Budjerah and Wildfire Manwurrk lead the nominations for this year’s event on Saturday 12 August, with hosts Fred Leone and Elaine Crombie.

    Finalists for the honourable National Indigenous Music Awards (NIMA) have been announced today, with 22 of Australia’s finest First Nations artists up for awards at the ceremony on August 12. The night’s festivities, sponsored by Amazon Music, will take place on Larrakia Country at the Darwin Amphitheatre. The awards will be hosted by none other than artist, cultural leader, and Butchulla Songman Fred Leone alongside returning NIMA host, Yunkuntjatjarra, Warrigmay, South Sea and German-descended actress, singer and writer Elaine Crombie.

    As this year’s television partners, NITV and their expert First Nations broadcast team will be on-ground to help spread the celebration to the furthest corners of the nation with the broadcast on NITV and SBS Viceland screening nationally from 7:30pm AEST on Sunday 13 August. The crew will capture every moment from the moving acceptance speeches to the exclusive performances from the likes of Thelma Plum, Barkaa, Budjerah and so many more.

    NIMA Creative Director Ben Graetz says, “It’s been an incredible year for blak excellence in music and we’re excited to celebrate our artists at the live event on beautiful Larrakia Country. It’s fantastic to have the support of NITV with the broadcast to extend our reach to the rest of the nation.”

    Leading this year’s finalists list is ARIA-winning singer songwriter Budjerah, up for Artist of the Year, Song of the Year and Film Clip of the Year. This adds to his already impressive list of accolades from 2023 – having toured the country as support for superstar Ed Sheeran, performed at Grand Central Park in New York, and released the massive hit single, ‘Therapy’. Budjerah will also grace the stage with a performance on the evening.

    With an equal number of hats in the ring, up-and-comers Wildfire Manwurrk are nominated for New Talent of the Year, Film Clip of the Year and Community Clip of the Year. Hailing from Arnhem Land, the group are a melting pot of thrashing guitars, traditional songlines, and the stories they face in a world of culture and change. They’re fast gaining a reputation as one of the best live acts in the country.

    “We have walked a long hard road to get here over many years and feel so happy to be recognised for our music at this national level. To be recognised as one of Australia’s important Indigenous voices means everything to us. Our music tells our story in our language, one of the oldest languages in this world. That language, it will help you connect to where you are standing. It will help us come together, where we learn from each other.” WILDFIRE MANWURRK

    NIMA host Fred Leone will also give the audience, both under the stars and at home, a special night performance, with a worldwide premiere of his latest single ‘Yirimi Gundir’.

    Finalist for Artist of the Year and one of Australia’s most successful artists, Jessica Mauboy, will also be on stage to present an award on the evening.

    Tickets to the Darwin Amphitheatre ceremony on August 12 are available from darwinfestival.org.au.


    Artist of the Year


    Jessica Mauboy


    Kobie Dee

    The Kid Laroi

    New Talent of the Year


    Royston Noell

    Wildfire Manwurrk

    Marlon & Rulla


    Film Clip of the Year

    Wildfire Manwurrk – ‘Lonely Bangardi’

    Budjerah – ‘Therapy’

    A.B. Original – ‘King Billy Cokebottle’

    Thelma Plum – ‘The Brown Snake’

    King Stingray – ‘Let’s Go’

    Song of the Year

    Bumpy – ‘Hide and Seek’

    Budjerah – ‘Therapy’

    Miiesha – ‘Skin Deep’

    King Stingray – ‘Let’s Go’

    Yirrmal ft. Dami Im – ‘Promised Land’

    Album of the Year

    Thelma Plum – Meanjin (EP)

    Ngulmiya – Self-titled

    Mo’Ju – Oro Plata Mata

    Miiesha – Smoke & Mirrors

    Beddy Rays – Self-titled

    Community Clip of the Year

    Wildfire Manwurrk – ‘Mararradj’

    Utju Community – ‘Tjamuku Tjukurpa Kanyila’

    Lil Yougins – ‘The Problem’

    Indigenous Outreach Project w/ Gunyangara, Yirrkala & Dhalinbuy, NT ft. Yirrmal – ‘Indigenous Outreach Projects, Gunyangara, Yirrkala & Dhalinbuy ft. Yirrmal’

    Garrthalala Community – ‘Garrthalala Manikay’

    Dunghutti Community in Kempsey NSW – ‘The Black Truth – There’s Still Hope’