• (L,R) Baker Boy, A. B Original and Kardajala Kirridarra are all nominated for the prestigious triple j 2017 award (Facebook)Source: Facebook
A.B Original, Baker Boy and lots more - Indigenous artists have been nominated for triple j's #AusmusicMonth.
Laura Morelli

1 Nov 2017 - 12:28 PM  UPDATED 1 Nov 2017 - 12:42 PM

From the red desert to the sandy beaches and even the chaotic city centre, Australian musical excellence runs raw right across the country. For over a decade the J Awards have recognised and celebrated talent the Down Under. This year sees the several Indigenous artists up for nominations, with at least one in each category.   

Nominees are chosen for their originality, creativity, technical excellence and contribution to Australian music and each of these First Nations artists utilise their music as a platform to spark important conversations that educate, empower and embrace Australian history, culture and traditions.

A.B. Original, Reclaim Australia - Australian Album of the Year

As Ngarrindjeri MC, Daniel “Trials” Rankine and Yorta Yorta rapper, Adam Briggs put it themselves, “it don’t get blacker than this.” This is what the pair said when they joined forces as A.B. Original to release Reclaim Australia, which took Australian hip-hop to the next level.

The pair spit out brutally honest, aggressively powerful, 'no bullshit' lyrics about the complex issues First Nations Australians. Be it about incarceration and Closing The Gap, or change the date of Australia day, the deadly duo are using their music to spark change not only within the country, but for all Indigenous people who have been disadvantaged across the world.   

The album has A list collaborations featuring some of the biggest artists in the industry including, Archie Roach, Dr G Yunupingu, Dan Sultan, Thelma Plum and Caiti Baker – the album Reclaim Australia is without a doubt a piece of Australian music history.



A.B. Original ‘Report To The Mist’ - Australian Music Video of the Year

A. B. Original's fourth and final song from their Reclaim Australia album was released in May this year. A powerful statement about police brutality the video was released along with it's own website which confrontingly shows statistics of Indigenous mortality rates and the rates of Indigenous incarceration. 

The video, executed by Josh Davis and Heath Kerr, comes 30 years on from the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody and is a powerfully visual statement about Australia's social landscape and its ongoing depressing history. 



Dan Sultan - Artist of the Year

Arente and Gurindji artist Dan Sultan has shot to international acclaim over recent years. After being recognised first by his community and then the music industry (being the favourite at the 2007 Deadly Awards), Dan has topped ARIA charts and won numerous awards. All the while he has continued to use his music as a platform to share information about his history and what it’s like for an Aboriginal artist living in contemporary modern society. His music speaks from an Indigenous perspective, shedding light of the history, including 1966 Wave Hill walk-off which his grandfather walked and working and living remote communities.



Kardajala Kirridarra - Artist of the Year

Kardajala Kirridarra are all descendants of strong bush woman from the Northern Territory. The all-female band utilise their majestic music to paint beautiful stories from their communities of Marlinja and Kulumindini.

Their music weaves contemporary with the traditional. Sung in both Mudburra and English, they tell stories about the beauty and power of Mother Earth and the connection between Aboriginal women and country. Their music grapples with social issues of young people living in remote Australia, with songs like Ngabaju (Grandmother’s Song) and Warmala (Young Girl’s Song). They use their music to empower women. Their music is the epitome of strong black women.


Baker Boy  - Unearthed Artist of the Year

In Arnhem Land they call Baker Boy the ‘fresh new prince’. His totem is the Olive Python/Rainbow Serpent, his moiety is Dhuwa and his skin is Burralung/Gela boy. Born in Darwin and raised in the remote NT communities Milingimbi and Maningrida, 20 year-old Danzal Baker “Baker Boy” is the freshest new hip-hop talent in Oz music. 

Not only does Baker Boy rap in Yolngu Matha, he also performs traditional dance on stage. He uses music to educate people about his Arnhem Land families, in his hot track Cloud 9 he encourages black pride, power and positive role models but also reminds people about the difficulties Indigenous youth face and the struggle to Close The Gap.

Here are the 2017 triple J Award nominees:

triple j Australian Album of the Year

A.B. Original, Reclaim Australia

Alex Lahey, I Love You Like A Brother

Ali Barter, A Suitable Girl

Gang of Youths, Go Farther In Lightness

Gordi, Reservoir

Meg Mac, Low Blows

Methyl Ethel, Everything Is Forgotten

The Smith Street Band, More Scared Of You Than You Are Of Me

Thundamentals, Everyone We Know

Vera Blue, Perennial


double J Artist of the Year

Dan Sultan

Jen Cloher

Kardajala Kirridarra

Lance Ferguson

Paul Kelly


Unearthed Artist of the Year

Alex The Astronaut

Baker Boy

Confidence Man

Ruby Fields

Stella Donnelly


Australian Music Video of the Year  (co-presented by Rage):

Client Liaison ‘A Foreign Affair {Ft. Tina Arena}’ Director: Tim White

A.B. Original ‘Report To The Mist’ Director: Josh Davis & Heath Kerr

Kirin J Callinan ‘Big Enough {Ft. Alex Cameron, Molly Lewis & Jimmy Barnes}’ Director: Danny Cohen Methyl Ethel ‘Ubu’ Director: PAXI

Jack River ‘Fool's Gold’ Director: Matt Sav


The winners are set to be announced at the J Awards, which will broadcast live on triple j from 4pm Thurs 23 Nov.


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