Dan Sultan Tops Indigenous Music Awards Nominations

The nominations for the National Indigenous Music Awards (NIMA) have been announced, lead by Melbourne blues rocker Dan Sultan who’s up for a total of five awards. Also acknowledged is singer Jessica Mauboy and musician Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu.

Sultan, Mauboy and Gurrumul Yunupingu are all up for National Artist of the Year against singer/songwriter Shellie Morris. Dan Sultan’s track The Same Man is nominated for Song of the Year, along with Gurrumul’s Marilitja and two Busby Marou songs – My Second Mistake and Get You Out Of Here.

Sultan, Gurrumul and Marou are all up for the prestigious Album of the Year award, while Sultan video’s for the Blackbird track Under Your Skin is also nominated. Victorian rapper and Shepparton local Briggs are up for National New Talent of the Year, while other categories include National Cover Art and Community Clip of the Year.

The nominations weren’t without their controversy though. Earlier today Skinnyfish Music, the local label Gurrumul calls home, expressed their disappointment that actor and musician Tom E Lewis’ latest record Beneath The Sun wasn’t nominated for best album.

“Yes i am cranky as i feel,” tweeted Mark Grose of Skinnyfish Music. “@NIMAwards do not have their finger on the pulse of what is really happening in the Indigenous Music World.” Speaking to today Grose said he was shocked at the complete absence of any music from Tom E Lewis, whose album was recognised for its cover art.

“There were some other issues with the nominations that have nothing to do Skinnyfish but which indicates to me that the NIMAs are out of sync with the broader Indigenous music world… I feel someone has to speak up for Tom I feel very strongly about Beneath The Sun as an amazing album.”

Watch: Dan Sultan – The Same Man

The National Indigenous Music Awards will be held in Darwin on August 15th.

National Artist of the Year

Jessica Mauboy

Dan Sultan

Gurrumul Yunupingu

Shellie Morris

National Song of the Year

My Second Mistake – Busby Marou

Marilitja – Gurrumul

It’s Like Love – Dewayne Everettsmith

March – Jimblah

The Same Man – Dan Sultan

Get You Out Of Here – Busby Marou

National Album of the Year

Blackbird – Dan Sultan

His Life and Music with Sydney Symphony Orchestra (Live) – Gurrumul

His Life and Music (Studio album with string quartet) – Gurrumul

Farewell Fitzroy – Busby Marou

National New Talent of the Year

East Journey


Tjintu Desert Band

National Cover Art of the Year

Blackbird – Dan Sultan (Cover Art: Ken Taylor)

Beneath the Sun – Tom E Lewis (Cover Art: Michael Hohnen)

Phoenix – Jimblah (Cover Art: Sarah McCloskey & Dale Harrison)

National Film Clip of the Year

Bright Lights Big City – East Journey (Director/Filmmaker: Naina Sen)

Brotherman – Jimblah (Director: Brendan J Doyle)

Under Your Skin – Dan Sultan

Community Clip of the Year

Bush Food is Really Really Good [Manmoyi, NT]

KNX Respect [Kununurra, WA]

Fly Back Home [Ampilatwatja, NT]

E Girlz [Wutunugurra]

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