King Stingray and Budjerah have multiple chances to add to their silverware collections when the 2023 National Indigenous Music Awards are presented next month.

The Stingers, as they’re affectionately known, are up for song and film clip of the year for “Let’s Go,” while Budjerah is in the running for artist of the year, song and film clip of the year (both for “Therapy”).


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Formed in Northeast Arnhem Land, King Stingray is the reigning ARIA Award winner for the Michael Gudinski breakthrough artist, recipients of best new artist at the 2022 Rolling Stone Australia Awards, and first-prize-getter in the Vanda & Young Global Songwriting Competition, for “Milkumana” (the Stingers also snagged third prize with “Camp Dog”). Their debut self-titled full-length album won the Australian Music Prize in 2022.

Budjerah’s trajectory has been similarly impressive. The 21-year-old singer and songwriter from Fingal Head, New South Wales, was the inaugural winner of the Michael Gudinski prize at the 2021 ARIAs, he has also collected best new artist at the 2023 RS Awards and, in 2022, won his first APRA Award for most performed R&B/soul work of the year (“Higher” with Matt Corby).

Also at the NIMAs, the annual celebration of Australia’s First Nations music community, Arnhem Land newcomers Wildfire Manwurrk will compete in three categories, for new talent of the year, film clip of the year and community clip of the year.

“We have walked a long hard road to get here over many years and feel so happy to be recognised for our music at this national level. To be recognised as one of Australia’s important Indigenous voices means everything to us,” comments Wildfire Manwurrk in a statement.

“Our music tells our story in our language, one of the oldest languages in this world. That language, it will help you connect to where you are standing. It will help us come together, where we learn from each other.”

Sponsored by Amazon Music, this year’s ceremony will be presented Aug. 12 at the Darwin Amphitheatre in Larrakia Country.

Performers on the night include Thelma Plum, Barkaa and Budjerah, while veteran pop star Jessica Mauboy will be on hand to present an award.

Hosts this time are artist, cultural leader, and Butchulla Songman Fred Leone, alongside returning NIMA host, Yunkuntjatjarra, Warrigmay, South Sea and German-descended actress, singer and writer Elaine Crombie.

TV partners National Indigenous Television (NITV) will broadcast the program nationwide on Sunday, Aug. 13, from 7.30pm. The NIMAs will also broadcast on SBS On Demand, on SBS Viceland from Friday, Aug. 18 at 11.05pm and on SBS on Saturday, Aug. 19 at 9am.

2023 National Indigenous Music Awards nominations:

Artist of the Year
Jessica Mauboy
Kobie Dee
The Kid Laroi

New Talent of the Year
Royston Noell
Wildfire Manwurrk
Marlon X Rulla

Film Clip of the Year
Wildfire Manwurrk – ‘Lonely Bangardi’
Budjerah – ‘Therapy’
A.B. Original – ‘King Billy Cokebottle’
Thelma Plum – ‘The Brown Snake’
King Stingray – ‘Let’s Go’

Song of the Year
Bumpy – ‘Hide and Seek’
Budjerah – ‘Therapy’
Miiesha – ‘Skin Deep’
King Stingray – ‘Let’s Go’
Yirrmal ft. Dami Im – ‘Promised Land’

Album of the Year
Thelma Plum – Meanjin (EP)
Ngulmiya – Self-titled
Mo’Ju – Oro Plata Mata
Miiesha – Smoke & Mirrors
Beddy Rays – Self-titled

Community Clip of the Year
Wildfire Manwurrk – ‘Mararradj’
Utju Community – ‘Tjamuku Tjukurpa Kanyila’
Lil Youngins – ‘The Problem’
Indigenous Outreach Project w/ Gunyangara, Yirrkala & Dhalinbuy, NT ft. Yirrmal – ‘Indigenous Outreach Projects, Gunyangara, Yirrkala & Dhalinbuy ft. Yirrmal’
Garrthalala Community – ‘Garrthalala Manikay’
Dunghutti Community in Kempsey NSW – ‘The Black Truth – There’s Still Hope’

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