Sycco, Hope D, Young Franco and more win at Queensland Music Awards
Taking place last night in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley, the 2021 Queensland Music Awards (QMAs) was a long-awaited coming together for the music community to make history. Hosted by Aimon Clark and Patience Hodgson, with a sold out crowd of over 700+ guests and a total of 30 award categories, Queensland’s night of nights was a well-deserved celebration of the artistic and commercial success of the state’s best emerging and established artists and their teams over the last 12 months.
Miiesha had an incredible night as the artist with the most overall wins, taking home 3x awards in the Indigenous, Soul / Funk / RnB, and Remote categories for ‘Twisting Words’ off her stunning acclaimed debut record ‘Nyaaringu’. More historic moments came when Jesswar’s explosive war-cry track ‘Venom’ took home the Hip Hop / Rap crown, marking her as the first female artist to win this category since its introduction 4 years ago. Winning the Folk / Singer-Songwriter award for the second year in a row was Brisbane music and visual artist Jaguar Jonze with her conceptual masterpiece ‘MURDER’.
Taking out the top honours were Ball Park Music who won Album Of The Year with their critically-acclaimed self-titled album and Sycco who won both Song Of The Year and the Pop category award for her release ‘Dribble’. Both artists celebrated their wins with show-stopping and memorable performances under the majestic glittering chandeliers of the Fortitude Music Hall stage.
Leaving the stage with an impressive 2x awards, Gold Coast soul-folk-pop newcomer Beckah Amani took home the Emerging Artist Award and also the coveted 2021 Billy Thorpe Scholarship for her formidable rich vocal tones and minimalist instrumentalisation delivering personal, meaningful, and political lyrics. Selected by a panel of judges and Lynn Thorpe herself, the Scholarship has supported emerging musicians for the past 13 years, and grants the winner $10,000 to record their next release along with career planning advice from Chugg Entertainment.
Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch congratulated the 2021 Queensland Music Award winners on their resilient and resounding success over the past year. “Congratulations to Beckah Amani, the 2021 Billy Thorpe Scholarship winner, who impressed the judges with her incredible voice and mature songwriting,” Minister Enoch said.
“The judging panel were impressed with her incredible story and believe that this funding will help Beckah continue her work over the next 12 months.”
“The Palaszczuk Government supports live music in Queensland, including with annual funding to QMusic, and the Billy Thorpe Scholarship. Our Government acknowledges the significant impact of COVID-19 on the broader live music industry, which is why we continue to support the sector with a $22.5 million Arts and Cultural Recovery Package. This has included funding for artists, live music programming and live music venues.
The arts are key to delivering our plan for economic recovery, each year contributing $8.5 billion into the state’s economy and supporting more than 92,000 jobs for Queenslanders,” Minister Enoch said.
The incredible commercial and international success of Queensland music was also on show during the night with Amy Shark winning the Highest Selling Single award for the second year in a row, this time for single ‘Everybody Rise’, Keith Urban winning the Highest Selling Album award for ‘The Speed Of Now Pt1’ and Sheppard winning the Export Achievement award.
“This year’s QMAs was a true celebration of what has become an incredible local music industry, one that our state can be proud of, both culturally and as a key export industry,” said QMusic CEO Angela Samut.
“With a massive 30 categories, our winners represent the true breadth of talent around our state and no doubt include superstars to follow in the footsteps of our Queensland greats that have gone on to change the music landscape globally.”
Other winners included These Four Walls, who won the Heavy category with ‘White Lies’, Young Franco was the winner for the Electronic / Dance category with ‘Juice (feat Pell)’, Melody Moko was the winner in the Country category with ‘Like Hank Would’, and last year’s Emerging Artist Hope D this year was the winner of the Rock category for her breakthrough Hottest 100-placing hit ‘Second’.
Taking a moment in the ceremony to recognise her lifetime contribution to Queensland music with a special tribute by Trichotomy ft. Zac Hurran, Lynette Irwin was awarded the Grant Mclennan Lifetime Achievement Award for her prolific and ongoing support of the Jazz Community over the past 20+ years, including artistic director at Brisbane International Jazz Festival and president at Jazz Queensland.
The brand new QMA’s initiative ‘The Ones To Watch and Listen’, highlights Queensland’s most promising emerging artists as selected by the QMusic CEO and Programming team from the 2021 finalists and highly commended artists. The artists selected for the debut year of this initiative are: Bekah Amani, Billie Rose, CLOE TERARE, Colie, MiCCY, Jelly Oshen, Order Sixty6, Peach Fur, Selve, and Tbi$h.
Rounding out a momentous night of celebration and recognition for Queensland music are the winners of the People’s Choice Awards, where the state’s favourite music venues and festivals were voted by the public and judged by an industry panel. Taking home the award for Metro Venue of The Year was Brisbane’s esteemed theatre-venue The Tivoli, the Regional Venue Of The Year award went to Sunshine Coast mainstay The Nightquarter, and Festival Of The Year was crowned to long-standing and beloved music and cultural event Woodford Folk Festival.