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Miiesha, Baker Boy lead National Indigenous Music Awards finalists  

[by Nick Price]

 Image: supplied

The nominations for this year’s National Indigenous Music Awards have been announced today, with a huge geographic and genre range, representing a true snapshot of Australia’s First Nations talent.

The awards, produced in partnership with NITV will be broadcast at 7pm (AEST) on August 8 across a host of platforms including NITV for free-to-air television, Double J on digital radio, National Indigenous Radio Service broadcasters on terrestrial radio and Twitter, Facebook and YouTube across the online world. The night will be hosted by Elaine Crombie (Top Of The Lake, Top End Wedding, Black Comedy) and Steven Oliver (Faboriginal, A Chance Affair, Black Comedy), bringing a fun and family-friendly program to screens and speakers of all sizes.

Today’s announcement of finalists in seven categories honour twenty-four First Nations artists, led by Miiesha and Baker Boy with three appearances each. Finalists also include Jessica Mauboy, Archie Roach, Thelma Plum, Mau Power, Briggs, Electric Fields, Dallas Woods, Kee‘ahn and more, showing a rich breadth of talent from the grassroots, right through to chart-toppers and ARIA nominees.

It has been a huge year for Indigenous artists with Jessica Mauboy hitting the #1 spot on the ARIA Albums chart with ‘Hilda’, while Miiesha’s ‘Nyaaringu’ was triple j’s Feature Album and is already making many critics’ lists for 2020. Thelma Plum’s ‘Better in Blak’ was a finalist in the prestigious Australian Music Prize while Uncle Archie Roach released his inspirational autobiography and the companion album ‘Tell Me Why’. Our First Nations artists are more visible than ever before, raising their strong voices for #blacklivesmatter and taking centre stage in the nation’s response to COVID-19 providing inspiration and innovation with webcasts and online performances which have pushed our music and culture to an increasingly international audience.

Overseen by Creative Director Ben Graetz, the NIMAs will be live from Larrakia Country (Darwin), with artists joining in from around the country performing live, accepting awards and joining in the national celebration of Indigenous music. Performers, guests, the Hall of Fame inductee and a few very special surprises will be announced soon for what is sure to be an unmissable community event.

"What makes this year so exciting, is that we are able to involve and showcase many more of our First Nation artists & musicians through the virtual platform. Also to be able to connect regionally and remotely is extremely exciting," said Ben Graetz.

For the first time, the NIMAs will welcome a 100% First Nations camera crew for the production as well as a majority First Nations production crew as it moves towards a path of First Nations self-determination.

Head of Indigenous Content at SBS and NITV Channel Manager, Tanya Orman, said: "Here at NITV, the NIMAs always hold a special spot on our events calendar. In a year that has been particularly challenging, we can’t wait to celebrate the biggest and brightest talents in the First Nations music community and share the experience Australia wide."

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