Levi’s Music Prize goes to Sudanese refugee Gordon Koang
Gordon Koang, a household name in South Sudan with nine albums under his belt, was declared the winner of the Levi’s Music Prize on the final day of BIGSOUND in Brisbane.
“I am standing before you as a blind person,” he said.
“I cannot see anything in this world but I put my mind to do music.
“I have been playing my instrument for 31 years and came to Australia in 2014 to seek asylum because Sudan has a war.
“God has blessed us by bringing our permanent residency and now we are here accepting this award at the BIGSOUND festival.”
He gets $25,000 from Levi’s and an additional $5,000 in travel from Stage and Screen.
A further three prizes will be awarded to showcasing artists across the coming twelve months.
This creates a total of $120,000 invested in Australian artists by Levi’s and Stage & Screen and supported by Sounds Australia.
Over the last two years, Levi’s support has extended to Ecca Vandal, Alex Lahey, The Teskey Brothers, Hatchie and Stella Donnelly among others.
Said Bridget Hanson, Levi Australia senior executive, trade marketing, said: “It’s been another fantastic year at BIGSOUND, and we are so thrilled to award the Levi’s Music Prize to Gordon Koang who has been a true stand-out at this year’s event.
“We’re excited to see what the future holds for our Levi’s Music Prize alumni, and look forward to continuing to support the Australian and New Zealand music community through events and initiatives like BIGSOUND.”
Stage and Screen national marketing leader Dimity Holland added: “Stage and Screen is absolutely delighted to be a part of the Levi’s Prize for the second year.
“It is so exciting for us to know we are a part of helping support and propel these amazing artists toward success.”