Every year the country's 10,000-odd APRA members submit their musical treasures to be considered for the APRA Silver Scroll Award. The award is New Zealand's most prestigious songwriting award, recognising creative excellence in the craft of songwriting, regardless of sales figures and chart success. Since its inception in 1965, the Scroll has passed through the hands of the country's songwriting elite: Ray Columbus, Dave Dobbyn, Bic Runga, Don McGlashan, Neil Finn, Chris Knox, and many more.
Last year's award was won by Wellington singer-songwriter Thomas Oliver with, "a light-hearted song about taking someone to Mars and lying in the dirt, drinking Cognac and listening to records."
The top 20 songs in line for this year's gong have been announced. In the diverse list you'll find crowd-pleasers like Kings' earworm 'Don't Worry 'Bout It' — the longest reigning single in the #1 spot — alongside heart-jerking ballad 'Horizon' by Lyttelton songwriter Aldous Harding, te reo Maori thrash metal track 'Urutaa' from Northland's Alien Weaponry, and two entries from Lorde. Listen to the finalists below.
The list was determined from over 200 entries by a jury of 11 songwriters. It will now be whittled down to five finalists by the country's contingent of APRA members before a winner is announced in Dunedin on Thursday 28 September, 2017. Other awards presented include the Maioha Award — celebrating exceptional waiata featuring te reo, the Contemporary Award — celebrating excellence in contemporary composition, Best Original Music in a Feature Film Award, Best Original Music in a Series Award, and an induction into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame.