Indigenous musos crowned at sold-out Brisbane show

Indigenous artist Tia Gostelow has made history by becoming the youngest recipient to claim Album of the Year at the Queensland Music Awards (QMAs).

Gostelow’s album, ‘Thick Skin’ won the prize after national acclaim for her songwriting talent and live performances.

Gostelow is a Luma Luma woman who grew up on the remote Groote Eylandt off the Gulf of Carpentaria. She was discovered after becoming the first recipient of the Triple J Unearthed Indigenous Initiative.

Indigenous singer-songwriter Emily Wurramara received the QMA Indigenous Award for her song ‘Lady Blue’. She also claimed the Blues and Roots award for ‘Tap Sticks’, which she wrote at the age of 11.

Both songs feature on her debut LP ‘Milyakburra’.

‘Milyakburra’ was nominated for the 2018 ARIA Award for Best Blues and Roots Album and was a finalist at the QMAs. This year will see Wurramara supporting Dan Sultan in his upcoming ‘Aviary Takes’ tour, along with Archie Roach, Nahko, and The Medicine Bear.

Wurramara, like Gostelow, grew up on Groote Eylandt and is a proud Warnindilyakwa woman. Wurramara sings in both English and Anindilyakwaand has been inspired to storytell through song by the women in her community.

The awards, hosted at the Royal International Convention Centre at Brisbane Showgrounds saw a sold-out show with performances from nominated artists including Amy Shark, Bobby Alu and Clea.

Henry ‘Seaman’ Dan was honoured with the Grant McLennan Lifetime Achievement Award for his take on traditional Torres Strait Islander songs, which blends jazz, hula and the blues. Turning 90 in August, he travelled from Cairns to attend the QMAs.

Uncle Seaman began releasing work when he was 70 years of age and holds the record for the oldest ARIA winner. He also holds the 2005 Red Ochre Award and received the Hall of Fame Award at the National Indigenous Music Awards in 2013.

The ceremony crowned 23 winners, with Song of the Year awarded to Clea for ‘Dreaming’.

Other award winners included Amy Shark, The Jungle Giants, The Kite String Tangle, Resin Dogs, Emma Beau and Confidence Man.

The 2019 Billy Thorpe Scholarship for $10,000 was awarded to Pool Shop.

The full list of winners is available at the QMA website:

By Rachael Knowles

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