With three awards each, The Kid Laroi, Sycco and Baker Boy are the acts to beat at the 2021 National Indigenous Music Awards (NIMAs), nominations for which were announced today.
Sydney-raised, Los Angeles-based Laroi is in red-hot form heading into the NIMAs.
Earlier this year, he became the youngest solo artist to lead the ARIA Albums Chart with F*ck Love (Savage). The mixtape also hit No. 3 on the Billboard 200, and he was selected as the MTV Push Global artist for the month of April.
Also in that month, he was the youngest winner of the 2021 APRA Music Awards, where he took out the newcomer award.
To top it off, ‘Without Me’ went to No. 1 on the ARIA Singles Chart and smashed a 16-year radio airplay record, and he’s cut collaborations with Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber.
Meanwhile, Sycco is coming off a brace of wins at the 2021 Queensland Music Awards, where she scooped Song of the Year and the Pop category award for her single ‘Dribble’.
Baker Boy already has a trophy cabinet heaving with silverware, including several NIMAs, the 2019 Young Australian of the Year, and second place in the Vanda & Young Global Songwriting Competition for ‘Meditjin.’
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The 17th annual NIMAs, said to be Australia’s premier First Nations music event, will take place Aug. 7 at the Darwin Amphitheatre.
Also up for trophies are two-time finalists Birdz, Miiesha, and Tia Gostelow, and first-time NIMA nominees Budjerah, J-MILLA, King Stingray, and Chasing Ghosts, plus last year’s Triple J Unearthed NIMAs winner, JK-47.
NIMAs’ Creative Director Ben Graetz paid tribute to the depth of talent across the country.
“This year, as we focus on healing and reflection,” he explains, “we have the wonderful opportunity to reconnect as a community to discover and celebrate the magic of music from both up-and-coming and established First Nation artists.”
The finalists are “some of the most talented musicians across the country and the world,” he continues, “and we are proud to be able to provide a platform for their musical craft to be recognised.”
Performing on Larrakia land this year are Baker Boy, Miiesha, Electric Fields, King Stingray, Dallas Woods and Kee’Ahn, and Alice Skye, and comedian Steven Oliver (Faboriginal, A Chance Affair, Black Comedy) will host.
A celebration of music, song, dance, and the oldest surviving culture on the planet, the NIMAs are supported by the Territory Government and in association with Darwin Festival.
The event will air on NITV and online platforms NITV, Double J, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.
The 2021 show is coming off the back of a virtual edition that saw all-time viewing figures across its various broadcast partners.
2021 NIMAs FINALISTS
ARTIST OF THE YEAR
The Kid LAROI
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Tia Gostelow – Chrysalis
The Kid LAROI – F*ck Love
Leah Flanagan – Colour by Number
Made For This – JK-47
Benny Walker – Chosen Line
SONG OF THE YEAR
Baker Boy, Dallas Woods, Sampa The Great – Better Days
Birdz – Bagi-la-m Bargan
Miiesha – Damaged
The Kid LAROI – Without You
Sycco – Dribble
NEW TALENT OF THE YEAR
FILM CLIP OF THE YEAR
Budjerah – Higher
Baker Boy – Ride ft. Yirrmal
Troy Cassar-Daley – Back On Country
Sycco – My Ways
Tia Gostelow – Two Lovers
COMMUNITY CLIP OF THE YEAR
Kakadu Collective and Victor Rostron – Mayali
Dunghutti community in South West Rocks – Fig Tree Mob – ‘Barrunba (Dreaming)’
Gunbalanya School – Stories of the Land
Gunbalanya School – Talk About Emotions
Students of Peppimenarti School – Stand Strong
INDIGENOUS LANGUAGE AWARD OF THE YEAR
Guwanbal Gurruwiwi and Netanela Mizrahii – The Djari Project
Shellie Morris and Jason Durrurrnga – Dharuk Gurtha
Garrangali Band – Tongues of the Fire
Stuart Joel Nuggett – I Am That Man/Ngaaya-Baaya
Stuart Joel Nuggett – Monsoon/Kuyubulu