Roymackonkey win songwriting comp

Exciting news Territory music lovers! Darwin band Roymackonkey have won the Rock/Indie Category at the 2013 Australian Songwriters Association National Songwriting Awards! Congratulations guys! The band flew to Sydney to accept their award and play at the event. Their song 'Great Divide' beat a field of thousands to take out the best Rock/Indie song in the annual competition. Before heading to the awards, the band had a chat with MusicNT about winning, the song and the Darwin music scene.

Roy Mackonkey are: Darryl Barba, Fletcher Kane Bowman, John Coulehan, Tristan Peter Etherington and Rudy Navin (and Brian McLeod beginning of 2013).

How did you feel when you found out you'd won?
I was confused that we had won an award for a competition I had no memory submitting for, once I figured it out though I was stoked to have been told we have won an award for songwriting in a category that had thousands of applications.

What is the song 'Great Divide' about and how special is to for this song to receive such recognition?
It's about the tyranny of distance geographically and emotionally speaking of the heart and the bitter sweetness of hope and fear that is both the knowing and never really knowing another person completely in regards to relationships and perspective of love.

What do you think the judges liked about the song?
The song was judged on its Lyrical, Melody, Structure, Arrangement and Originality... I reckon they liked it cause the bridge sounds like Tommy Tutone 8675-309 Jenny.

How are you feeling about going to Sydney to play at the ASAI Awards?
Feeling great about heading down to perform our song in front of some legends of the Australian Music Industry and to be able to use this opportunity to promote NT music.

Did you apply for the award? If so do you think it's important for bands to actively apply for Industry Awards and Recognition?
Yes, I registered the song via Sonicbids a few months ago much the same way as registering for the NT Song Of The Year. Yes it is important to spread the word about your music in anyway you can and by registering for any competition that is legit is a good way of getting your talent noticed! You just never know who is listening to your music.

This has been a huge year for Roy Mackonkey want to share some of the highlights?
Winning this award obviously and the release of our album in February plus the positive support from the local artistic community who we are proud to call our family. Big thank you to everyone who has supported us through our journey.

What's next for the band? Any plans for 2014?
New Album and Touring is what I want to plan for but for the moment we have to start writing new material.

How do you feel the NT music scene is going at the moment?
Oh man this place is kicking goals and its buzzing with awesome talent across all genres.

Is there anyone/people/orgs you'd like to thank for supporting you this year?
Grace Cranley, Brian McLeod, John Coulehan, Fletcher Bowman, Rudy Navin, Nico Leingme, Tristan Etherington,  Zed Major, UBX, Amy Hetherington @ Music NT, Chippo Darwin, Happy Yess, Darwin Railway Club, Australian Songwriting Association, Paz Tassone,  Markus and Penny @ No Culture Apparel, Kylie Flett @ In Ya Face Clothing, Mim @ Darwin Tattoo Studio and everybody we know in this great community of artists.

What advice do you have for other bands/musos about making music in the NT?
Be involved as much as possible and learn as much as possible about songwriting and the industry you want to be apart of! Also be professional as possible and treat everyone with respect! Especially venue owners sound technicians and promotional organisations... You support them and they support you.

For more information on the Australian Songwriters Association head to


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