COVID closures and pandemic restrictions weren’t enough to dampen the spirits at this year’s National Indigneous Music Awards, with the event going completely virtual for the first time across TV, radio and online, showing the resilience and tenacity of a community intent on celebrating First Nations talent from across our lands.
The night’s big winner was Yolngu man Baker Boy who took home trophies for Artist of the Year, Song of the Year and Film Clip of the Year for his hit Meditjin. Accepting his award live from Bendigo, Baker Boy offered love for his fellow First Nations artists and thanked his family across Arnhem Land for their belief and support.
“Woah, my heart! This is crazy. I honestly didn’t think I could win at all tonight, but I just want to say to all the nominees tonight across all of the categories; you are incredible, you are amazing and I am so proud of you all, my brothers and sisters,” said Baker Boy.
“To my family back in Darwin across Arnhem Land, I’m so proud to represent my people and so overwhelmed by the support and success I have achieved rapping in Yolgnu Matha and English.”
Other big winners on the night were Archie Roach who won Album Of The Year for ‘Tell Me Why’, Miiesha with New Talent of the Year, KDA Crew for Community Clip of the Year and Rrawun Maymuru and Nick Wales who took out the Indigenous Language Award for Nyapillilngu (Spirit Lady) and Kee’Ahn who won the Archie Roach Foundation Award.
The two-hour broadcast was rocked by a last minute host change as NT border closures unfortunately benched one of the intended hosts Stephen Oliver, with the legendary Elaine Crombie joined on the night by NIMA Creative Director Ben Graetz.