Two much-loved Aboriginal artists and icons, the late Archie Roach and Gurrumul, were honoured with breathtaking tributes for their contributions to music at Saturday night’s 2022 National Indigenous Music Awards in Darwin.
The annual celebration of First Nations artists took place on Larrakia Country as part of Darwin Festival’s opening weekend, marking a long-awaited return to an in-person event, following a two-year pandemic pause.
Baker Boy, King Stingray, Barkaa and Jem Cassar-Daley all won trophies after about 3,000 festival goers streamed through the gates of the Darwin Amphitheatre to watch the awards show.
Boy won Artist of the Year and Album of the Year awards for his critically acclaimed debut studio LP “Gela”. The album, released last October, reached No.3 on the ARIA Albums Chart. It also begins a winners streak for the Yolngu man, who jointly won Film Clip of the Year in 2021 with Yirrmal for “Ride”.
Jem Cassar-Daley – the daughter of country music royalty Troy Cassar-Daley and his wife Laurel Edwards – entered the NIMAs history books after she won New Talent of the Year. Yolŋu surf rock band King Stingray won Song of the Year for “Milkumana”, and Barkaa Film Clip of the Year for “King Brown”.
The Archie Roach Foundation Award went to Brewarrina on Ngemba rapper, drummer and speaker Dobby.
Emma Donovan and Fred Leone performed Roch’s “We Won’t Cry”, in a moving homage put together by organisers following his passing a week ago.
The NIMAs also celebrated the life and work of ARIA chart-topper Gurrumul, who was posthumously inducted into the Hall of Fame with a performance by his brother and Saltwater Band co-founder, Manuel Dhurrkay.
Punters were also treated to performances from King Stingray, Birdz and Fred Leone, Yirrmal and this year’s NIMAs triple j Unearthed winner Bumpy.
NIMAs creative director Ben Graetz said he was proud of the night’s proceedings.
“To be at the Amphitheater with community, celebrating together in person will be something I will remember for a very long time,” he said. “Also to remember, honour and pay tribute to Dr G and Uncle Archie was a true highlight.”
2022 NIMAs WINNERS:
Artist of the Year
Album of the Year
Baker Boy – “Gela”
New Talent of the Year
Song of the Year
King Stingray – “Milkumana”
Song Writers: Roy Kellaway / Gotjirringu Jerome Yunipingu
Film Clip of the Year
Barkaa – “King Brown”
Directed & Produced by: Sonder Films Executive Producer: Vyva Entertainment
Community Clip of the Year
Numbulwar, 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