Presented in recognition of the achievements of ASA co-founder Rudy Brandsma to an ASA member entrant who demonstrates outstanding potential.

2000 Tonino Speciale

Tonino-SpecialeTonino loved music from a very early age, always singing and dancing at every party. The songwriting came about when he learnt to play the piano. The first song he wrote was actually for a girlfriend. “At the time I remember sitting down and putting this song together and eventually performing it for her. I really hate that song now. I guess it’s not bad for a first attempt but I personally dislike it and feel as if my songs have grown so much since then. But it was from this song that I realised that putting words to music came fairly easy to me. So I went on from there”. Now 4 years later Tonino has a repertoire of more than 70 original songs and is very proud of what some of his songs have achieved.

Tonino believes that songwriting is the absolute best way to tell a story: “There’s so much that strong words and great music can do for a person or event. It’s also a great way to let out feelings and emotions that you’d probably never be able to release without music. It’s the best way to get strong messages across to different people. Everybody relates differently to a certain song – that’s why music is the universal language.”

Tonino is from suburban Sydney. He received the Rudy Brandsma Award while studying at Prairiewood High School. He entered three songs in the AUSMUSIC Student Category of the ASA National Songwriting Contest 2000. All three songs finalised and he took out 1st and 2nd place.

Tonino’s Career Highlights to 2001:

Song Contests

  • UNISONG International Song Contest 2000
    1st Place in the R&B/Rap/Hip-Hop Category with the song “Girl Of My Best Friend”

Feature Performances

  • Sydney Youth Olympics Opening Ceremony
  • Darling Harbour Australian Christmas Show – televised
  • 2001 Sydney Schools Spectacular
  • Public Education Campaign Launch at Parliament House
  • Norton Street Festival 2001 – Performance of originals, TV news coverage

Recording Projects

  • Recorded the song “Teach Your Children Well” for the Public Education Campaign – televised nationally
  • Currently working with various producers on latest originals with the aim of getting a recording contract
  • Worked with the “Glass Onion Band” on a short documentary about the Talent Development Project.