• For the first time in NIMA history two artists were awarded the Artist of the Year prize; Jessica Mauboy and Dan Sultan. An equal amount of votes came in from the voting panel for each artist and the decision was made to honor both parties with this prestigious national award.

    What a great honour to receive this award, and when I saw the list of Finalists this year it dawned on me just how many more names are yet to be awarded this very same one I happily share with Jess. There’s so much great talent coming through and it’s a privilege to be in the same company. I want to also thank the NIMA’s and everyone who voted,” says Dan Sultan.

    QLD singer/songwriter Thelma Plum was awarded for Song of the Year for How Much Does Your Love Cost? Being the first triple j Unearthed NIMA competition winner back in 2012 the songstress was thrilled to be honoured with an award.

    Maverick hip-hop artist Briggs flew in and walked away with two gongs for Album of the year for Sheplife and Film Clip of the Year for Bad Apples produced by Heath Kerr & Josh Davis, the video now has 250k views on YouTube and climbing. A must-see.

    Last year’s triple j Unearthed NIMA winner Philly was recognised with the New Talent of the Year award and the award for Cover Art of the Year went to Cause N Affect – a profound debut album released by Radical Son.

    The National Community Clip of the Year acknowledges the role that music and new media plays in spreading positive messages throughout Indigenous communities. This year the NIMA went to Cairns Murri Crew – Built to Last produced by Desert Pea Media and showcasing the extraordinary talents of these young adults from Cairns.

    NT Traditional Music Award of the Year went to two acts both from North East Arnhem Land: Djalu Gurruwiwi a healer and the world’s primary custodian of the Yidaki, [the didgeridoo] – known in the music business for shaping the Yidaki used by Yothu Yindi throughout their career. And East Journey received the award for their songlines Mokuy & Bonba recorded with permission to be publically available via The Genesis Project EP released earlier this year.

    NT School Band of the Year goes to Karungkarni formed in 2014 at Kalkaringi School. Kalkaringi is an Indigenous community 470km south-west of Katherine, NT and sometimes referred to as Wave Hill. The band won the 2014 Garma Youth Song Writing Competition at Garma Festival in 2014. The band’s song ‘Gurindji Man,’ about Gurindji leader Vincent Lingiari who headed the 1966 strike at Wave Hill, was featured on Radio National and ABC news around the time of Gough Whitlam’s funeral in late 2014.

    And this year’s artists inducted into the NIMA Hall of Fame for their remarkable contribution to the Indigenous music scene were legendary Central Australian band Blekbala Mujik, who are broadly considered one of the most influential of Australia’s Aboriginal rock bands, and a legend of equal standing Vic Simms.

    The National Indigenous Music Awards were held in Darwin on Saturday 25th July. Hosted by NITV and SBS journalist and presenter Malarndirri McCarthy and cabaret comedian Kamahi Djordon King with performances from Gurrumul, East Journey ft Yothu Yindi, Frank Yamma, B2M, The Painted Ladies, Blekbala Mujik, Yirrmal and Zane Francis it was another outstanding culturally rich event held under the beautiful Darwin dry season sky.

    2015 National Indigenous Music Award Winners

    Artist of the Year

    Jessica Mauboy and Dan Sultan

    Album of the Year

    Sheplife – Briggs

    Song of the Year

    How much does your love cost? – Thelma Plum

    New Talent of the Year


    Cover Art of the Year

    Cause N Affect – Radical Son. Design: Spencer Harvey & Lloyd Harvey

    Film Clip of the Year

    Bad Apples – Briggs. Produced by Heath Kerr & Josh Davis

    Community Music Clip

    Cairns Murri Crew – Built to Last. Desert Pea Media

    Traditional Award

    Djalu Gurruwiwi and East Journey for Mokuy & Bonba

    Hall of Fame

    Vic Simms and Blekbala Mujik

    School Band of the Year

    The Karungkarni Band