Live and back on Larrakia Country, this year’s National Indigenous Music Awards (NIMAs) was a powerful celebration of First Nations talent past and present.
Playing out under the stars at Darwin Amphitheatre, Baker Boy was the biggest winner of the ceremony, walking up to the podium twice Saturday night.
The rapping-dancing Yolŋu sensation won Album of the Year for his inspiring debut album Gela and was named Artist Of The Year. It’s the third time the Fresh Prince of Arnhem Land has won in that latter category, bringing his total NIMAs tally to nine trophies since he first gracing the ceremony as an Unearthed competition winner back in 2017.
Fresh from the release of their self-titled debut album, King Stingray claimed the coveted Song Of The Year for scorching bush-disco belter ‘Milkumana’ (voted #56 in triple j’s Hottest 100 of 2021). The Yolŋu rock band also proved why they’re one of Australia’s deadliest live acts with an electrifying performance to close out the ceremony.
Gumbaynggirr and Bundjalung woman Jem Cassar-Daley, aka the indie pop offspring of country legend Troy Cassar-Daley, was named Best New Talent following the release of her 2021 debut EP I Don’t Know Who To Call.
‘King Brown’ by powerful Malyangapa and Barkindji rapper Barkaa was recognized as Film Clip Of The Year, while Indigenous Outreach Projects earned Community Clip of the Year for ‘Loud & Proud’.
Dobby, the Murrawarri/Filipino multi-instrumentalist rapper and producer behind some of the best First Nations raps going ’round, took home the Archie Roach Foundation Award, recognizing his achievements and supporting his growth as an artist.
Moving tributes to Archie Roach and Gurrumul
Powerhouse vocalist Emma Donovan and Butchulla songman Fred Leone led an emotional homage to the late Archie Roach, pairing up for an emotional performance of the important and influential songwriter and storyteller’s ‘We Won’t Cry’.
Joined on stage by a chorus of First Nations talent, it was a teary celebration of the life of the important and influential Uncle Archie, just days after the Gunditjmara (Kirrae Whurrong/Djab Wurrung), Bundjalung Senior Elder died at age 66.
The ceremony also commemorated the musical legacy and life of Gurrumul, who was officially inducted into the NIMAs Hall Of Fame and honored with a performance by his brother and Saltwater Band co-founder Manuel Dhurrkay.
The acclaimed, otherworldly Yolŋu singer-songwriter died due to liver and kidney damage in 2017 but left behind a stunning catalog of solo records that won multiple ARIAs, NIMAs, APRA and AIR Awards, and was named Double J Australian Artist of the Year in 2018 .
He joins NIMAs Hall Of Fame inductees Warumpi Band, Archie Roach, Roger Knox, Kev Carmody and the band he started out in, Yothu Yindi.
The NIMAs also hosted a live line-up of performances from Thelma Plum, hip hop power couple Birdz and Fred Leone, the soulful Emma Donovan & The Putbacks, traditional dance from Red Flag Dancers, and the elegant pipes of Noongar woman and triple j Unearthed. winner Bumpy.
The NIMAs have been Australia’s most important celebration of Indigenous music for 16 years but 2022 marked a glorious return to Larrakia Country in Darwin after a two-year hiatus. The ceremony was forced to innovate around the COVID pandemic, going virtual in 2020 and presented as a two-hour special on triple j’s Blak Out last year.
View the full list of winners below and tune into Blak Out this Sunday from 5pm for a highlights wrap of winners, performances, and backstage antics simulcast across triple j, Double J and triple j Unearthed.
National Indigenous Music Awards 2022 Winners
Artist of the Year
Album of the Year
New Talent of the Year
Song of the Year
King Stingray – ‘Milkumana’ (songwriters: Roy Kellaway / Gotjirringu Jerome Yunipingu)
Film Clip of the Year
Barkaa – ‘King Brown’ (Directed & Produced by Sonder Films, Executive Producer: Vyva Entertainment)
Community Clip of the Year
Numulwar, NT – Loud & Proud (Directors & Producers: Indigenous Outreach Projects/Matthew Mastratisi/Franceska Fusha/Lesley Phillips/Jordan O’Davis/Numbulwar Community & School)
Hall of Fame
Archie Roach Foundation Award
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