Gold Coast Songwriters On The International Stage

Gold Coast Songwriters On The International Stage

Gold Coast artists are among those recognised as some of the best internationally – taking out semi-finalist and finalist positions in the prestigious International Songwriting Competition. The Gold Coast Music Network loves to celebrate artists in our community who are kicking goals, so special congratulations to Haystack Mountain Hermits, Miss Nicky Says, PARKER, City Over Sand, Mitch King, Mathilde Anne and Phoenix K. 

GCMN Industry Coordinator Kirsty Abrahams caught up with some of the finalists and semi-finalists to find out more about their most recent achievements and projects they have in the works.


Haystack Mountain Hermits

The Haystack Mountain Hermits are a family band, based in Mt Tamborine. They started playing music together as they busked their way around Australia in 2012, the kids started learning their instruments in the van as they travelled. They haven’t stopped since, playing many festivals and gathering many awards and a devoted following along the way.

After releasing their music-art film One Last Ride in 2023, the song and video have been recognised as Highly Commended (Australian Songwriting Association) and Semi-finalist in the International Songwriting Competition. The band was finalist in two categories of the 2023 Australian Folk Music Awards – Best Folk Act and People’s Choice, as well as the ICM (International Classical Music) Awards as Best Australian Independent Band. They say while the accolades are appreciated, however the family band plays music together because they enjoy doing so. 

Haystack Mountain Hermits are working on an original album and the new songs will feature in the ‘Songs and Stories’ series at Tamborine Mountain, where songwriters perform and discuss the stories behind the songs. 

Miss Nicky Says

Nicky grew up playing the piano, viola, cello and singing. A local Gold Coaster for 20 years, Nicky began performing at Early Learning Centres around the coast eight years ago. When COVID hit, Nicky took her act online and experimented creating content for Māori children both in Australia and New Zealand. To her surprise the content was very successful and Miss Nicky continued to create educational content and songs to teach te reo Māori to young audiences. 

“My largest audience is Auckland NZ and second largest audience is the Gold Coast with an audience reaching anywhere from here on the Gold Coast to South America and China!” Nicky said.

On top of her two year streak as a semi-finalist for the International Songwriting Competition, Miss Nicky started 2024 as the starring act for the Taranaki Festival of Lights and celebrated 2.5 million youtube views!

Miss Nicky is heading back across the ditch in June to perform two shows in Auckland. Prior to her travels she is also celebrating the release of a published bi-lingual children’s songbook which will be available in stores from May 2024.

June 22 – The Tuning Fork, Auckland
June 23 – Whoa Studios featuring New Zealand’s Children’s star Suzy Cato


17 year old Southern Cross University Bachelor of Contemporary Music student Sam Lethbridge or better known around the music scene as emerging Surf-Rock artist PARKER has truly made waves over the past twelve months. Not only is he a FINALIST for the International Songwriting Competition for Local Paradise but also is up for a 2024 Queensland Music Award in the Youth category for his song Sofa Bed

Sofa bed is about the huge high and energy you have when you meet someone special and how that energy can turn angry then melancholic and reflective when it all turns to custard.” Said PARKER

It’s very exciting to see the list of incredible musicians and industry professionals that are going to hear my song Local Paradise. It’s a song that means so much to me, It’s a love song to the Southern Gold Coast and my mates.” 

Recorded with local production legend Scott French at Love Street Studios and released by MDDN Records, PARKER’s song Local Paradise touches on the anxiety that comes with finishing high-school and walking into a new season. This song truly encapsulates the Gold Coast. The music video for Local Paradise was created thanks to the Creative Generation Visual Arts Award received by PARKER from an education dept initiative for senior school visual arts students throughout Queensland.

You can support PARKER by voting for him in the people’s choice category for the ISC.

Recently returning from Los Angeles PARKER has been songwriting and recording at Joel and Benji Maddens’ studio MDDN Records. 

“Joel has been mentoring and supporting me since I was 15 when he discovered my EP Hunky Dory released as an NFT on the Cardano Blockchain” said PARKER. PARKER hopes to return to LA soon.

Local Paradise digital installation will be a part of an exhibition at QAGOMA in Brisbane opening 27th April.



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