The annual NT Song Of The Year Awards, held each year by the territory's industry body MusicNT, has opened entries for 2017's event.

The NT SOTY Awards recognise and showcase the copious musical talents of the country's vast north, across the categories of Rock, Heavy, Electronic/Dance, Folk, Country, Urban/Hip Hop, Blues & Roots, Pop and Youth. There are also publicly voted People's Choice categories and the coveted overall NT Song Of The Year award itself.

According to MusicNT executive director Mark Smith, the ceremony is crucial to the visibility and ongoing success of the Territory's musicians.

“The NT Song of the Year Awards are an important platform to recognise NT talent and showcase it to the rest of the country," Smith said in a statement. "NT Song gives all Territory artists the chance to be discovered, and to show the rest of the country some of the most exciting new music being created.

“A really exciting element is discovering new talent. We come across bedroom producers and musicians who may not have a profile yet, but are submitting killer tracks that we’ve never heard before, and we can't wait to hear this year's entries."

The awards are judged by a panel of industry representatives, and carry obvious benefits from an artist standpoint. Last year's overall winner, Dave Crowe (aka Resin Moon), described his victory as a "massive" boon in a statement.

"I’ve received serious exposure, not just in the NT, but nationally," Crowe enthused. "It was amazing for my confidence as a songwriter, and really encouraging to get that recognition. There is such a high standard of Territory musicians making original music, and to be recognised as the NT Song Of The Year winner last year was an incredible honour."

Entries are open until Friday 26 May.

The winners of all categories will be revealed at the Awards Night on Saturday 8 July. Stay tuned for more announcements on this year's judges, category prizes and more in the near future.

See the competition's website for more information.