In the 5th year of the MusicNT NT Song of the Year Awards prizes have been claimed across the Territory with winners from Alice Springs, Darwin, Ngukurr, Yirrkala, Elliot, Katherine and Milingimbi – a truly Territory-wide celebration of songwriting talent.
Held on Saturday, July 9 at the Museum and Art Gallery of the NT, the NT Song of the Year Awards brought musicians, music industry and music lovers together to pay tribute to the best Territory songwriters. The 2016 awards also smashed records with the most entries of any year (450 songs) and over 1,300 people voting in the People’s Choice award (300 more than last year).
MusicNT Executive Director Mark Smith said it was great to see increased participation in the Awards given it is also MusicNT’s 20th Anniversary. “It’s exciting that after 20 years of music development and initiatives aimed at growing the Territory music scene we are seeing more artists releasing music and greater numbers celebrating the NT music community. MusicNT is thrilled to continue to support and celebrate NT songwriters through the NT Song of the Year Awards and extends our congratulations to all the winners.”
Alice Springs songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist Dave Crowe (aka Resin Moon) claimed the Overall Song of the Year. Dave’s track ‘Salt’ took out the best Electronic/Dance song at the Awards and was described by one judges as “absolutely magic, next level, incredible stuff” and another said “I can hear this one on national radio… it’s a summer anthem!”
Indigenous songwriters were winners on the night with Ngukkurr rock band Lonely Boys taking out best Rock track with their new single “Murray Island”, Dhapanbal Yunupingu daughter of the Yothu Yindi singer, Dr Yunupingu, has kept the musical skills in the family taking out the Country award for her song “Gurtha (The Fire)” a collaboration with Shellie Morris and Gawurra from Milingimbi has taken out the Pop Award for the second year in a row with “Mulunda (Kingfisher)”.
Barkly Desert Culture - a Youth Diversion Program ran by Barkly Regional Council – has delivered some impressive results this year with two songs written by participants recognized in the Awards. Eleanor Dixon and Beatrice Lewis took out the Folk prize for ‘Everything was at Peace” and the E Town Boyz featuring Eleanor Dixon won the Youth Award for “Kulimindini is My Home”.
The inaugural TourismNT Territory Song Award was won by Darwin singer songwriter Ben Evolent with his track “Next Time”. The song will be used in TourismNT campaigns to attract visitors to the Territory and a $10,000 music video will be produced for the song.
Darwin progressive hardcore band Tapestry backed up their recent announcement as part of the BIGSOUND music conference by winning the Heavy Award for “Bond” and Darwin MC Col Infinity won the best Urban/Hip hop track with his powerful song “Ruler” and Alice Springs troubadour Colin Lillie won the Blues and Roots prize with the emotional song track “Give Thanks”.
This year more than 1300 people voted in the People’s Choice competition, the most of any year. The winning song was “Shadows” by Katherine hip-hop group KTown (supported by Indigenous Hip Hop Projects) - a clear audience favourite.
To celebrate MusicNT’s 20th Year a new ‘Hall of Fame Award’ was launched to recognise the efforts of individuals who contribute to the NT music community. The inaugural Award acknowledged Denise Officer and Bill Searle for their work setting up the original MusicNT (Music Industry Development Inc) in 1996.
OVERALL NT SONG OF THE YEAR
“Salt” by Dave Crowe aka Resin Moon
“Shadows” by Michael Cameron, Paddy Kossack, Devon Lines, Marcus Hamilton, Kamahi King and Shaelee (aka Ktown) with help from Indigenous Hip Hop Projects
“Murray Island” by Kasley Daniels, Ambrose Daniels, Burt Rami, Winston Joshua, Ben Mangi, Dylan Daniels aka Lonely Boys
“Mulunda (Kingfisher)” by Stanley Gawurra Gaykamangu aka Gawurra
“Everything Was At Peace” by Eleanor Dixon and Beatrice Lewis
URBAN / HIPHOP
“Ruler” by Huu Loc Nguyen aka Col Infinity
BLUES & ROOTS
"Give Thanks” by Colin Lillie
“Gurtha (The Fire)” by Dhapanbal Yunupingu ft Shellie Morris
“Bond” by Tom Devine-Harrison, Luke Dorward, Elliot Williams, Darcy Grant and Connor Askham aka Tapestry
ELECTRONIC / DANCE
“Salt “ by Dave Crowe aka Resin Moon
TOURISMNT TERRITORY SONG
“Next Time” by Joshua Tarca aka Ben Evolent
“Kulimindini is My Home” by Alex Butler, Justin Rankine aka E Town Boyz with Eleanor Dixon
HALL OF FAME
Denise Officer and Bill Searle