In their 19th year, the National Indigenous Music Awards brought their finest celebration of First Nations music yet. Held at Darwin Amphitheatre on Larrakia Country, the event saw great laughs from co-hosts Fred Leone and Elaine Crombie, and a slew of dazzling performances from Fred, Thelma Plum, Budjerah and so many more.
Host Fred Leone gave us a taste of his new tunes by performing the worldwide live premiere of his recent single, ‘Yirimi Gundir’. To co-anchor the evening, he was joined onstage by none other than gifted singer, actress, and comedian Elaine Crombie to form a hilarious and charming dynamic duo.
Yolngu stars King Stingray swept up at the awards, taking the top prizes for Song of the Year and Film Clip of the Year both for their bop, ‘Let’s Go.’ Meanwhile, after an incredible 12 months on the scene, Budjerah was honoured with the coveted Artist of the Year award, sponsored by Amazon Music.
Earning herself best album of the year was Australian indie icon Thelma Plum for her hometown loveletter, Meanjin (EP), while the Indigenous Language Award was gifted to the enchanting traditional songman Ngulmiya for his self-titled debut album.
Last year’s Triple J Unearthed NIMA competition winner Bumpy earned New Talent of the Year after bursting onto the scene. Wildfire Manwurrk have had a similarly fast rise into the spotlight, earning themselves Community Clip of the Year at the ceremony.
The Hall of Fame spot was awarded to Yothu Yindi for their long and powerful contributions to Indigenous and Australian music across several decade and the Archie Roach Foundation Award went to the impressive rising stars from Stone Country, Arnhem Land Wildfire Manwurrk and Madi Colville-Walker from Moama.
Kobie Dee, Dean Brady, Thelma Plum, Barkaa, Ngulmiya and Budjerah gave world class performances across the night, giving the crowd a taste of the ethereal talent of our First Nations artists. To complement, the Red Flag Dancers gave an ever-stunning performance of traditional dance amongst the singing.
Djanaba had everyone up and dancing during her performance as the well-deserved winner of this year’s NIMAs triple j Unearthed contest.
Triple j will broadcast the highlights and wrap-up of the evening to radio on Blak Out on Sunday 13 August.
NITV and SBS On Demand will televise the festivities from Larrakia Country the following night, on Sunday 13 August at 7.30pm. The NIMAs will also broadcast on SBS Viceland on Friday 18 August at 11.05pm and on SBS on Saturday 19 August at 9am.
2023 NATIONAL INDIGENOUS MUSIC AWARDS WINNERS
Artist of the Year
New Talent of the Year
Film Clip of the Year
King Stingray – ‘Let’s Go’
Song of the Year
King Stingray – ‘Let’s Go’
Album of the Year
Thelma Plum – Meanjin (EP)
Community Clip of the Year
Wildfire Manwurrk – ‘Mararradj’
Indigenous Language Award
Hall of Fame
Archie Roach Foundation Award
Triple J Unearthed Competition Winner