The optimistic spirit that helped Matt Corby & Sampa The Great win J Awards
A strong spirit of optimism and achievement struck a chord with triple j listeners and saw Matt Corby, Sampa The Great, Tones and I and Heidi Lenffer of Cloud Control win at last night’s (November 21) J Awards.
Corby’s Rainbow Valley was lauded triple j Australian Album of the Year. He recalls the making of the album as a profoundly joyous one.
It was being able to record in the relaxed atmosphere of his Rainbow Valley ranch, news of fatherhood and the exhilaration he felt that his multi-instrumental and vocals skills allowed him to consistently nail the sounds he was going for.
In addition, there was also the realisation that his audience was tapping into something deeper in his music.
“I’ve always been an emotionally and melody-driven artist, but recently a lot of people have been telling me that my music has allowed them to understand feeling and that was really cool, like I never saw it like that, as an artist,” he told London In Stereo.
Triple j’s music director, Nick Findlay, said of Rainbow Valley’s win, “While Matt Corby’s debut album Telluric wrestled with his new-found fame, on Rainbow Valley he is clearly an artist at his peak.
“With effortless confidence and richly-textured songwriting, Matt shows his undeniable skill and vision as a musician.
“The finished result is nothing short of brilliance, making it a very deserving winner for the 2019 J Award.”
Sampa The Great had a double whammy. She took, taking out Double J Australian Artist of the Year and triple j and Rage Australian Music Video of the Year for the Sanjay De Silva-directed ‘Final Form’.
The elements in her debut album The Return was clearly shaped by Sampa returning earlier this year for the first time to play her birthplace, Zambia, and being understood.
“They sang back to me – it was amazing,” she recalled.
Her current tour through Europe has also been a success: eight of the ten shows sold out.
The Return – which was also nominated for Album of the Year – reflected an artist trying to come to grips with an identity which had found success in Australia but didn’t quite know where she belonged, and her thoughts of homeland and displacement.
Double J commented, “Outside of the album, Sampa’s music videos are among the finest of the year, from any country and any genre.
“Her live shows get better and better, and it’s clear that she is at the beginning of a career that could greatly impact the future of hip hop in this country.”
Tones and I was named triple j’s Unearthed Artist of the Year, an acknowledgement of her remarkable rise and success within the last 12 months
Unearthed observed: “Tones’ impact has been immediate; that off-kilter pop sound and a one of a kind voice have set her apart from everyone else making music today.”
Heidi Lenffer of Cloud Control won the You Done Good award for founding FEAT a world-first initiative giving local artists the chance to invest money into renewable, solar energy to offset their touring output.
The broadcaster stated: “The importance of touring for artists won’t dwindle any time soon. “But with FEAT on the future of our world, while not compromising their own. Heidi’s done good, real good.., Heidi has given musicians a means to act.”