First Nations singer Thelma Plum has taken out the 2020 Vanda & Young Global Songwriting Competition with Better In Blak, the powerful and poetic title track from her debut album.
The song, which came in at #9 in the 2019 triple j Hottest 100, has netted Thelma $50,000 courtesy of APRA AMCOS, Alberts and BMG. It's a huge win, and one that is thoroughly deserved.
Speaking about the win in a statement, Thelma says, the song is “deeply personal, written when I was feeling very alone. I don’t feel alone today”. Better In Blak is a response to those who tried to pull Thelma down, and how she rose above the hatred.
Second place went to Baker Boy with his track Meditjin, which he performs in both Yolngu Matha and English. It's a track about using music as medicine, and he's received a $10,000 prize from media and IP law firm Banki Haddock Fiora.
This year's competition saw over 4000 entries from 46 countries, with entry fees raising just over $203,000 for Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Australia. They provide music therapy programs at their own clinics, as well as aged care centres, schools, disability centres and hospitals.
In case you need a refresher, check out the video for Better In Blak below. It's a track that we're still playing on repeat, and we can't see that changing any time soon. Congratulations Thelma!