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Music’s new wave about to flood national awards

A new breed of musicians is set to make their mark at this year’s National Indigenous Music Awards.

Finalists for this year’s awards were announced overnight.

They include singer songwriter Benny Walker, who is number one on the Amrap chart with Oh No You Don’t; Emily Wurramara, whose Black Smoke was recently added to the Triple J play list; and Gawurra, whose album Ratja Yaliyali is listed in Rolling Stone Australia’s top 50 albums of 2016.

“2016 is the year where a number of artists that are on the cusp of success shine through the list of finalists,” said NIMA executive director Mark Smith.

“Emily, fresh from success at the Queensland Music Awards, and the rise and rise of Gawurra, encapsulate the new guard of contemporary Indigenous music.”

The NIMA and concert will be held at the Darwin Amphitheatre on August 6 where winners will be announced in categories including artist, song and album of the year.

Meanwhile, organisers have also announced Shellie Morris, Warren H. Williams with Danielle Young, punk rockers Lonely Boys and Yirrmal, with his father Witiyana Marika, will join the bill to perform on the night.

And the Rirratjingu Clan from North-East Arnhem Land will bring one of the biggest group of dancers in years for a traditional bunggul performance in honour of the Father of Land Rights Roy Marika.

The performers join AB Original, Kahl Wallis, Gawurra and emerging artists Rayella, Chris Tamwoy and David Spry who were previously announced in the lineup.

This year’s concert has a protest theme to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wave Hill walk off, the the 40th anniversary of the Land Rights Act, 30 years since the release of Yothu Yindi’s Tribal Voice and 25 years since Treaty topped the charts.


Artist of the Year 

Emma Donovan

Dan Sultan

Gurrumul Yunupingu

Album of the Year 

Ratja Yaliyali – Gawurra

The Gospel Album – Gurrumul Yunupingu

Open LIVE – Live from the National Theatre, Melbourne – Dan Sultan

Song of the Year 

A.B. Original – Dead In A Minute feat. Caiti Baker

A.B. ORIGINAL – 2 Black 2 Strong

Ratja Yaliyali – Gawurra

The Children Came Back – Briggs, Dewayne Everettsmith & Gurrumul

Oh No You Don’t – Benny Walker

New Talent 

A.B. Original

Benny Walker


Emily Wurramara

Chris Tamwoy

Cover Art 

Gawurra – Ratja Yaliyali

Benny Walker – Oh No You Don’t

Gurrumul Yunupingu – The Gospel Album


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