Arts & Culture

Harry wins international people’s voice award

Edwina Mason 13 May 2020
Harry Cleverdon performing with guitar onstage.

Young’s Harry Cleverdon has won the People’s Voice Award at the 2020 International Songwriting Competition. Photo: Supplied.

To say last week was big for Harry Cleverdon would be an understatement. The singer songwriter from Young turned 18 and won the People’s Voice award in the International Songwriting Competition (ISC).

The news came through last Thursday night from an elated Harry, who said he was thankful and overjoyed that his song and music video, Hit Me While I’m Down, came out on top in a competition that fielded more than 18,000 entries from 140 countries.

His tune was hailed as an “outstanding accomplishment” by competition judges and organisers, who also said, “We applaud the songwriting skill and dedication it takes to reach this status.”

If you missed the story on Harry’s musical journey and his ISC bid, you can read it here.

Hit Me While I’m Down appears on Harry’s debut EP “From My Side of the Stage”, released in October 2019, and tackles the issue of how young lives can be affected after experiencing rejection from peers.

The video was directed by Canberra filmmaker Rowen Grant, from video production company Sixth Row, who is a creative force in his own right. Rowen’s mini-documentary, Solo Twenty-Four, won an award at the AdventurePro Video Film Festival and screened at the Bicycle Film Festival in NYC.

Produced entirely in Canberra with local actors Sorchia Daley and Gabrielle Gregoire, Rowen said the music video came together very well.

“I’m ecstatic the track is getting the attention it deserves,” he tells About Regional. “Harry is a gifted musician and I’m very grateful he asked me to create the video.”

HArry Cleverdon posing with his family and a cake to celebrate his 18th birthday.

Harry celebrated his 18th birthday last week. He is pictured here with his mother Elke (second from left), father Charlie (right) and sister Chelsea (left). Photo: Supplied.

Rowen says it was Harry’s idea to create a video that would stand alone as a short film, with the darker themes explored in the lyrics a nice foundation for writing a script.

“I knew that with careful planning I could make it seem as if the song and video were made in unison, as if one wouldn’t exist without the other,” he says. “That’s when I think music video has achieved its ultimate goal.”

Rowen says it is great that Harry’s music is gaining traction and starting to reach a wider audience.

The annual ISC, which is run out of Nashville, Tennessee, is open to amateur and professional songwriters, offering them a platform to have their music heard by decision makers in the music industry, including iconic celebrity artists and high-profile industry executives.

Past winners have included R.LUM.R, Illenium, Vance Joy, Gotye, Bastille, Kehlani, The Band Perry, Kimbra, Passenger, Kasey Chambers, Lindsey Stirling, Kate Miller-Heidke, Gregory Porter, King Charles, Gin Wigmore, Andrew Bird, for King & Country, Heather Morgan, Dave Berg, Gordie Sampson, Darryl Scott, Tom Hambridge and Omar Sosa.

The large and prestigious panel of judges this year included artists such as Coldplay, Dua Lipa, Tom Waits, Kevin Gates, Cam, Bastille, The Script, Kristian Bush (Sugarland), Fleet Foxes, Gloria Trevi, Tanya Tucker, Lukas Nelson, Irma Thomas and Danilo Perez.

For his efforts, Harry receives a prize pack which includes one free release on music aggregator TuneCore; a computer software program for music composition and performance created by PreSonus; a gift certificate from music technology and instrument retailer Sweetwater Sound Inc; a one year’s featured membership on online booking marketplace GigSalad; a one-year subscription to entertainment industry site Celebrity Access, 12-month subscription to merchandise sales platform Merch Cat; and a one-year platinum membership to international music education SongU, which offers courses, song feedback sessions and pitching opportunities.

For more reading on Harry Cleverdon: Exciting young talent’s EP offers message of hope for youth.

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