Culture / Music

The 2021 National Indigenous Music Awards will take place on Triple J this year – here’s everything to know about the event

After the 2021 National Indigenous Music Awards (or NIMA's) - originally set to take place in Darwin on August 7  - were postponed due to you-know-what, the ceremony has had to be reimagined to suit our current circumstances. How have organisers managed this, you ask? Well, the NIMA's have joined ranks with Triple J's First Nations show, Blak Out for a two-hour long radio special scheduled for November 14. Here's what you can expect from the event.


Who is hosting the 2021 National Indigenous Music Awards?

When it comes to the person steering us through the awards, that role is filled by none other than Blak Out host, Nooky. He's a proud Yuin man with unparalleled knowledge on all things Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander music. In a press statement Nooky said, "I’m pumped to be hosting the NIMAs and celebrating the mob. It’s been a big year for Blak music and it’s mad we get to celebrate it here on Blak Out. It’s the two-hours of power special and I’m G’d up. Let’s go!"

Nooky is not wrong, 2021 has been an enormous year for First Nations artists. What, with The Kid LAROI’s meteoric success at home and in the US thanks to his latest album F*ck Love 3+: Over You that features Justin Bieber and Machine Gun Kelly. Along with Jess Mauboy's presence on The Voice, the rise and rise of Budjerah and Miiesha taking home an ARIA for Best Soul/R&B Release - there's a lot to celebrate.

If you're planning to tune in to this year's NIMA's, you can catch the radio special on Triple J, Double J and Triple J Unearthed from 5 – 7pm, on Sunday November 14.

Below, you'll find a list of all the finalists along with the categories they were nominated for.

Artist of the Year

  • Sycco
  • Birdz
  • Miiesha
  • Baker Boy
  • The Kid LAROI
  • Jessica Mauboy

Album of the Year

  • Tia Gostelow – Chrysalis
  • The Kid LAROI – F*ck Love
  • Leah Flanagan – Colour by Number
  • JK-47 – Made For This
  • Benny Walker – Chosen Line

Song of the Year

  • Baker Boy, Dallas Woods, Sampa The Great – Better Days
  • Birdz – Bagi-la-m Bargan
  • Miiesha – Damaged
  • The Kid LAROI – Without You
  • Sycco –Dribble

New Talent of the Year

  • Beddy Rays
  • King Stingray
  • Budjerah
  • Chasing Ghosts

Film Clip of the Year

  • Budjerah – Higher
  • Baker Boy – Ride ft. Yirrmal
  • Troy Cassar-Daley – Back On Country
  • Sycco – My Ways
  • Tia Gostelow – Two Lovers

Community Clip of the Year

  • Kakadu Collective and Victor Rostron – Mayali
  • Dunghutti community in South West Rocks – Fig
  • Tree Mob – ‘Barrunba (Dreaming)’
  • Gunbalanya School – Stories of the Land
  • Gunbalanya School – Talk About Emotions
  • Students of Peppimenarti School – Stand Strong

Indigenous Language Award of the Year

  • Guwanbal Gurruwiwi and Netanela Mizrahii – The Djari Project
  • Shellie Morris and Jason Durrurrnga – Dharuk Gurtha
  • Garrangali Band – Tongues of the Fire
  • Stuart Joel Nuggett – I Am That Man/Ngaaya-Baaya
  • Stuart Joel Nuggett – Monsoon/Kuyubulu

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