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The Kid Laroi, Budjerah, Baker Boy and Miiesha lead winners list for 2021 NIMAS


The National Indigenous Music Awards has once again proven itself as one of the most important nights on the Ausmusic calendar!

Teaming up to create a new version of the awards ceremony, the NIMAs and triple j’s First Nations show, Blak Out crafted a broadcast that was heard across Australia – and the world – via triple j, Double J and triple j Unearthed as well as being available to First Nations community radio stations via The National Indigenous Radio Service

The night was hosted by proud Yuin man and future Mayor of Nowra, Nooky and triple j presenter Karla Ranby who joined forces to celebrate the year in First Nations music and dish out a whole lot of awards!

Taking home the Artist of the Year Award for 2021 was proud Kamilaroi artist, The Kid LAROI. Hailing from Sydney, Laroi has garnered international acclaim with hits like ‘Stay (feat. Justin Bieber)’, which recently logged 10 weeks at US No. 1 on Billboard’s Pop Airplay chart.

Bundjalung rapper, JK-47 won Album of the Year with his debut record ‘Made For This’. The Tweed Heads local is solidifying himself on the national stage and adding to his trophy cabinet.

Aṉangu/Torres Strait Islander artist Miiesha’s deeply personal single ‘Damaged’ (written with Stephen Collins) took home the award for ‘Song of the Year’, while Coodjinburra musician Budjerah won ‘Best New Talent of the Year’, and of course, the fresh prince of Arnhem Land, Baker Boy, swooped in to score ‘Best Film Clip of the Year’ for ‘Ride ft. Yirrmal’.

Guwanbal Gurruwiwi and Netanela Mizrahi scored ‘Indigenous Language Award of the Year’ for The Djari Project, while Community Clip of the Year went to Kakadu Collective & Victor Rostron for ‘Mayali’.

The National Indigenous Music Awards also celebrated the life and vastly important work of Indigenous musician Kev Carmody, (pictured) inducting him into the Hall of Fame as part of the 2021 award ceremony.

“I’m absolutely so proud, humbled and honored to accept the award on behalf of all of us. Past, present and of course future, because it’s a collective way of thinking in my opinion, that we all go together and no one gets left behind.” said Kev Carmody.

“I’m so proud of the young ones! It might be rap, it might be hip hop, it might be reggae; we’re still expressing [ourselves] through the oral cultural traditions, which is songs and storytelling, it’s just in a musical sense. I’m so proud of our young mob with the music, and with dance - that’s an interpretation too - and art. That’s our way of passing on our oral tradition and I think it’s fantastic. I can sit back now. I’ve played my four chords and that’s it.”

Special guests from around the country also bumped the airwaves, including comedian Steven Oliver, actress Elaine Crombie and NIMAs Creative Director Benjamin Gratz. We also heard live crosses to the Torres Strait, Tasmania and the Northern Territory with community artists DENNI, and Yirrmal.

Electric Fields performed a beautiful rendition of Kev’s iconic ‘From Little Things, Big Things Grow’ as a tribute to his legacy and in honour of his induction.

Tilly Tjala Thomas also sang her original song, ‘Ngai Yulku Nhiina.’

“What and incredible night celebrating our very best First Nations artist and musicians! Thank you to Nooky and Karla from triple j’s Blak Out, and although it wasn’t the NIMAs we had planned, I’m very proud of all the team who worked together on such a wonderful event. Hopefully next year we will be back on Larrakia Country, under stars, celebrating all together once again” - Ben Graetz, NIMAs Creative Director.

2022 will see the NIMAs return to their home at the Darwin Amphitheatre.