Thelma Plum, Budjerah lead the National Indigenous Music Awards lineup for 2023

Subscribe to Forte Magazine


Thelma Plum, Budjerah lead the National Indigenous Music Awards lineup for 2023

Credit: Georgia Wallace

The National Indigenous Music Awards is back to amplify Australian First Nations sounds around the globe, with performances from Thelma Plum, Budjerah, Barkaa, Kobie Dee, Dean Brady and Ngulmiya.

After nearly two decades, this year’s National Indigenous Music Awards will host its biggest lineup to date at the August 12 ceremony, held at the iconic Darwin Amphitheatre on Larrakia Country.

Tickets for the beloved event go on sale this week with world class acts Thelma Plum, Budjerah, Barkaa, Kobie Dee, Dean Brady and Ngulmiya ramping up festivities at the country’s most coveted First Nations’ music event.

Keep up with the latest music news, festivals, interviews and reviews here.

Among the performers at this year’s ceremony will be 10-time ARIA Award nominated Gamilaraay artist Thelma Plum, who rose to become an Aussie household name in 2019 with the release of her highly successful debut album Better in Blak. Her latest EP, Meanjin, is a love letter to home that’s quickly becoming an indie classic.

Thelma is looking forward to performing at the coveted awards ceremony this year, saying, “This will be third time lucky for me to play the NIMAs. I can’t wait to finally play that beautiful Amphitheatre on Larrakia Country!”

The fierce collection of talent repping Victoria at this year’s National Indigenous Music Awards

Soul music maker and Coodjinburra man Budjerah will also grace the lineup as he comes fresh off a massive 2023 that started with the ultimate bang of supporting Ed Sheeran across his Australian tour. The ARIA winner was able to perform his new tune ‘Therapy’ to hundreds of thousands of people in arenas across the country in February and March.

Barkaa – Malyangapa, Barkindji woman and queen of Aussie hip hop – will ramp up the celebrations on the night. The NIMA award winner and two-time ARIA nominee won’t be the only rapper hitting the stage, with Kobie Dee also on the bill. A performer praised by Briggs as ‘a rapper’s rapper,’ this Gomeroi artist has an innate gift for storytelling and connecting with his audience.

Topping off the elite lineup, Gugu Yalanji and Birrigubba man Dean Brady will bring his smooth Motown-inspired R&B to the stage, alongside iconic ceremony leader and songman from Arnhem Land with a godlike voice, Ngulmiya.

Then on Sunday 13 August at 5pm, join Blak Out for a wrap-up of the Awards simulcast across triple j, Double J and triple j Unearthed. Nooky will bring you the live performances, the highlights from the ceremony, artist chats and all the night’s winners.

“I’m geed to celebrate another big year for Indigenous artists and can’t wait to share the NIMAs with you mob on triple j’s Blak Out, and I can’t wait to get around the action in person this year and watch the mob rip it up!” Nooky says of this year’s partnership.

The legends at triple j Unearthed are teaming up again this year for the NIMAs triple j Unearthed Competition. Last year’s winner Bumpy brought the house down with her booming vocals and soulful melodies. More details to come.

Tickets go on sale today, June 2 and are available here.