The posthumously released album of acclaimed artist Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu swept the 2018 National Indigenous Music Awards (NIMAs), picking up three more awards for the late renowned musician.
Each time the opening notes of the title track Djarimirri (Child of the Rainbow) were played, the crowd at the awards ceremony in Darwin burst into applause.
It won Album of the Year, Song of the Year for the title track, and Gurrumul was named Artist of the Year.
“Everything we did, was for his family,” said friend and producer Michael Hohnen as he accepted one of the awards with Gurrumul’s aunty, Dorothy Gamritj Gurruwiwi and other family members.
Michael Hohnen accepts one of Gurrumul Yunupingu’s three awards alongside Gurrumul’s family. (Supplied: SGC Media)
“As we all know, my nephew has gone and spread his stories throughout his songs,” the musician’s aunty said.
“[Gurrumul] went far away across the sea and he has shown the world that Indigenous people here today, we’ve still got a culture.
“Thank you everyone for listening to us.”
Fresh Prince of Arnhem Land also scoops awards
Breakthrough star Baker Boy — who raps in Yolngu Matha and is sometimes referred to as the Fresh Prince of Arnhem Land — was the night’s other big winner.
The NIMAs named him Best New Talent, and the music video for his hit song Marryuna also won Film Clip of the Year.
Fresh from a sold out Darwin Festival show the night before, he thanked his family in his acceptance speech.
“I love them so much, they made me who I am, so I could do what I do,” he told the crowd.
“I love everyone here tonight,” he added, before closing the ceremony with one of his signature high-energy performances — which included choreographed dancing and playing the didgeridoo.
The night included a tribute to another late artist, actor, musician and cultural figure Barlang Lewis, who died in May.
Indigenous actor and musician Barlang Lewis, who died in May, was honoured. (Facebook: Barlang Lewis)
Kasey Chambers and Alan Pigram, Stiff Gins, Yirrmal, Kardajala Kirridarra and the Kenbi Dancers were among the other performances.
The Central Australian Aboriginal Women’s Choir was awarded a NIMA Special Achievement Award.
The Central Australian Aboriginal Women’s Choir were among the performers at the 2018 NIMAs. (Supplied: SGC Media)
The B-Town Warriors from Bourke High School in north-western New South Wales won Community Clip of the Year for their Thundercloud video.
Nikyra Suckling from the B-Town Warriors said it was a song with a message.
“The song is about mental illness,” she said.
“A lot of people back home were depressed … and I suppose we wrote a song to tell them they’re not alone.”
Country singer, Gomeroi man Roger Knox was inducted into the Hall of Fame.
“There’s a big crowd [tonight],” he said before the show.
“I’m really thrilled and honoured. I mean I never dreamed about this. I never expected this but it happened.”
Over a career spanning decades, Mr Knox, a descendent of the Gomeroi people, earned the nickname Black Elvis with his soulful music.
He said he had his eye on the young people in the Indigenous music scene who are rising through the ranks.
“There’s so many young people around today who’ve got so much talent. I’d like to see them use that talent not only to try and bring people together, to try to develop some sort of understanding so we can come together as a community.”
Buku-watthunawuy Nininynu Rom and Kenbi Dancers were both awarded the NT Traditional Music Award.
The Kenbi dancers took home the NT Traditional Music Award at the Darwin ceremony. (Supplied: SGC Media)