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Now More Than Ever

Media Published Monday 27 May 2024
L-R: Nathaniel Andrew, Djindu Noble-Willoughby, Leah Flanagan, Nathan May, Yvonne Rigney, Bart Willoughby, Budjerah, Catherine Satour, Clover Hersant, Tau Talifolau-French, Emily Wurramara

Now more than ever we need to support our music creators. Through purchasing tickets and attending local shows, listening to their music, taking a chance on an artist you’ve never heard before, buying artists’ merchandise, playing local songs on local radio stations, positively engaging with artists on social media and sharing their music, or championing Australian music creators on an international stage, local artists need our support now more than ever. 

At this year's APRA Music Awards, we celebrated the nominations of six Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members in the mainstream Most Performed categories, and recognised one of our iconic music legends, Bart Willoughby, who received the Ted Albert Award for Outstanding Services to Australian Music, the nation’s top lifetime achievement award in contemporary music.  

Budjerah garnered two nominations in both “Most Performed Australian Work” and “Most Performed Pop Work” alongside global superstar The Kid LAROI. 

Dean Brady was nominated for Most Performed R&B/Soul Work alongside Mo’Ju, and King Stingray’s “Lookin’ Out” was nominated for Most Performed Rock Work, alongside “Nullarbor Plain” co-written by Troy Cassar-Daley. Remember these names, Now More Than Ever. 

These categories are based on data figures, they aren’t curated by a panel of tastemakers. The results prove that our artists are breaking through to the mainstream, now, more than ever.

Beyond the numbers, this mainstream success sees a generation of people in 2024 singing along to lyrics like “I’m aiming for the sky, please open your mind”; “Watching it all pass me by, I am the rock against the tide”; “What if we fall, in love”; and “Love will elevate us, change has to come”. And a change has come because since 1981 we’ve been singing the words of Bart Willoughby’s “We have survived the white man’s world”. *

From Catherine Satour, 2023 NATSIMO APRA Board Observer: ”It was an incredibly moving moment to be there and see Uncle Bart Willoughby receive the 2024 Ted Albert Award. I was so proud to see NATSIMO nominees across categories – this shows audiences are enjoying and backing our established and next generation artists coming through. This achievement comes from the collective and consistent effort from community and sector to ensure we have a place in the Australian music industry, and there is always work to do.” 

The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Music Office is so incredibly proud of the achievements of our members at this year’s APRA Music Awards and want s to shout it from the rooves of the tallest buildings, from the edge of the longest rivers, from the cliffs across the open seas.  

The door is open and we want to see more of our sisters, more of our culture, more of our stories following through every year.  In order to do this, we need to value the wins that we have each step of the way. These achievements pave the way for others to follow.

Now more than ever, we want to congratulate the significant wins of our other artists of colour: One Four and collaborator Hugo Hui, JKing, and grentperez, and congratulate nominees Skin on Skin, The Buoys’ Courtney Cunningham, Hooligan Hefs, Sampa the Great, Tkay Maidza, Forest Claudette and Beckah Amani.

*References Budjerah's "Ready For The Sky", King Stingray's "Lookin' Out", Dean Brady's "Falling", Mo'Ju's "Change Has To Come" and No Fixed Address' "We Have Survived"