With four trophies, including song of the year and best solo artist, Troye Sivan was the big winner at the 2023 ARIA Awards, held Wednesday, Nov. 15 in Sydney.
The Aussie pop star was on hand to collect each of those pointy trophies, the victory spoils from Something to Give Each Other, his third studio album which debuted at No. 1 last month on the ARIA Chart.
While collecting song of the year, for “Rush,” Sivan remarked on the “unbelievable” songwriting talent bubbling away in Australia. “I’m so proud to be Australian, I’m so excited for the future of Australian music. I’m swear I’m not bragging,” he continued, “but Kylie and I are nominated in the same category in the Grammys. It makes me so so so proud.” No one would blame Sivan for a touch of bragging on this night.
The pop idol made a fifth trip to the podium, when he presented the award for best video won by G Flip’s “Good Enough,” directed by Kyle Caulfield.
Genesis Owusu has a habit of dominating at Australia’s major awards ceremonies, and he kept that reputation intact at the 2023 ARIAs, held for the second consecutive year at the iconic Hordern Pavillion on Gadigal land.
The Canberra-raised, Ghana-born funkster collected a hattrick of ARIAs, for album of the year, best hip-hop/rap release, and best independent release, all for his sophomore album Struggler, which peaked at No. 4 on the national chart in August of this year.
“This is an album I made about a roach,” Owusu said after winning album of the year, the night’s top award. “It’s very weird, it’s very strange. It’s about roaches and existentialism, a bunch of weird s—.” Struggler is a meditation on humanity “and our stubborn perseverance to wake up every day and make it through an oppressive existence.”
Speaking by live video link from the U.K., where he’s currently on tour, Owusu used the platform of his acceptance speech to call for a ceasefire in Gaza conflict. It wasn’t the only politically-charged message of the night. ”
G-Flip broke through for the best video honor, their first ARIA, then doubled up with a win for best Australian live act. The multi-talented indie rocker showcased their performance chops with a blistering performance of “Good Enough,” and “The Worst Person Alive,” switching from the drum kit, to the mic, and the electric guitar.
Singer and songwriter Forest Claudette also collected their first ARIAs, winning for best soul/R&B release (Mess Around) and best cover art (Everything Was Green — Jeremy Koren (Grey Ghost) and Michelle Grace Hunder).
Australia’s princess of pop Kylie Minogue broke a decades-long drought when she snared best pop release (for “Padam Padam”). “This is just unbelievable and I am super super happy,” she said in a pre-taped message, filmed in Las Vegas where’s working her way through a residency.
When Taylor Swift swings into Australia in February 2024 for seven stadium shows on her The Eras Tour, produced by Frontier Touring, she’ll do so as the reigning ARIA winner for most popular international artist, one of the five fan-voted categories unveiled on Wednesday evening.
In a pre-recorded bit, the pop superstar gave a shout out to her legion of Swifties. “Thank-you to the ARIAs for celebrating the relationship between the artists and the fans,” she added.
Other winners include DMA’S (best group), King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard (best rock album), MK & Dom Dolla (best dance/electronic release), Teenage Dads (Michael Gudinski breakthrough artist), The Teskey Brothers (best blues & roots album) and Fanny Lumsden, who had a dream-come-true moment when she collected best country album, presented by Dolly Parton by way of video-link.
As previously reported, rockers Jet were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame, doing so with a medley of their standout rock numbers from the 2000s, including the smash “Are You Gonna Be My Girl”.
“There are some truly tragic and atrocious things that are taking place around the world,” frontman Nic Cester commented from the podium. “It’s impossible to see the news at the moment and not be confronted by the destruction being committed through war, racism and politics. A lot of people are being divided. It’s often in moments like this I’m reminded of the importance of art and music. Music has always been an antidote in our lives during troubled moments, a place for refuge”
Other performers on the night included Budjerah, Brad Cox, Fanny Lumsden, Jessica Mauboy, Meg Mac, Peach PRC, and a segment celebrating 50 years of hip-hop, with a medley performance featuring Bliss n Eso, BARKAA, 1200 Techniques, DJ Krissy, and Sound Unlimited Posse with KYE.
The 2023 ARIA Awards aired live across digital station Stan, followed by a special presentation on Channel 9 from 7.30pm, with performances and moments streaming on the ARIA.official YouTube channel.
The event is a partnership with YouTube, and supported by the New South Wales government through Destination NSW, the lead government agency for the NSW tourism and major events sector.