Gold Coast Music Awards highlights hotspot for emerging talent
Last night the South-East Queensland music industry gathered together on the Surfers Paradise beachfront to celebrate Gold Coast talent and the industry workers supporting these artists at the fifth annual Gold Coast Music Awards.
The night belonged to the Gold Coast’s golden girl Amy Shark, who was announced as the inaugural Gold Coast Music Hall of Fame inductee.
The home grown reigning queen of pop was also honoured with three awards including Live Act of the Year, Release of the Year for her smash debut album Love Monster and the prestigious Artist of the Year award.
Accepting the awards from the road via a video speech, Shark noted “It’s such an exciting time for the Gold Coast and for music in this country, there are so many amazing bands and artists coming through the GC – it really feels so special to be part of the artist community.”
Another big winner of the night was dream pop singer songwriter San Mei who took home Breakout Artist of the Year and Song of the Year for her track ‘Wonder’. Accepting both awards with shock and gratitude, San Mei reflected that while “music is really hard sometimes, it’s beautiful and to get this support means the world”.
GCMA judge and Blues on Broadbeach/Groundwater Country Music Festival Director Mark Duckworth pointed out how far the Gold Coast music industry and live scene has come from decades prior, where artists who gained any attention were immediately poached or relocated to other cities as they had no other option if they wanted to build a career.
Present day, with the venues Gold Coast has established and the Gold Coast Council’s Music Action Plan, larger artists can thrive and bring their shows to the coast on their national tours, giving local talent the chance to open those gigs and cultivate a strong live scene.
Watch San Mei’s video for ‘Wonder’ below:
Gold Coast Music Awards director, Samantha Morris acknowledged the efforts of the policy makers that worked tirelessly to introduce the Music Action Plan, as Gold Coast is one of the only cities in the world that has one.
Addressing the audience, Morris passionately declared that “If we keep investing in the scene and elevating Gold Coast artists into the national spotlight, it will grow.”
Among the other winners were Wolfmother’s keyboard player and acclaimed multi-instrumentalist, Ian Peres who took out the newly minted Musician of the Year award, experimental dance and music artist, and YT Dingo for his music video ‘Shipwrecked’ and new venue on the block.
Vinnies Dive received its own ‘Skull Murphy’ trophy for Venue of The Year, thanks to its support and ability to cater to emerging local artists and loud rock bands.
The People’s Choice Award, decided by the general public and guests on the night, went to looping pop harpist, ELSKA who brings an infusion of playfulness and wonder to the Australian pop music industry.
Last night’s Gold Coast Music Awards also kicked off the free, four-day Surfers Paradise LIVE festival, which will see iconic Australian artists perform throughout Surfers over the weekend. The Living End, Hoodoo Gurus, The Screaming Jets, Daryl Braithwaite, Jebediah, Reece Mastin, Thirsty Merc, Chocolate Starfish, Boom Crash Opera and Bachelor Girl.
Watch ELSKA’s video for ‘Boy’ below:
The 2019 Winners are…
HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE
ARTIST OF THE YEAR
– sponsored by Fenech Guitars & The Avalon –
BREAKOUT ARTIST OF THE YEAR
– sponsored by Griffith University and the Queensland Conservatorium’s SEED program –
LIVE ACT OF THE YEAR
– sponsored by Gold Coast Music –
MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR
– sponsored by TAFE Queensland Gold Coast –
RELEASE OF THE YEAR
– sponsored by Southern Cross University –
Love Monster – Amy Shark
SONG OF THE YEAR
– sponsored by Home of the Arts –
Wonder – San Mei
VENUE OF THE YEAR
– sponsored by Oztix –
VIDEO OF THE YEAR
– sponsored by QT Gold Coast –
Shipwrecked – YT DiNGO
PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD
– sponsored by SkyPoint –
This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.