Baker Boy, Julia Jacklin, Mo’Ju, Emma Donovan & Harvey Sutherland among winners at this year’s iconic Music Victoria Awards!
As one of the biggest nights in Victorian music officially wraps up, the annual Music Victoria Awards have unveiled the long list of the incredible talent that were crowned winners at this year’s ceremony in Melbourne – Australia’s home of live music.
After a gruelling judging period, which included the brains and ears of over 200 of Victorian music experts, and the largest public voting response in the award show’s history, Music Victoria celebrated the Victorian music community huge achievements with an incredible selection of worthy winners.
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Following on from his recent success at the 2022 ARIA Awards, the fresh prince of Arnhem Land – Baker Boy – once again stole the show, picking up three awards, including ‘Best Regional Act’, ‘Best Song’ and the coveted ‘Best Album’ award for his acclaimed record ‘Gela’. The awards mark the eighth Music Victoria Award for Baker Boy, who previously won four trophies in 2018, and picked up an additional award in 2021.
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First Nations talent from across Victoria remained front and centre throughout the show, with Australia’s own queen of soul Emma Donovan scoring ‘Best Group’ award for Emma Donovan & The Putbacks, Noongar woman and Naarm artist Bumpy picking up the Archie Roach Foundation Award for Emerging Talent and highly revered Melbourne artist Mo’Ju scoring the award for Best Soul, Funk, RNB or Gospel Work.
After taking out the award for ‘Best Breakthrough Act’ in 2020, Victorian Smile-punk band Pinch Points returned in 2022, scoring their second Music Victoria award, this time for ‘Best Rock or Punk Work’.
Acclaimed jazz artist Barney McCall also returned to the Music Victoria Awards in 2022, scoring his second trophy for ‘Best Jazz Work’, after previously success in 2015 for his record ‘Mooroolbark’. Neurotic-funk artist Harvey Sutherland was awarded ‘Best Electronic Act’ for the second time, after his previous win in 2016.
For the first time in the award show’s history, Music Victoria announced the winners of brand-new category ‘Best DJ’, celebrating electronic and dance music communities in Victoria. After being put to a public vote, Toronto-born Victorian-resident Jennifer Loveless and event curator and radio broadcaster MzRizk tied for the award, proving the appetite for dance music culture is high in Australia’s home of live music.
Pop musician Xani Kolac was awarded ‘Best Musician’, as Kerryn Fields won the ‘Best Folk Act’ for ‘Water’ and Julia Jacklin backed up her recent ARIA award by taking out the ‘Best Solo Artist’ award.
Additional awards went to Alice Ivy for ‘Best Producer’, Checkerboard Lounge for ‘Best Blues Work’, Georgia State Line for ‘Best Country’, Outright for ‘Best Heavy Work’, MAMMOTH. & Silent Jay for ‘Best Hip Hop Work’, The Stroppies for ‘Best Pop Work’, JahWise for ‘Best Reggae or Dancehall Work’ and The Amplified Elephants for the ‘Best Experimental or Avant-Garde Work’ award.
The ever important ‘Arts Access Amplify Award’, which was established to shine a light on and recognise the contributions made by D/deaf and disabled musicians in Victoria was officially awarded to Evelyn Ida Morris, whose work has been gaining critical acclaim since their debut release ‘Pikelet’ in 2007.
New partner MAV (Multicultural Arts Victoria)signed on to sponsor the ‘MAV Diasporas Award’ (previously Best Global/Intercultural) – an award created for, by and with culturally and linguistically diverse creatives as an artistic intervention to increase visibility, participation, and equity in the music scene towards a new music ecology – went to Solomon Islands singer and musician Charles Maimarosia.
In 2022, the awards covered an even bigger footprint than ever before, with the award for ‘Best Festival’ splitting out into ‘Best Metro Festival’ and ‘Best Regional Festival’, spreading even more of the festive spirit across the state and celebrating the important events happening in Victoria’s vibrant regions. While ‘Best Metro Festival’ went to Brunswick Music Festival, the award for ‘Best Regional Festival’ landed in the hands of ‘Port Fairy Folk Festival’.
The iconic Forum in Melbourne scored ‘Best Large Venue’ for the second time, while Brunswick Ballroom picked up a trophy for ‘Best Small Venue’. ‘Best Regional Venue (Established)’ went to the Caravan Music Club in Archies Creek and ‘Best Regional Venue (under 50 gigs per year)’, went rightfully to the beloved Daylesford Hotel.
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The Music Victoria Awards also paid homage to some of the state’s most prolific artists, with iconic Australian artist Paul Kelly inducting Deborah Conway AM into the Hall of Fame, before ‘Best Country’ winners Georgia State Line performed their rendition of Conway’s iconic track ‘It’s Only the Beginning’.
Gareth Liddiard and Fiona Kitschin from acclaimed Victorian bands The Drones & Tropical Fuck Storm were also on stage to induct Helen Marcou AM & Ian “Quincy” McLean AM of Bakehouse Studios into the Hall of Fame, after spending more than 25 years helping strengthen the nation’s music culture.
There wasn’t a dry eye in sight as Uncle Kutcha Edwards performed his own rendition ‘Old Mission Road’, paying tribute to one of the most important artists that Australia has ever produced – the late, great Uncle Archie Roach – before the state of Victoria looked back at the important music figures that were lost in 2022, in the In Memoriam.
Local outfit JAZZPARTY closed out the evening with a live performance of their iconic 2016 hit ‘Higher With My Love’.
“Last night’s Music Victoria Awards ceremony was bursting at the seams with the community, comradery, and solidarity that we have seen from the music community throughout the Music Victoria Awards campaign. It was an honour to witness three generations in attendance, alongside the full spectrum of the industry involved in contemporary music.
In the last year, the Victorian music industry has done it tough, and we have lost some important figures. Everyone in that room, even those who tuned in from home, knows exactly why we do it – the celebration, the tears, and the soul moving, humanising, joyous music. Congratulations to all involved – the entrants, the nominees, the judges, the sponsor and partners, the staff, the performers, and the deserving winners” said Simone Schinkel
THE MUSIC VICTORIA AWARDS 2022
Hall of Fame Inductees
Deborah Conway AM
Helen Marcou AM &Ian ‘Quincy’ McLean AM
Baker Boy – Gela
Baker Boy – Survive
Emma Donovan & The Putbacks
Best Solo Artist
MzRizk and Jennifer Loveless
Best Regional Act
MAV Diasporas Award
Best Blues Work
Best Country Work
Georgia State Line
Best Electronic Work
Best Experimental or Avant-Garde Work
The Amplified Elephants
Best Folk Work
Best Heavy Work
Best Hip Hop Work
MAMMOTH. & Silent Jay
Best Jazz Work
Best Pop Work
Best Reggae or Dancehall Work
Best Rock Or Punk
Best Soul, Funk, RNB or Gospel Work
Arts Access Amplify Award
Evelyn Ida Morris
The Archie Roach Foundation Award for Emerging Talent
Best Metro Festival
Brunswick Music Festival (Wurundjeri
Best Regional Festival
Port Fairy Folk Festival (Gunditjmara)
Best Large Venue (Metro)
Forum Melbourne (Wurundjeri and Boonwurrung)
Best Small Venue (Metro)
Brunswick Ballroom (Wurundjeri)
Best Regional Venue (Established)
Caravan Music Club – Archies Creek (Boonwurrung)
Best Regional Venue (Under 50 Gigs)
Daylesford Hotel (Dja Dja Wurrung)