Each year an up-and-coming South Australian musician or band is recognised for their potential and awarded $5,000 to support their professional development
This year's Emily Burrows Award winner is Indigenous hip hop trio DEM MOB.
Previous honourees include Molly Rocket, Tilly Tjala Thomas, Seabass, Electric Fields and the Hilltop Hoods.
Congratulations to this year's recipient of the Emily Burrows Award, hip-hop group DEM MOB, who hail from the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjantjara (APY) Lands of South Australia.
DEM MOB swept up accolades in last week’s South Australian Music Awards, also winning in an additional four categories (Best Regional Artist, Best Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Artist, Best Hip Hop award in the People’s Choice category, and Best Music Educator).
DEM MOB are making waves both here and abroad, having recently performed at Primavera Festival, WOMADelaide, BIGSOUND, and performing at the Lincoln Centre in New York in 2024. They are the first rap group to perform and record in Pitjantjatjara and English, and are the first Indigenous Australian group to perform at Primavera.
DEM MOB are committed to music education with young Indigenous students. They lead numerous music programs, both in the APY Lands and in Adelaide, working with young Indigenous students to develop hip hop basics and to hone their sounds. "Education is a big part of our drive, it's our motivation, we're not looking to play festivals if we're not going to be in schools working," member Elisha Umuhuri recently told the ABC.
A special award
Each year an up-and-coming South Australian musician or band is recognised for their potential and awarded $5,000 to support their professional development. The award was instituted in 2001 in memory of Emily Burrows, a former APRA AMCOS membership representative and compliance officer, who worked tirelessly to support and encourage South Australian songwriters and composers. The award was established following her tragic, accidental death in 2000.
From DEM MOB:
“We feel blessed and overwhelmed with the response at the South Australian Music Awards and it drives us to continue developing a sustainable educational program and live musical career. The time we were spent in the APY Lands allowed us to hone and develop our craft, vision and the platform for the Kurunpa Kunpuntjaku program. The Awards also enable us to shine a spotlight on the opportunities offered to regional communities and artists.”