The duo who created the provocative track, 'January 26' were awarded the coveted prize at the 12th Annual Australian Music Award ceremony, held overnight in Melbourne. It's a proud moment for the pair whose politically charged album was up against awards season favourites such as Flume and amongst those shortlisted, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, The Avalanches and more. Beating out 60 other big name acts, the duo are the first Indigenous act to take the $30,000 prize.
Fans of the duo, Yorta Yorta man, Briggs and Trials, a Ngarrindjeri man who are both award-winning artists in their own rights - knew they were in for a no holds barred treat with the release of the debut single 'January 26', which followed with more tracks talking about the realities and struggles of being a black person in Australia. The album resonated widely with audiences, peaking at #10 on the charts, and number #2 on the iTunes charts, though for the purposes of the Australian Music Award, the judging panel looks beyond chart and sales success, instead focusing on all of the diverse offerings released between 1st January 2016- 31st December 2016.
Commenting on the win the duo stated, “When we made this album - we thought it was career suicide. For us to be afforded this platform with so many listeners is not lost on us. We went all out because we thought it was the last one we'd make. All of this support is igniting us to do another one! We are very grateful.”
‘Reclaim Australia' is more than just a great Australian album, it's a cultural landmark. It's an angry, funny, heartfelt, slamming hip hop album that takes its inspiration from '90s gangsta rap, and filters it through a modern Aboriginal perspective.
Chairperson of the Judging Panel, Dave Faulkner said, “ ‘Reclaim Australia' is more than just a great Australian album, it's a cultural landmark. It's an angry, funny, heartfelt, slamming hip hop album that takes its inspiration from '90s gangsta rap, and filters it through a modern Aboriginal perspective. It hits hard politically, musically and emotionally and the stories A.B. Original are telling are ones we all need to hear right now.”
You can catch A.B Original performing this weekend at WOMADelaide this weekend. For more info on the Australian Music Prize - https://www.facebook.com/australianmusicprize