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Get to know Alex Burnett, our newest ambassador

Story Published Wednesday 5 February 2020
A black and white photo of songwriter, Alex Burnett
Alex Burnet’s varied credits include Sparkadia, Anthony and Cleopatra and writing for Thelma Plum, Hayden James and Flight Facilities

New ambassador Alex Burnett has co-written with Thelma Plum, Hayden James and Flight Facilities

He says a great song must come from the heart

Copyright allows Alex to keep making and creating music


Our newest APRA AMCOS Ambassador appointee is starting out 2020 with incredible songwriting achievements to his credit

London-based songwriter/producer/artist Alex Burnett was a key collaborator on Thelma Plum's acclaimed album Better in Blak, which scored three songs in the triple j Hottest 100 countdown, including the album's stunning title track at #9.

From his early days as frontman in Sydney band Sparkadia to focusing on co-writing (Hayden James, Alison Wonderland, Flight Facilities) and his own artist projects in the UK, Alexander's breadth of work is diverse and always evolving and next he is sets out to start his own publishing company.

We sat down with Alex to ask a few questions about what songwriting and copyright mean to him.

Is there a song that set you on your musical path?

'Tune in / Tune Out' by Red Riders. I saw them at the Hopetoun (RIP) by accident one night and thought they were amazing. Just incredible. I knew Alex, the singer, from my high school and thought...if he could do it, then at least I could try and see where it took me.

What’s your favourite song right now?

'Lost in Yesterday' by Tame Impala. I've always dug them but this one might be my fave 2020 song already.

In contemporary music, what is setting the great songs apart from OK songs?

I think it's about resonance. Not catchiness or big production. It has to be a song from the heart with interesting production that compliments the vocal.

I think the days of making songs sound like other songs on playlists are over and people want to hear weird, wacky, fresh, heartfelt songs.

As someone who has collaborated extensively and widely, what is your advice for helping get the best out of others in those situations?

Always do your homework and be patient about what the others are looking for before just doing what you think you want to do. The gold is always in the middle.

What are your tips for re-locating and establishing a musical career in London?

Well...firstly it's really hard. It just is. No one in a different territory really cares about you until you've proven your worth and turned up to loads of sessions. That being said, the experience really gave me my skills to become a better writer and work with loads of amazing artists and producers. I don't regret taking the risk.

What is the biggest challenge facing songwriters in today’s industry?

Where do we start? I feel that there's currently a greater value on production or the recording of the song rather than the melody and lyrics which is going to have to change for the songwriters of tomorrow in order to survive.

Copyright is meaningful to me because…

It protects my work and allows me to keep making and creating music.

I am an APRA AMCOS Ambassador because…

APRA have always had my back and their door is always open. I'd love to fight for Australian songwriters and help APRA move into the global marketplace.

Thelma Plum - Better in Blak