Showcasing the changing face and sound of Indigenous music in Australia, emerging QLD rock four-piece The Medics have taken out top honours at the 2012 National Indigenous Music Awards on Saturday 11 August.
One of the country’s most exciting young bands, The Medics released their debut album Foundations to widespread acclaim earlier this year and now wins for Album of the Year, New Talent of the Year and Song of the Year for ‘Griffin’ sends a clear message that they are an act on the rise.
Newly formed Arnhem Land band East Journey who have been guided by the legendary Mandawuy Yunupingu from Yothu Yindi, took out two highly contested awards. The NT Film Clip of the Year for the super stunning film clip ‘Ngarrpiya’ which was filmed around their home country in Yirrkala. East Journey also picked up the prestigous G.R. Bururrawanga Memorial Award for an emerging act with the significant achievement in the NT industry, which was proudly presented to the band by Mandawuy Yunupingnu on the night.
Cementing his position as the country’s most well regarded Indigenous musician, Gurrumul Yunupingu was named Artist of the Year for the second year in a row. Gurrumul’s collaboration ‘Bayini’ with Sarah Blasko also claimed Cover Art of the Year, a second NIMA for artist/designer Carlo Santone from Blue King Brown.
The Traditional Music Award was rewarded to two different collaborations for the Song People’s Sessions. Warren H Williams and the Warumungu Songmen and Shellie Morris and the Borroloola Songwomen have composed new arrangements with ancient languages to preserve language and stories to share with future generations.
Recognising a lifetime of achievement in the music industry, the 2012 NIMA Hall of Fame honoured the great Jimmy Little who was posthumously awarded for his pioneering work as an Indigenous and country music star. Legendary Arnhem Land rock stars Sunrize Band and ever popular NT act Lajamanu Teenage Band were also inducted into the NIMA Hall of Fame and celebrated with a return to the stage at the Awards concert on Saturday night.
The anthem of a generation, “Black Boy” by the legendary Coloured Stone was given a contemporary edge when it was performed at the NIMAs in Darwin on Saturday night, twenty eight  years after it was released. Bunna Lawrie founding member of Coloured Stone joined his son Jindhu, drummer and vocalist of The Medics, on stage for one of the night’s most stirring moments.
“With finalists from across the country I can confidently say that NIMA 2012 have arrived on a national scale. The goal of a truly national event celebrating the achievements and talents of Indigenous musicians is being realised.” says Mark Smith, Music NT General Manager.
The night was filled with unique sets including the highly anticipated East Journey who lived up to the hype with frontman Rrawun Maymuru and traditional dancers providing a spectacular show. Other highlights on the night included the world premiere of Warren H Williams and the Warumungu Songmen, crowd favourites Lajamanu Teenage Band and a highly anticipated performance by triple j Unearthed winner Thelma Plum who also jumped in with The Medics to perform their ‘like a version’ of Bob Dylan’s Blowin’ in the Wind.
New Talent of the Year
Song of the Year
‘Griffin’ – The Medics
Written by J Lawrie/ C Thomas/ A Thomson/ K Wallace
Album of the Year
Foundations – The Medics
Artist of the Year
Hall of Fame
Dr James Oswald Little, AO aka Jimmy Little
Lajamanu Teenage Band
NT Film Clip of the Year
‘Ngarrpiya’ – East Journey
Director/Producer: Naina Sen + Susan Marawili
G.R. Bururrawanga Memorial Award
NT Cover Art of the Year
‘Bayini’ – Gurrumul Yunupingu & Sarah Blasko
Label: Skinnyfish Music
Artist/Designer: Carlo Santone
Traditional Music Award of the Year
Song Peoples Sessions
Shellie Morris and the Borroloola Songwomen – ‘Ngambala Wiji Li-Wunungu’
Warren H Williams and the Warumungu Songmen – ‘Winanjjara’
NT School Band of the Year
NEAL Boys – Yirrkala CEC
The National Indigenous Music Awards are presented by Music NT and the NT Government and are part of Darwin Festival 2012.