Spotlight Shines On Songwriters: Winners Crowned At 2015 Queensland Music Awards

Music lovers from far and wide united to celebrate Queensland’s homebred talented songwriters and musicians at the 2015 Queensland Music Awards presented by BOQ and Hutchinson Builders. 

One of the biggest and most recognised nights on the Queensland music industry calendar, the sold out event was an incredible showcase of the exceptional caliber of musicianship that the state has to offer to a worldwide audience.

Each year the awards receive remarkable attention with hundreds of published and unpublished artists from regional towns and cities across the state, submitting their songs to be listened to by an elite judging panel from the music and media industry across the country, and internationally.

QMusic’s Executive Officer Joel Edmondson said, "Time and again, the Queensland Music Awards prove that Queensland produces some of Australia's most talented and exciting musicians. The 2015 QMAs were no different. Queensland's music industry is fueled by a unique kind of community spirit, giving emerging artists that extra bit of support they need to succeed. You can feel that spirit in the room at the QMAs.”

This year it was the Brisbane Powerhouse who played host to the awards ceremony.  Hosted by triple j’s Sarah Howells and Hip Hop veteran Fred Leone aka Rival MC from Impossible Odds Records, the evening opened with a stunning performance by indigenous group Yarwah, performing a contemporary Welcome to Country. The Medics scored one of the first wins of the night with their newly released song Wake Up taking the Indigenous Award.

Fans were treated to a performance by Australian music royalty when 4x ARIA Award winner and past Queensland Music Award winner Katie Noonan performed a remix of her new track Peace Is My Drug alongside Brisbane wunderkind producer cln.

Also blazing up the stage were sterling performances by Blank Realm, MKO and We All Want To, who delivered a climatic end to the 2015 awards night.

Blank Realm perform for the crowd. Photo credit: Stephen Booth

No stranger to the Queensland Music Awards, Cairns songstress Leanne Tennant claimed a well-deserved win collecting the Blues & Roots Award for Bearing The Crown. It was a win for both band and audience when Halfway captured the attention of the theatre with a poignant performance before returning to claim the Country Award for Dulcify, then later going on to win the highly acclaimed, Song of the Year Award.

It wasn’t the only stage return for the night.  The ethereal vocals and lush electronics of Airling’s on stage performance was publically recognised when Airling’s song Wasted Pilots, written by Hannah Shepherd, Tom Iansek and Graham Ritchie, was announced the coveted Pop Award winner.

Delighting the audience with her effortlessly beautiful songs, Sahara Beck followed an intimate performance with a celebrated return to receive The BOQ People's Choice Most Popular Female Award.

A publicly voted campaign, The BOQ People's Choice Awards provides music fans around Australia the opportunity to cast their vote for their favourite Queensland artists to be crowned Most Popular. The BOQ People's Choice Most Popular Male Award went to Bobby Alu, and the Most Popular Group Award went to The Amity Affliction.

Other noteworthy wins of the night include Michelle Xen collecting the Electronic / Dance Award for her song Short Term Plan, The Grates proved their hold is still strong on the Queensland music scene with their hit single Holiday Home scooping the Rock Award, while newcomer The Kite String Tangle’s song Arcadia, directed by Jason Bock won the best Music Video Award.

The winning recipient of the $10,000 Billy Thorpe Scholarship was awarded to Sunshine Coast artist, AYLA.  Supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland, the Scholarship is awarded to an emerging Queensland-based contemporary musician or band. 

2015 Billy Thorpe Scholarship Award winner AYLA with Lynn Thorpe
Photo credit: John Stubbs at 77Photography


Long regarded as one of Queensland rock and roll's most venerable singer/songwriters, the Screaming Tribesmen frontman Mick Medew was awarded the Grant McLennan Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to Queensland music.

The final, and most highly anticipated award of the night was the Album of the Year Award, which this year went to Hungry Ghost from rock legends, Violent Soho.

Altogether it was an outstanding night that celebrated musical diversity and showcased the thriving Queensland music scene as the 2015 Queensland Music Awards unveiled and named its finest to the country.


The full list of winners are featured online at

Throughout April the national music industry and hundreds of artist across Australia are coming together to raise awareness as a collective ‘Against Violence Against Women’ and the shocking statistics in Australia. The campaign is being launched this week and backed by the White Ribbon organisation.  Artists have through history been at the vanguard of change. They are in a unique position to talk to their audience, to raise awareness and drive change – and that is what lies at the heart of this campaign.

The 2015 Queensland Music Awards presented by BOQ and Hutchinson Builders is produced by QMusic with support from APRA|AMCOS.


Published: 31 Mar 2015 by QMusic Newsdesk