Baker Boy, Jessica Mauboy & Gurrumul Lead 2018 National Indigenous Music Awards Finalists

With the National Indigenous Music Awards hitting its 15th birthday, 2018 is looking like another pivotal year.

The NIMAs have just dropped an announcement detailing this year’s finalists.

It’s coming down to A.B. Original, Archie Roach, Electric Fields, Gurrumul and Jessica Mauboy for Artist of the Year. With the great Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu having passed in 2017 it seems likely he’ll again be honoured at the NIMAs.

As far as new names go Arnhem rapper Baker Boy (real name Danzal Baker) seems to be sweeping throughout the event’s award categories. His track ‘Marryuna’ has landed a nomination for Song of the Year and Film Clip of the Year.  He’s also cropped up as a contender for Best New Talent. To top that all off Baker will perform at the event alongside talented contemporaries Busby Marou and Kasey Chambers as well as collaborator Yirrmal.

It’s been a huge year for Danzal whose ‘Marryuna’ and ‘Cloud 9’ clocked in at #17 and #76 on triple j’s Hottest 100 earlier this year respectively. Baker himself found success following attention appearing in the NIMA’s own triple j Unearthed competition last year. 2018’s winner has yet to be announced.

It seems that the event will also be celebrating its own milestones. “The growth in the National Indigenous Music Awards has mirrored the growth of Indigenous music more generally over the last fifteen years,” NIMA’s Reference Group Chair Warren H. Williams shares. “The awards will celebrate everything NIMA has accomplished in these years.”

The event kicks off on Saturday, 11th August at the Darwin Amphitheatre.

The full award and artist roundup below!




2018 National Indigenous Music Awards Finalists & Performers

Album of the Year

Dan Sultan – Killer

Emily Wurramara – Milyakburra

Gurrumul – Djarimirri (Child of the Rainbow)

Kardajala Kirridarra – Kardajala Kirridarra

Kuren – Melting Conceptually

Song of the Year

Baker Boy – ‘Marryuna’

Busby Marou – ‘Days of Gold’

Dan Sultan – ‘Kingdom’

Gurrumul – ‘Djarimirri (Child of the Rainbow)’

Kardajala Kirridarra – ‘Ngurra’

Artist of the Year

A.B. Original

Archie Roach

Electric Fields


Jessica Mauboy

Best New Talent (Presented by Spotify)

Alice Skye

Baker Boy

Emily Wurramara


Ziggy Ramo

Film Clip of the Year

Alice Skye – ‘Friends With Feelings’

Baker Boy – ‘Marryuna’

Birdz – ‘This Side’

Black Rock Band – ‘Bininj Kuborrk’

Jessica Mauboy – ‘We Got Love’

Community Clip of the Year

Ali Curung NT – ‘Bounce With Me’

B-Town Warriors – ‘Thundercloud: Bourke’

Condobolin, NSW: ‘The Condo Crew – ‘How Ya Feelin’’

Githabul Next Generation – ‘Looking Out For Country’ Mulli Mulli

Yiyili Mawoolie – ‘Yiyili Kids’


Baker Boy

Busby Marou

Kasey Chambers with Alan Pigram

Roger Knox

Kardajala Kirridarra


Kenbi Dancers

Central Australian Women’s Choir

Stiff Gins

triple j Unearthed Winner

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