With a hattrick, Miiesha was the big winner Wednesday night (May 5) at the 2021 Queensland Music Awards (QMAs), while Ball Park Music and Sycco left the party with key silverware.
A five-time nominee at the 2020 ARIA Awards, Miiesha took out Indigenous, Soul / Funk / RnB, and Remote QMAs for ‘Twisting Words,’ lifted from her debut LP Nyaaringu.
Also on the night, local lads Ball Park Music took out the coveted Album Of The Year for their critically-acclaimed self-titled album, which debuted at No. 2 on the ARIA Albums Chart last November.
Watch Miiesha’s ‘Twisting Words’:
Rising singer Sycco starred on stage at the APRA Music Awards last week in Sydney, and she was back in the thick of it at Brisbane’s Fortitude Music Hall, winning Song Of The Year and the Pop category award for her single ‘Dribble’.
Another double-winner was Gold Coast soul-folk-pop newcomer Beckah Amani, who snagged the Emerging Artist Award and the 2021 Billy Thorpe Scholarship, which grants the winner $10,000 to record their next release and score career planning advice from Chugg Entertainment.
Also on the night, Jesswar’s scooped the Hip Hop / Rap trophy, becoming the first female artist to win the category since its inception four years ago, while Jaguar Jonze scored the Folk / Singer-Songwriter award for the second consecutive year.
Watch Sycco’s ‘Dribble’:
Amy Shark was on hand to receive the Highest Selling Single award for the second straight year, this time for ‘Everybody Rise’, and George Sheppard collected the Export Achievement award on behalf of his group, Sheppard.
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On winning the Heavy category, GC-based These Four Walls frontman Steve Gibb paid tribute to “the unsung heroes of the heavy community, the parents.”
If there was an award for speeches, Lynette Irwin would have got it. Irwin delivered a masterclass from the podium when she received the Grant Mclennan Lifetime Achievement Award for her tireless support of the jazz community, which has included her service as artistic director at Brisbane International Jazz Festival and president at Jazz Queensland.
Watch Amy Shark’s ‘Everybody Rise’:
During her opening address, QMusic CEO Angela Samut paid tribute to Michael Gudinski and thanked the late Mushroom Group founder for supporting artists across the country and giving countless music professionals a break early, herself included.
Gudinski had a long connection with Queensland and its artist community by signing the Go-Betweens and Billy Thorpe and serving as agent to Carole Lloyd (of Railroad Gin) and “supporting a lot of our artists” on The Sound and the other small screen vehicles that he built during the pandemic. “He was a man who supported all states,” she told the venue’s 700-plus guests.
Fortitude Music Hall director and former Powderfinger bass player John Collins used the platform of the QMAs to called on Australia’s political leaders to create a level playing field for live entertainment venues. “It’s seriously time to play fair,” he said, pointing out that his venue was operating at 30% on the night, while a full house of 50,000 came out to watch the State of Origin decider at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium last November.
“Please come to the table to talk about what we can do to survive,” he added.
JC invited all live music fans to sign the Play Fair petition, which now boasts more than 18,800 signatures.
The QMAs had its very own Oscars moment. While handing out the night’s final trophy, ‘Better In Blak’ singer Thelma Plum apparently read from the wrong envelope, calling out Ball Park Music, the previous award recipient. After a moment’s deliberation, the champion proper was announced as Sycco with ‘Dribble.’
“This year’s QMAs was a true celebration of what has become an incredible local music industry, one that our state can be proud of, both culturally and as a key export industry,” comments Samut in a statement.
“With a massive 30 categories, our winners represent the true breadth of talent around our state and no doubt include superstars to follow in the footsteps of our Queensland greats that have gone on to change the music landscape globally.”
For the full list of winners visit the QMAs website.