Top Picks


Songwriters @ The Rocks saw Australia’s next big artists at The Rocks for a series of live performances across two days on Friday 18 and Saturday 19 June.

Aaron Gunawickrema

Fri, 5pm - 5.30pm - Mercantile Hotel 
Fri, 7.15pm - 7.45pm - George Street South 

Sydney based Singer-songwriter Aaron Gun has been building a name for himself over a short time playing at a myriad of venues around Sydney such as The Factory Theatre, Soda Factory and Oxford Village, as a solo artist and as a session musician.
His latest release 'On My Way' climbed to the number 1 spot in the Sri Lankan charts.
Aaron draws from an eclectic variety of influences and has a number of releases planned in the future, collaborating with a number of Australian artists.

Anna Thérèse

Fri, 6.45pm - 7.15pm - Harbour Rocks Hotel (Tayim) 
Fri, 7.15pm - 7.45pm - The Orient Hotel 

Anna Thérèse doesn’t get out much, but when she does, she makes an impression. This bookish singer-songwriter harnesses her introspective bent and Celtic folk roots to craft songs as unique as the genre is old. Simple, stripped-back guitar arrangements make room for expansive, meandering melodies, whose delicate delivery will be sure to charm and disarm, inviting the listener to enter heart-first into its intimate subject matter.

BOI (Anna Buckingham)

Fri, 6.45pm - 7.15pm - George Street South 
Fri, 7.15pm - 7.45pm - Mercantile Hotel

Anna Buckingham is the powerhouse pop talent behind BOI, hailing from sunny Newcastle where her appetite for song writing started in her teens. Her many years of devotion put into developing and refining her sound culminated in five years in the band Nova & The Experience. But her creative journey saw her wanting to break out as a solo artist after gaining recognition through festival stages conquered at the likes of Splendour in the Grass as a feature vocalist for LDRU. She has also performed alongside and teamed up with an impressive array of artists such as Alice Ivy, Super Cruel, Alex Lahey, TORA, The Chainsmokers, Godlands, Xavier Dunn and ALIUS.
2019 brought in a huge round of achievements for BOI as she released her debut single ‘Imaginary Boys’ which was showered with love and support flowing in from Triple J, community radio, Spotify and Apple editorial playlisting. She followed up with subsequent singles ‘Sick of Loving You’ and ‘Beast and Beauty’ which has reached over 3.5 million streams to date. Rounding off her successful year by winning the Triple J Unearthed feature spot playing at This That Festival in her hometown of Newcastle.
Excelling her way into 2020 BOI went on to release her fourth single ‘Fairtytale’ followed by her debut EP
‘Look At Me Now’.

Brandon‌ ‌Duff‌

Fri, 5pm - 5.30pm - George Street South 
Fri, 6.30pm - 7pm - Mercantile Hotel

Brandon‌ ‌Duff‌ ‌is‌ ‌a‌ ‌Central‌ ‌Coast‌ ‌based‌ ‌musician‌ ‌who‌ ‌has‌ ‌performed‌ ‌in‌ ‌front‌ ‌of‌ ‌ audiences‌ ‌since‌ ‌he‌ ‌was‌ ‌a‌ child.‌ ‌For‌ ‌the‌ ‌past‌ ‌7‌ ‌years‌ ‌he‌ ‌has‌ ‌regularly‌ ‌been‌ ‌playing‌ ‌shows‌ ‌for‌ ‌eager‌ ‌listeners‌ ‌and‌ ‌evolving‌ ‌his‌ ‌unique‌ ‌style.‌ ‌From‌ ‌pubs‌ ‌and‌ ‌weddings‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌bright‌ ‌lights‌ ‌of‌ ‌reality‌ ‌television,‌ ‌he‌ ‌has‌ ‌certainly‌ ‌made‌ ‌a‌ ‌name‌ ‌for‌ ‌himself‌ ‌throughout‌ ‌his‌ ‌career.‌ ‌
Recently‌ ‌he‌ ‌has‌ ‌been‌ ‌working‌ ‌on‌ ‌his‌ ‌pop‌ ‌influenced‌ ‌sound‌ ‌and‌ ‌creating‌ ‌memorable‌ ‌original‌ ‌tracks.‌ ‌
 ‌Some‌ ‌of‌ ‌his‌ ‌previous‌ ‌achievements‌ ‌include‌ ‌appearing‌ ‌on‌ ‌The‌ ‌Voice‌ ‌2014,‌ ‌winner‌ ‌of‌ ‌Seafm‌ ‌Discovered‌ ‌in‌ ‌2015‌ ‌and‌ ‌securing‌ ‌a‌ ‌mentoring‌ ‌session‌ ‌with‌ ‌Amy‌ ‌Shark‌ ‌in‌ ‌2018.‌ 

Crystal Cities (Geoff Rana)

Sat, 1pm - 1.30pm - The Orient Hotel 
Sat, 2.10pm - 2.45pm - The Rocks Square

From a Sydney garage to Abbey Road Studios in London, Australian dream rock band, Crystal Cities, have come a long way in just over 3 years.
In March of 2017 Crystal Cities released their critically acclaimed Debut EP, Who’s Gonna Save Us Now, receiving widespread attention across the globe from tastemakers like Indie Obsessive, The Revue, and EarToTheGround Music. The title track and lead single, ‘Who’s Gonna Save Us Now’ reached number 1 on the Triple j Unearthed overall charts within a few days of its release. 
In 2019 the band completed their cinematic debut album, Under the Cold Light of the Moon, and inked a publishing deal with global sync and licensing agency Audio Network. 2019 saw a lot of success for the band including a sold out show in Sydney, a #14 debut on the FMQB SubModern Albums Chart in the US, glowing reviews from The Rockpit, KTSW 89.9, Portland Radio Project 99.1, and having their debut album declared the “Best Album of 2019” by music blog Indie Pop-Ups.
The title track and lead single from their debut album, “Under the Cold of the Moon” has also fared well, receiving airplay on Double j, Triple Unearthed, and Triple M as well as being credited as the 10th best track of 2019 according to Eclectic Music Lover.
Crystal Cities are Geoff Rana (vocals/guitar/keys), Jared King (bass/backing vocals), and Daniel Conte (drums/percussion).

Gully Days

Fri, 6.30pm - 7pm - George Street 
Fri, 8pm - 8.30pm - The Orient Hotel 

Gully Days are a young Indie Rock band from Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs forming in late 2019 with a variety of influences and styles including surf punk, pop and rock. Gully Days will be stripping it back for an acoustic set for Songwriters on The Rocks.

*Not a contestant. 

Jack Gaudion

Fri, 5.45pm - 6.15pm - Mercantile Hotel 
Fri, 8pm - 8.30pm - George Street South 

Growing up in the country Gaudion acquired traits of a simple life, finding value in the small and having hope and belief in the big things.
In 2014, Gaudion decided to take a trip to Canada with some friends on a pursuit to find out what the world was really about. They worked on small farms driving tractors in a town called Kyle (population - 400). In this place, Gaudion began to teach himself how to sing and play guitar inside a Grain Silo every day after work.
It wasn't until 2019 that Gaudion began showing the world what he was made of. The dream came to life in light of heartache and loss when the livelihood of Gaudion's family was upturned due to the loss of their farm in the harsh Australian drought. "I learned from having nothing though, I learned that its okay and I learned that in life joy is within yourself and what you make of you, not what you have because those things change. I'm working hard to find ways to share my story and to help people find their joy in life."

Jack Rose

Sat, 2pm 2.30pm - The Argyle
Sat, 5pm - 5.30pm - The Rocks Square

Jack Rose is an Australian singer/songwriter from the south east coast of NSW.

*Not a contestant. 

Little Green (Amy Nelson)

Sat, 1pm - 1.30pm - The Rocks Square
Sat, 3pm - 3.30pm - The Orient Hotel 

Growing‌ ‌up‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌Blue‌ ‌Mountains,‌ ‌Little‌ ‌Green‌ ‌developed‌ ‌a‌ ‌childlike‌ ‌sense‌ ‌of‌ ‌storytelling‌ ‌and‌ ‌serene‌ ‌musicality‌ ‌inspired‌ ‌by‌ ‌the‌ ‌nature‌ ‌around‌ ‌her.‌ ‌
Self-taught‌ ‌on‌ ‌flute,‌ ‌sax,‌ ‌guitar,‌ ‌piano‌ ‌and‌ ‌vocals,‌ ‌she‌ ‌has‌ ‌used‌ ‌her‌ ‌skillset‌ ‌to‌ ‌create‌ ‌a‌ ‌compelling‌ ‌live‌ ‌show,‌ ‌start‌ ‌a‌ ‌popular‌ ‌mini‌ ‌beat‌ ‌series‌ ‌online,‌ ‌and‌ ‌collaborate;‌ ‌her‌ ‌most‌ ‌recent‌ ‌releases‌ ‌being‌ ‌supported‌ ‌by‌ ‌Triple‌ ‌J,‌ ‌KIIS1065,‌ ‌TEDx‌ ‌Melbourne,‌ ‌Spotify,‌ ‌MTV‌ ‌and‌ ‌more.‌ ‌

Lucy Bollinger

Fri, 5pm - 5.30pm - The Orient Hotel
Fri, 7.15pm - 7.45pm - Harbour Rocks Hotel 

Lucy Bollinger is a soulful singer songwriter from Sydney, Australia. 
After studying a Masters in Art Curating and moving to London she fell in love with the musical scene of Brixton and often held local jam nights within the community. 
Lucy aims to spread love, peace and happiness wherever she goes, and uses her music to help others process and heal their emotions. 
Self taught, you will often find her at the local pub with her uke, ready to sing you a song to brighten your day.

Mariam‌ ‌Sawires‌

Sat, 1.35pm - 2.10pm - The Rocks Square
Sat, 3pm - 3.30pm -  Mercantile Hotel

Raised in a large family obsessed with music, Egyptian-Australian singer-songwriter, Mariam Sawires has valiantly picked up the talent torch to launch her own career. From an early age, she was exposed to a cacophony of sonic influences - introduced to Lauryn Hill, Stevie Wonder and Queen by her mother, taught traditional Arabic rhythms from her professional tabla playing father. Together with her formal musical training and classical education in the bank, Sawires took off to travel the world.

Her stories have been praised by triple j’s Richard Kingsmill, Unearthed, Double J, FBi Radio, Pilerats, Purple Sneaker, Sniffer's Mag, POCC Mag, The Partae, Fashion Journal and BIGSOUND. 

Molly & Louis

3.20pm - 3.55pm - The Rocks Square
4pm - 4.30pm - The Orient Hotel

Molly Roberts and Louis Green have both been individually writing and performing music for what feels like forever. Their shared love and passion for music brought them together earlier this year, where they performed for the 2021 International Women’s Day Awards at Bondi Beach Public Bar. Since then, they have gone onto perform at other venues in Sydney; Louis’ strong, soulful voice and guitar, bring Molly’s angelic performance to life. 

Molly is currently recording her debut EP, set to release early next year and Louis is booked for venues across Sydney. They look forward to bringing people together through a collective love and appreciation of music. 

*Not a contestant. 

Nat & Jules

Sat, 2.45pm - 3.20pm - The Rocks Square
Sat, 4pm - 4.30pm - Mercantile Hotel 

Nat & Jules first came to public attention winning Warringah Mall’s Star Search at the beginning of 2012, aged 9. They were featured on Channel 9’s Australia’s Got Talent in 2013 at 10 years of age, where they reached the semi-finals. 

The quality of their performances and their exceptional vocal harmonies has seen them crowned winners of a number of local competitions. In July 2020, they took out 1st place in Northern Composure Unplugged, a youth competition run by Northern Beaches Council. 
They share a love of contemporary music and perform covers, as well as, original music written by Nat. 
Together Nat & Jules have performed at a number of northern Sydney venues including the Newport, the Music Lounge, the Manly Fig and the Eastern Lounge. The girls enjoy live performances the most, and whether its busking on the Manly Corso, entertaining the local markets, or performing to a room of 100+, they are grateful of any opportunity to showcase their music to the wider community. 

Pace Randolph

Sat, 2pm - 2.30pm - The Orient Hotel
Sat, 4.30pm - 5pm - The Rocks Square

Pace Randolph is a singer-songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist from Sydney's Inner West. 
From a young age, Pace had an interest in music. He was sent to piano lessons at the age of six after showing his parents the first song he’d ever written ‘The Little Crocodile’. Eventually piano turned into clarinet, which turned into him learning bass guitar, electric guitar and the saxophone. With these various instruments, Pace joined several high school bands and played throughout the city regularly, developing his songwriting skills and eventually starting off on his solo project.
In 2020 he released his debut EP Full Contact after a run of shows through Sydney, Paris and London. To challenge himself and to keep motivated during the pandemic, Pace spent the first two months of the lockdown writing a song every day and sharing it online. This eventually led to his rapid growth on TikTok, where he currently has over 105K followers and millions of views on his videos. 
His mixtape 'Pace 2020: an aspiring imperfectionist' was released in January 2021 and celebrates the year that put his music on the map.

Pearl the Girl

Fri, 5.45pm - 6.15pm - The Orient Hotel
Fri, 8pm - 8.30pm - Harbour Rocks Hotel (Tayim)

Pearl The Girl loves to deliver hard hitting pop/rock music. Her impetuous journal entry style of songwriting is both authentic and un-restrained.
After years of working as an actress Pearl has used her experience of tapping into emotional banks for characters as a way to also harvest genuine depth and brutally honest feelings for her music. This results in a song writing nuance of someone way beyond her years.
So eloquent in her ability to express the fundamental concepts of love, breakups, independence/loneliness it is easy to feel as though she has plucked the thoughts from our own minds and entwined them in her melody.
Pearl is an artist of contrasts, like reading through her journal she can be both cynical and optimistic. Her mellifluous vocals can feel both vulnerable and raw yet contain a dash of flirtatious moxy when she invites you into her personal space to experience her dalliances.
"“Punchy, upbeat pop-rock, that channels early Kate Nash, or even Lily Allen…An artist that continues to evolve into something entirely her own.” – Purple Sneakers (2018)

Richard Aljinovic

Fri, 5pm - 5.30pm - Harbour Rocks Hotel (Tayim)
Fri, 6.30pm - 7pm - The Orient Hotel

Singer-songwriter Richard Aljinovic loves bringing his style of soul/blues to the good people of Sydney, with live shows, albums and his “Soul Messenger” band mates.
Richard believes that honestly relating to a song, is the only way to truly connect with an audience. So if you love the styling’s of Bill Withers,  Donny Hathaway, Nina Simone (with a healthy dab of testosterone), he’ll get your juices flowing, with a gutsy, soul drenched voice, fused with dynamics to spare.
Even though Richard always had a love of music, he was a late starter to the scene. After finishing a University degree, he bought a guitar and enrolled into the Australian Institute of music. He then collected a diploma of Music 3 years later, which led him to writing music, playing around Sydney and recording his first EP “So Called Wisdom”. After all of this, Europe called his name where he played gigs in the UK, Germany, Spain, Italy and Croatia. He even threw his hat in the ring to represent Croatia, at Eurovision.
He recorded an EP “Konacno”(meaning “Finally”) in Zagreb Croatia, and on arriving back in Sydney an LP “I’m Alive” as a solo artist. He then found himself with band mates the “Soul Messengers” with whom he has recorded two LP’s “Dirty Soul” and “Vision & Faith”, the later reaching #4 on the Australian Blues and Roots Chart.


Fri, 6.30pm - 7pm - Harbour Rocks Hotel (Tayim)
Fri, 8pm - 8.30pm - The Mercantile Hotel

ROSHANI's music is as captivating and uplifting as her life story. 
Born into a musical family in Sri Lanka, at six weeks of age she was given up for adoption and fate led her to the other side of the world where she had the opportunity to nurture her musical gift.
ROSHANI developed her one-woman show while living in her van, busking on the streets and traveling wherever the wind took her.

Sam + Hunter

Sat, 1pm - 1.30pm - Mercantile Hotel
Sat, 3pm - 3.30pm - The Argyle

Known for his versatile, energetic performances. Sam Hunter has emerged in his scene as a smooth entertainer who engages his audience.
After releasing his first body of work 'Europe, Pt. 1' in 2020, Sam came out the gate in 2021 and released another 4 projects, including 'Europe, Pt. 2' & 'Excuses'.
He has been dubbed "Australia's answer to Kendrick Lamar" - Good Intent... for his unique, melodic style of music.

Thomas Kirk

Sat, 2pm - 2.30pm - Mercantile Hotel
Sat, 4pm - 4.30pm - The Argyle

Thomas‌ ‌originally comes‌ ‌from‌ ‌a‌ ‌small‌ ‌town‌ ‌in‌ ‌rural‌ ‌NSW,‌ ‌but‌ ‌is‌ ‌now‌ ‌based‌ ‌in‌ ‌Sydney‌ ‌for‌ ‌university.‌ ‌
Growing‌ ‌up‌ ‌in‌ ‌a‌ ‌musical‌ ‌family,‌ ‌he‌ ‌has‌ ‌been‌ ‌playing‌ ‌and‌ ‌performing‌ ‌music‌ ‌from‌ ‌an‌ ‌early‌ ‌age,‌ ‌and‌ ‌began‌ ‌his‌ ‌first‌ ‌forays‌ ‌into‌ ‌songwriting‌ ‌in‌ ‌his‌ ‌early‌ ‌teens.‌
‌His‌ ‌musical‌ ‌interests‌ ‌range‌ ‌from‌ ‌folk‌ ‌to‌ ‌grunge rock,‌ ‌and‌ ‌his‌ ‌own‌ ‌songs‌ ‌incorporate elements‌ ‌of‌ ‌both.‌ ‌His‌ influences‌ ‌include‌ ‌artists‌ ‌such‌ ‌as‌ ‌Bon‌ ‌Iver,‌ ‌The‌ ‌Middle‌ ‌East‌ ‌and‌ ‌The‌ ‌Pixies.‌ ‌

Tom Southey

Sat, 1pm - 1.30pm - The Argyle
Sat, 3.55pm - 4.30pm - The Rocks Square

‘Southey’ {pronounced “sa-thee”} is the solo project of independent musician and producer Tom Southey.
Starting out as a busker, Southey developed his sound through hundreds of cover gigs, street performances and open mic nights. 
His songwriting draws upon folk, pop and rock influences and he is currently working to release his first single “Run River”.