What an absolute trip 2016 has been as we’ve immersed ourselves in incredible live music scenes around the country. We’ve seen some stellar artists emerge from all corners, really making the year their own.
As 2016 approaches its final weeks, the Australian industry and its artists have been celebrated in all different forms; from multiple national award ceremonies, Hall of Fame inductions and Best Of lists coming out faster than we can hit ‘refresh’.
For the third year, we add to this celebration, looking at the artists who have risen to the top and made their own voices heard, in our annual AU Awards. The awards celebrate achievement both in terms of live performance and music releases. Following on from one of the most diverse lists of nominees we’ve ever had, the winners are reflective of what’s been an interesting and encouraging year for new music – and we’re thrilled to announce the winners today!
This year isn’t over though and as we approach another warm summer festival season, we look forward to seeing some of these artists on stage sooner rather than later…
And now, to the winners…
Our Male and Female Artists of the Year have landed with two musicians we have thoroughly enjoyed seeing develop and thrive off the positivity aimed their way this year – Remi and NGAIIRE. In Divas and Demons and Blastoma we were dealt, easily, two of the best albums of 2016 so on that alone, we congratulate and thank both.
Camp Cope have been crowned our Breakthrough Artist of the Year for 2016, while bonafide rock legends Violent Soho have edged out competition to take Group of the Year. Taking wins in both the Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Artist of the Year and Hip Hop Artist of the Year categories is A.B. Original – perhaps unsurprising, but no less deserving, the duo and Reclaim Australia have charged through the Australian music industry and given the shakedown it, and our social climate, has well-needed.
“Briggs and I are just as surprised as we are proud that our record has been received so well by the listeners and media,” Trials has said. “Many who are often without a dog in our fight but receptive and welcome of change… Thank you to everyone who’s banging it in the face of someone who needs to hear it. 2017 is gonna be something else.”
Our publicly voted Australian Artist of the Year saw Colin Lillie emerge victorious, fans rallying behind the Scottish-born, Alice Springs based troubadour and pushing him to the top. An artist who has been deserving of every accolade passed his way this year, we couldn’t be happier with the result and cannot wait to see where he heads next.
The full list of winners can be found below, as can a cheeky Spotify playlist that has us feeling a good type of way as holidays approach.
2016 AU AWARD WINNERS
MALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR: REMI
FEMALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR: NGAIIRE
BREAKTHROUGH ARTIST OF THE YEAR: CAMP COPE
GROUP OF THE YEAR: VIOLENT SOHO
ABORIGINAL OR TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER ARTIST OF THE YEAR: A.B. ORIGINAL
ROCK ARTIST OF THE YEAR: HOLY HOLY
POP ARTIST OF THE YEAR: MONTAIGNE
HIP HOP ARTIST OF THE YEAR: A.B. ORIGINAL
R&B/SOUL ARTIST OF THE YEAR: JORDAN RAKEI
ELECTRONIC/DANCE ARTIST OF THE YEAR: MARCUS WHALE
FOLK/ACOUSTIC ARTIST OF THE YEAR: OH PEP!
COUNTRY & AMERICANA ARTIST OF THE YEAR: FANNY LUMSDEN
BLUES OR ROOTS ARTIST OF THE YEAR: TASH SULTANA
HEAVY OR PUNK ARTIST OF THE YEAR: LUCA BRASI
AUSTRALIAN LIVE MUSIC EVENT OF THE YEAR (METRO): WAM FESTIVAL
AUSTRALIAN LIVE MUSIC EVENT OF THE YEAR (REGIONAL): NYE ON THE HILL
PUBLIC VOTED – AUSTRALIAN ARTIST OF THE YEAR: COLIN LILLIE
Photo by Michelle Grace Hunder.