Xavier Rudd’s ‘Stoney Creek’ wins 2023 Environmental Music Prize

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Xavier Rudd’s ‘Stoney Creek’ wins 2023 Environmental Music Prize

Credit: Nhughes Photography

The $20,000 prize acknowledges and rewards artists who inspire action for climate and conservation.

Designed to amplify the voices of artists who inspire action for climate and conservation, and support the environmental movement by engaging, energising and activating diverse audiences through music, the global first Environmental Music Prize has been awarded for 2023, going to none other than locally-raised talent Xavier Rudd.

Taking out the $20,000 impact-focused prize, Rudd’s spellbinding ode-to-nature ‘STONEY CREEK’ was the winner of the 2023 prize. He has very generously decided to donate the prize money to environmental organisations (to be announced shortly).

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

“What an honour to be named winner of the ENVIRONMENTAL MUSIC PRIZE. The land and sea and all its magnificent plants and animals have been the biggest inspiration for my music by far since I began writing songs when I was a kid and, so as far as music awards go, this one feels perfect,” Rudd explains.

“Thanks to all of you who voted for me and to all of the other artists nominated. Big love.”

Rudd was sailing up to Cape York with his wife when he wrote ‘Stoney Creek’,:

“It was under the melaleuca trees that I wrote ‘Stoney Creek’ as I contemplated life and what was happening in the world. I had been hearing stories about how the forced lockdowns across the world had allowed space for many of the environment’s natural ecosystems to spring back to life and recover from relentless human traffic. I had been thinking ‘Without nature, without our natural resources, how do we survive?’”

From Jan Juc to the world stage, Xavier Rudd returns to his roots in Geelong show this weekend 

The 22 finalist music videos, revealed on Earth Day, were selected by environmental leaders, music ambassadors and impact partners for their ability to connect us to nature or an environmental issue. A diverse group of Australian artists and music styles were highlighted, including icons like Midnight Oil, Flume, MO’JU, Ziggy Alberts, Tash Sultana, King Stingray and Jen Cloher and exciting emerging talent.

Over 15,000 music-lovers and nature-lovers (from 59 countries) voted for the songs and videos that resonated most personally.

“Xavier’s moving and deeply personal music reminds us that nature brings life, beauty and meaning to all of us. I’m delighted he has been acknowledged for his ability to bring us together and make us reflect,” founder Edwina Floch says.

“For decades he has used his voice, both on and off stage, to shine light on various environmental issues, supporting the work of countless groups and organisations along the way.

“The ENVIRONMENTAL MUSIC PRIZE is not just about one winner. We aim to recognise and build a community of talented artists who want to inspire action for climate and conservation. There are many truly wonderful songs, and over the last two years we’ve curated an incredible selection, each with their own unique approach and perspective. We encourage everyone to discover the songs and stories on our website and to share them with others.”

The prize has attracted international attention and the support of high profile climate leaders, like Former UN Climate Chief Christiana Figueres (who launched the inaugural prize, celebrated the 2022 winner and highlighted 2023) on Outrage+Optimism and leading IPCC Climate Scientist Dr Joelle Gergis (who invited cultural leaders to use their influence to help support the scientific community).

The Environmental Music Prize is a non-profit founded by social entrepreneur and climate-conscious mum, Edwina Floch. This initiative is entirely community funded and relies on the generous support of donors and pro-bono partners who see its potential to inspire widespread climate action.

After a phenomenal two years , Edwina (who has worked pro-bono for the last two years), is calling on greater music industry, government and public support for the initiative so it can continue.

With support needed to continue, the Environmental Music Prize has announced a crowdfunding campaign on Pozible, a tax-deductible donation or a values-aligned partnership.

Funding will allow the support of eco-conscious artists who build public action on climate and conservation, co-design ‘Music Climate and Conservation Leadership Workshops’ with environmental groups, connect artists to aligned environmental campaigns and highlight meaningful music and artists in the media and at impact-focused events.

You can find out more about the Environmental Music Prize here