The Brag Media
News August 10, 2020

Baker Boy & Archie Roach dominate 2020 Virtual NIMAs

Baker Boy & Archie Roach dominate 2020 Virtual NIMAs
Baker Boy / by David Hancock

Baker Boy dominated the National Indigenous Music Awards (NIMAs) winning three of 10 categories, Archie Roach took out album of the year, and Midnight Oil closed the show with the live world premiere of new single ‘Gadigal Land’.

COVID-19 saw this year’s awards going virtual on Saturday, August 8, live from the sold-out Darwin Amphitheatre.

Yolngu man Baker Boy took artist of the year for the second year in a row, outflanking Jess Mauboy, Thelma Plum, Emily Wurramara, Mau Power and Electric Fields.

As he picked up his trophy via video link from Bendigo, Victoria, he said, “Woah, my heart! This is crazy. 

“I honestly didn’t think I could win at all tonight, but I just want to say to all the nominees tonight across all of the categories; you are incredible, you are amazing, and I am so proud of you all, my brothers and sisters.

“To my family back in Darwin across Arnhem Land, I’m so proud to represent my people and so overwhelmed by the support and success I have achieved rapping in Yolngu Matha and English”.

His track ‘Meditjin’ (‘Medicine’ in Yolngu Matha) featuring Jess B took song and film clip. The rapper recalled that the video shoot had been a highpoint of an already illustrious career.

“I had my dad, my brothers Adam and Tristan to be a part of it. They came all the way from Arnhem Land straight down to Melbourne.”

Thelma Plum, Miiesha, Mambali and JK-47 performed, with crosses to Jessica Mauboy, Mitch Tambo, Electric Fields and to remote communities in Yirrkala, NT and Broome, WA.

It was an emotional night for Archie Roach, after Tell Me Why won album of the year, and his late soul mate Ruby Hunter was inducted into the NIMA Hall of Fame after tributes in song from Roach and Emma Donovan.

Archie Roach, Ruby Hunter

Miiesha, the 20 year old from Queensland who released her debut album Nyaaringu this year, scooped the new talent gong.

Other winners were JK-47 (triple j unearthed NIMAs comp), KDA Crew for ‘Djabuganydji Bama’ (community clip), Rrawun Maymuru & Nick Wales for ‘Nyapillilngu (Spirit Lady)’ (indigenous language) and Kee’Ahn (Archie Roach Foundation award).

Neil Murray, Christine Anu, Mau Power, Jim Moginie, Rob Hirst and the Malu Gubaw Kazil (Sea Breeze Children) Choir performed ‘My Island Home’ as an honour to Warumpi Band.

Midnight Oil were joined by Kaleena Briggs, Bunna Lawrie and Dan Sultan.

This year’s NIMAs had its biggest audience reach, broadcast over two hours across National Indigenous Television (NITV), Facebook, YouTube and Twitter and simulcast across double j, TEABBA and the National Indigenous Radio Service.

It can now be viewed on SBS On Demand.

There was a slight drama before the NIMAs began: co-host actor and writer Steven Oliver was affected by last-minute travel restrictions in the Northern Territory, so awards creative director Ben Graetz stepped in to do the honours alongside comedian Elaine Crombie.

Graetz emphasised the importance of the NIMAs in bringing the community together and celebrating its music creators.

“We’re still in a place in this country where we’re fighting for basic equal rights and so musicians are our activists and our storytellers.”

Related articles