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From BARKAA to Baker Boy - finalists named for National Indigenous Music Awards

Rhiannon Clarke -

The National Indigenous Music Awards will return this year after two years of cancelled live performances due to COVID-19.

Finalists for this year's coveted National Indigenous Music Awards have been chosen, along with the ceremony's live performance lineup at Darwin Ampitheatre on August 6.

NIMA is back to celebrate Indigenous music in person with an open community and has already announced an exciting line up.


Artists Thelma Plum and King Stingray will be joined onstage by a slew of deadly talent from Emma Donovan & the Putbacks, Birdz & Fred, Leone, Yirrmal, and J-MILLA.

Leading this year's awards list is BARKAA, the Malyangapa and Barkindji woman and fast-rising star, with four NIMA nominations.

BARKAA up for new talent and film clip of the year. image credit: Luke Currie-Richardson

Known for her hard-hitting rap tracks, BARKAA has earnt candidacy for her songs King Brown and Black Matriarchy, as well as a shot at New Talent of the Year.

Following with three nominations, Yolngu man Baker Boy's debut album, Gela, and its track My Mind are up for awards. He's also up for Artist of the Year.

Among the brightest stars in the country's performance industry, the nominee list also includes previous finalists and winners.

The Kid Laroi, Jessica Mauboy, Electric Fields, King Stingray, Miiesha, Mo Ju, Emma Donovan & the Putbacks, Birdz, Dallas Woods, Archie Roach, Tasman Keith and Tilly Tjala Thomas are among finalists.

Xavier Rudd, Jem Cassar-Daley, Lil Kootsie, Dobby and dameeeela have received their first nominations.

'"After a two year hiatus it's very exciting to be bringing the NIMAs back to the Darwin

Baker Boy up for Artist of the year and album of the year

Amphitheatre on Larrakia Country," NIMA creative director Ben Graetz said.

"I'm thrilled to see such an extraordinary list of finalists this year and cannot wait for live performances from some of our most powerful First Nations musicians such as Thelma Plum and Emma Donovan & the Putbacks.

"This year is all about coming together and celebrating as one big community."

NIMA has Partnered with Triple J and its First Nations show, Blak Out, to create a two-hour special.

Tickets for the event are on sale now.


Artist of the Year

The Kid Laroi

Jessica Mauboy

Baker Boy

Electric Fields

Thelma Plum

King Stingray

Song of the Year

Backseat of My Mind - Thelma Plum

Made For Silence - Miiesha

Milkumana - King Stingray

Sometime - Mo Ju

King Brown - Barkaa

Ball and Chain - Xavier Rudd

Album of the Year

Baker Boy â€" Gela

Emma Donovan & the Putbacks â€" Under These Streets

Jem Cassar-Daley â€" I Don't Know Who to Call

Birdz â€" Legacy

Dallas Woods â€" Julie's Boy

Archie Roach â€" My songs 1989 - 2021

Film Clip of the Year

Love Too Soon - Tasman Keith

King Brown - Barkaa

Blak Matriarchy - Barkaa

My Mind - Baker Boy

Automatic - Jessica Mauboy

New Talent of the Year


Jem Cassar-Daley



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