Live and back on Larrakia Country, this year’s National Indigenous Music Awards (NIMA) was a powerful celebration of past and present First Nations talent.
Performing under the stars at the Darwin Amphitheater, Baker Boy was the biggest winner of the ceremony, stepping onto the podium twice on Saturday night.
Rap-dance sensation Yolŋu won album of the year for his inspirational debut album Gela and was named Artist of the Year. It is the third time the Fresh Prince of Arnhem Land has won in the latter category, taking his NIMA tally to nine trophies since he graced the ceremony as winner of the Unearthed competition in 2017.
Fresh off the release of their self-titled debut album, King Stingray won the coveted Song of the Year for raunchy bush-disco belter ‘Milkumana’ (voted No. 56 in the triple J’s Hottest 100 of 2021). Rock band Yolŋu also proved why they are one of Australia’s deadliest live bands with an electrifying performance to close out the ceremony.
Gumbaynggirr and Bundjalung’s wife Jem Cassar-Daley, aka the indie pop offspring of country legend Troy Cassar-Daley, has been named best new talent after releasing her debut EP in 2021 I don’t know who to call.
Powerful rapper Malyangapa and Barkindji Barkaa’s ‘King Brown’ was recognized as Movie Clip of the Year, while Indigenous Outreach Projects won Community Clip of the Year for “Strong and Proud”.
Dobby, the Murrawarri/Filipino multi-instrumentalist rapper and producer behind some of the best First Nations raps, won the Archie Roach Foundation Award, recognizing his accomplishments and supporting his growth as an artist.
Moving tributes to Archie Roach and Gurrumul
Power singer Emma Donovan and Butchulla singer Fred Leone have paid a moving tribute to the late Archie Roach, teaming up for a moving performance by the important and influential songwriter and storyteller’We won’t cry‘.
Joined on stage by a chorus of First Nations talent, it was a tearful celebration of the life of the important and influential Uncle Archie, just days after the death of the Gunditjmara (Kirrae Whurrong/Djab Wurrung), the eldest Bundjalung at 66 years old.
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.
Famous otherworldly singer-songwriter Yolŋu died of liver and kidney damage in 2017, but left behind a superb catalog of solo records that won multiple ARIA, NIMA, APRA and AIR awards, and was named Australian Double J Artist of the Year in 2018. .
He joined Warumpi Band, Archie Roach, Roger Knox, Kev Carmody and the group he started in, Yothu Yindi.
The NIMAs also hosted live programming from Thelma Plum, hip hop power couple Birdz & Fred Leone, soul soul Emma Donovan & The Putbacks, traditional dancing from Red Flag Dancers and elegant pipes from Noongar woman and triple j Unearthed winner Bumpy.
NIMAs have been Australia’s biggest celebration of indigenous music for 16 years, but 2022 marked a glorious return to the land from Larrakia to Darwin after a two-year hiatus. The ceremony was forced to innovate around the COVID pandemic, going virtual in 2020 and billed as a two-hour special on triple J’s Blak Out last year.
Check out the full list of winners below, and tune into Blak Out this Sunday from 5 p.m. for a roundup of winners, performances, and behind-the-scenes antics simulcasting on triple j, Double J, and triple j Unearthed.
Winners of the 2022 National Indigenous Music Awards
Artist of the year
album of the year
baker boy – Gela
New talent of the year
Jem Cassar Daley
song of the year
King Stingray – ‘Milkumana’ (songwriters: Roy Kellaway / Gotjirringu Jerome Yunipingu)
Movie clip of the year
Barkaa – ‘King Brown’ (directed and 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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