged by Native Tongue, Fat Possum Records, and sub-publisher Sugaroo.

“Thanks APRA for the Professional Development Award, it's so nice to get a vote of confidence and this support means I can spend time developing my songwriting and production skills this year. With the grant I will be able to attend co-writing sessions in Los Angeles and Melbourne over the next few months for a new solo project, and I also hope to write for others which would be a dream.”


Maxwell Stone

“Even at this relatively early stage of his career, Maxwell Stone has made the most of some unique opportunities and proved himself in a behind-the-scenes capacity at the most competitive end of the screen composition world.  This award will allow him to build on these achievements, and realise an internship offer that will place him at the heart of the Hollywood music-to-picture industry.”

Maxwell Stone is a 24 year old composer from Wellington, specialising in music for all media composition.

Currently based in Wellington, Maxwell is in his third and final year of his Bachelor of Music, specialising in film scoring, at The New Zealand School of Music.

During 2019 Maxwell has completed music programming for the feature films ‘Brightburn’ and ‘Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw’, alongside composers Timothy Williams and Tyler Bates, which saw him working in London and Los Angeles.

The APRA Professional Development Award will allow him to return to Los Angeles to take up a mentorship opportunity with Tim Williams and Tyler Bates, and gain further experience in the film music industry.

He’s hoping to gain insider experience and insight into the international music business perspective, as well as developing key digital music skills and knowledge required in the screen music industry, not limited to Pro Tools, Cubase, and Ableton software.

The internship at Igloo Music Studios in Los Angeles will also give Maxwell exposure to real-time live-industry recording, orchestrating and mixing sessions and techniques. This will facilitate the development of musical professional presentation skills involved in attending recording sessions with other film professionals, including directors and producers.

And finally being based in Los Angeles in a busy studio which is the base for a lot of screen music work will allow him to explore and connect with other industry professionals, and develop relationships which may help him in continuing his work in the field.

“Receiving this award will allow me to continue to pursue my creative goals and maintain connections within the film-music industry. I am very much looking forward to training at Igloo Music Studios in Los Angeles, learning from some of the best engineers in the world, and applying the skills I learn to my future compositions.”

Jamie McDell

“Jamie McDell has skilfully navigated her musical trajectory, with her recent shift towards country taking her from creative strength to strength. Her well-targeted plan sees her poised to own the next phase of her career.”

Now 26, New Zealand singer/songwriter Jamie McDell was signed to EMI at age 16. With the release of her debut album ‘Six Strings and a Sailboat’, she went on to achieve Gold album sales, receive three NZ Music Award nominations, winning Best Pop Album of 2013. Her sophomore record ‘Ask Me Anything’ gained global attention, seeing album track ‘Moon Shines Red’ featured on American TV series Pretty Little Liars.

2018 marked Jamie’s return with independently-released record ‘Extraordinary Girl’, that celebrates her musical roots and the sounds of her upbringing. The project came together between Auckland, New Zealand and Nashville, Tennessee where she recorded the tracks with Australian award-winner producer Nash Chambers. The record features a hearty cast of country music legends including Kasey Chambers, Bill Chambers, and Tami Neilson.

It was the music of her childhood that would form the fundamental elements of what excited her about songwriting the most - an honest vocal, lots of acoustic guitar and deep storytelling. These elements led to her signing with Global Independent, Peer Music Publishing in early 2019.

Throughout her career Jamie has been involved in co-writing sessions - after her debut reord was released she worked with LA based Jeff Trott (Sheryl Crow, Stevie Nicks) and Sydney based Lindsay Rimes (Kane Brown, Thomas Rhett). In recent months she’s co-written with Royal Wood (iTunes Songwriter Of The Year), Phil Barton (Eli Young Band, The Wolfe Brothers), Micah Wilshire and Katie Garfield (TV Sync Writers), Heather Morgan (Keith Urban, Martina McBride), and Marc Beeson (LeAnn Rimes, Blake Shelton).

In order to pursue these songwriting and collaboration opportunities, Jamie has been basing herself in Toronto in recent months, and the APRA Professional Development Award will allow her to make more frequent trips to Nashville, along with LA, New York, and Texas, in order to make the most of the sessions which Peer Music have been able to set up for her, and further her relationships with a variety of established topliners and songwriters, as well as sharing these networks with fellow Kiwi songwriters who are pursuing careers in the alt/country/Americana/folk genres, such as Jenny Mitchell and Kaylee Bell.

“This award means a huge deal to me, especially because of its focus on developing a career in songwriting. Real-life stories and meaningful lyrical content are elements I strive to prioritize in my writing process, always keeping in mind my ultimate goal; to write something genuine and hopefully timeless. These elements are what lead me to Nashville, and I am so excited to be able to grab hold of the opportunities the Country/Americana community have to offer. Words can't describe the amount of confidence being a recipient of this award gives me and I'm so honoured to have APRA trust in my work ethic and have faith in my ability to make my dream a reality.”

Reuben Jelleyman

“Reuben Jelleyman stands out as a young composer and thinker of outstanding potential, with a determined focus on a European-based practice - he’s watch-this-space territory. After an already impressive track record fulfilling commissions for various local and international ensembles, he has been handpicked for study at the prestigious Conservatoire National Supérieur in Paris, with celebrated composer Gérard Pesson.”

Reuben Jelleyman is a 26 year old New Zealand composer currently based in Europe. His contributions have been recognised at a national level including the CANZ Trust Fund Award 2019, and a nomination for the SOUNZ Contemporary Award 2015. His works have been played all around the world by ensembles such as Avanti! (Finland), Ensemble Fractales (Belgium), Stroma (NZ), NZTrio, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, and the NZSO National Youth Orchestra.

He has also written works for celebrated percussion soloist Colin Currie (UK), flautist Eric Lamb (AT), and many leading contemporary young performers, such as David Moran (AU), and Liam Wooding (NZ).

Reuben graduated from the NZSM / Victoria University with degrees in music and physics in 2016, where he studied with Michael Norris and Dugal McKinnon. He is the youngest ever finalist for the SOUNZ Contemporary Award, and had distinguished himself throughout his studies, earning the NZSM Lilburn Composition Trust Award along with the Philip Neil Memorial Prize and NZSO Young Composers Award in 2015.

He has just finished the three month KulturKontakt Residency in Vienna, and is currently working on a commission for piano duo from the City of Münster Festival, and a new solo work for clarinet to be premiered at new music festival Wien Modern. In July the NZSO recorded his work 'Vespro', and he is also completing a new work for Double Bass to be performed in recital by students at the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM).

He has also been running a contemporary music initiative in Wellington called ‘Portals’, which featured an international line-up in the first iteration of ‘Portalfest’ in 2019 including the commission and presentation of new works by NZ composers.

The APRA Professional Development Award will help to support Reuben as he accepts a very prestigious and hard-earned place at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris (CNSMDdP). It is a unique opportunity for him to study for two years with one of the most innovative composers of our time, Gérard Pesson, at one of the most resource-rich and well-connected conservatories in the world. He will have the opportunity to work with leading contemporary music ensemble Ensemble Intercontemporain as a routine part of his studies, and this qualification will help to unlock possibilities for work in Europe as a contemporary composer.

“After a couple of years establishing a freelance career I’m taking the opportunity to pursue a Master’s at the Conservatoire de Paris.  The APRA PDA 2019 is a crucial piece of my financial puzzle, and with it I am able to make the move to Paris without hesitation.  It promises to be 2 years of intensive learning and networking, and I want to thank APRA for recognising this special opportunity and backing me.  So, after a number of past applications for the PDA, I am thrilled to finally be the recipient.”

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