The annual party to celebrate Queensland music took place at the Royal International Convention Centre, Brisbane Showgrounds to a sold out crowd last night. Hosted by The Grates’ Patience Hodgson and comedian Mel Buttle, the star-studded night featured performances by Amy Shark and DZ Deathrays, Resin Dogs, Clea, Bobby Alu, Emma Beau and Tokyo Twilight.
A testament to the strength of Queensland music past, present and future, the 2019 QMAs were presented by Royal International Convention Centre, Brisbane Showgrounds, Hutchinson Builders, Oztix and Mountain Goat Beer. The ceremony crowned 23 winners including the prestigious Billy Thorpe Scholarship.
Celebrated recipients include Brisbane’s ethereal pop artist Clea, whose song ‘Dreaming’ was awarded the coveted 2019 Song of the The Year. Joining Queensland greats, Clea will receive a plaque in Brisbane’s Valley Walk of Fame to honour the achievement as well as a generous $20,000 promotional prize from Nova 106.5 and TheMusic.com.au.
Making QMA history, Tia Gostelow became the youngest ever winner of the Album of The Year award for her outstanding debut record Thick Skin. Receiving nationwide acclaim for her songwriting and live performance at an early age, the Mackay-via-Brisbane musician is a previous QMA winner and former QMA School’s Award recipient. This year the Schools Award was bestowed to 17 year old Tokyo Twilight for his ambient electronic track, Little Things, feat. DVNA.
Emerging songwriters dominated the night. Prolific songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Emily Wurramara took home the Indigenous Award with Lady Blue, followed by Blues & Roots Award winner Tap Sticks, a song she wrote at age 11. Both songs feature on her Album of The Year nominated debut LP Milyakburra. Sunshine Coast’s Sahara Beck won the Regional Award for her big chorus pop anthem Here We Go Again.
Queensland’s supply of world-class songwriters was evident throughout the night, both on stage and within the nominees for each category. Best Rock song was taken out by multi-award winning party starters, The Jungle Giants with Used To Be In Love. Electronic powerhouse, The Kite String Tangle took home the Electronic/Dance Award for the second year running, this time for Give It Time (feat. Aalias), while global sensation Confidence Man picked up their first Export Achievement award.
Fellow globetrotter Amy Shark took home the Singer Songwriter Award for I Said Hi which also earned the Gold Coast resident an acknowledgement for Highest Selling Single. Her debut Love Monster was also recognised as the Highest Selling Album in Queensland during the ceremony.
Lynne Thorpe and Arts Minister Leeanne Enoch awarded the 2019 Billy Thorpe Scholarship to Brisbane dream-pop shoegaze outfit Pool Shop. Led by Brisbane based singer-songwriter, Jaimee Fryer will receive $10,000 to record her next release along with career planning advice from Chugg Entertainment. Supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland, the scholarship is now in its 11th year and has supported emerging musicians such as Sam Hales (The Jungle Giants) and Jeremy Neale in their developing years.
Henry ‘Seaman’ Dan was honoured with the Grant McLennan Lifetime Achievement Award for his work, blending traditional Torres Strait Islander songs and pearling songs with jazz, hula and the blues, which he began recording at the age of 70. Best known for writing T.I Blues (1983), it would become a hit first for The Mills Sisters before he finally recorded it for his debut album in 2000.
Affectionately known as Uncle Seaman, the multi-award winning singer-songwriter is the oldest person to win an ARIA and was nominated again in the World Music category as an 87 year old. He turns 90 in August and made the trek from Cairns to accept the award in person on the night. Uncle Seaman won the Red Ochre Award in 2005 and received the Hall of Fame Award at the National Indigenous Music Awards in 2013.
The People’s Choice Awards give the music-loving public an opportunity to celebrate the state’s finest festivals and venues, alongside our talented songwriters. Presented by Jack Daniel’s and powered by TheMusic.com.au, the 2019 People’s Choice Awards were the QMAs biggest yet with over 8,000 votes received from the public.
Sunshine Coast’s very own Big Pineapple Music Festival was crowned Festival Of The Year for a second year running. Brisbane’s renowned venue, The Triffid won its first QMA in Metro Venue of the Year. A triumph for live music saw the community vote hard as they rallied for Gold Coast venue NightQuarter, taking home Regional Venue of The Year.
Other winners on the night include purveyors of alt-prog rock Dead Letter Circus winning the Heavy Award for The Armour You Own, folk-country songwriter Emma Beau’s Wild Heart was awarded the Country Award and rising Brisbane performer, Asha Jefferies took home the World/Folk Award for Everybody Talks. Jazz Award was won by The Biology of Plants blending funk-grooves with their signature complex compositions on Long Black while Best Soul / Funk / R'n'B song was awarded to The Sound of Light by Mark Peric.
Returning with a new album in 2018, Queensland favourites Resin Dogs won best Hip-Hop / Rap song for Pack Your Bags and later closing the night on a high with an erupting performance for industry and fans alike.
The sold-out event was an incredible showcase of the contribution that music makes to Queensland’s cultural life, and the exceptional caliber of musicianship that the state has to offer to a worldwide audience.
Check out the full list of winners!
Some of the artist managers and industry professionals involved in our free professional development workshop series Industry Connect have divulged their industry insider tips and lessons learnt.
QMusic's Annual General Meeting took place on April 16 at X CARGO in Brisbane's Fortitude Valley. The committee presented the results for 2018 with QMusic President Michael Crutcher noting that "QMusic will look back on its 24th year as another success, building on the excellent work that has been done across the last decade". Read the full report.
Riverstage has presented countless diverse and memorable shows over the years and this September will celebrate its 30th anniversary. To commemorate this milestone, they want to hear about your experiences and memories from 30 years of celebrating music and culture at this iconic venue. Take the survey or upload your digital artifacts to go into the draw to win a double pass to any gig at the Riverstage in 2019!
Australian and international artists have the rare chance to perform in front of some of the most influential figures in the international music industry by showcasing at BIGSOUND. Taking place on the nights of Tuesday 3 – Friday 6 September in Brisbane, BIGSOUND Festival is the showcase opportunity that puts artists in front of the local, national and international music industry delegates. Applications close 2 May.
BIGSOUND is back from September 3-6 in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley Live Music Precinct, with this year’s theme revealed as ‘The Artist As CEO’. For the first time in the event’s history, BIGSOUND will also be waving goodbye to its traditional conference home at the Judith Wright Centre and saying hello to Cloudland, providing expanded conference and meeting facilities right in the heart of the BIGSOUND Festival precinct.
Now in its 3rd year, BIGSOUND Tech will significantly expand opportunities and skill development for new creative tech developers. Apply by June 16 to be eligible for this exciting opportunity!