Pitjantjatjara and Torres Strait Islander newcomer, Miiesha, and Yolngu favourite, Baker Boy, are leading the finalist tally for the National Indigenous Music Awards (NIMAs), announced Monday.

With three nominations each, the young artists are two of 24 First Nations artists named in the seven NIMAs categories.

Releasing her debut album Nyaaringu just months ago, Miiesha has been nominated for Album of the Year, New Talent of the Year and Film Clip of the Year.

She has already taken home the 2020 Queensland Music Awards’ Remote Award for her song Drowning, for which she is nominated for Film Clip of the Year at this year’s NIMAs.

Hoping to add to his fast-growing collection of NIMAs, Baker Boy has been nominated for Artist of the Year, Song of the Year and Film Clip of the Year.

The 23-year-old artist took home Artist of the Year at the 2019 NIMAs. In 2018 he won Best New Talent and Film Clip of the Year.

Close behind with two nominations is singer-songwriter, Thelma Plum—nominated for Artist of the Year and Song of the Year for Homecoming Queen.

Other familiar names feature in this year’s finalists, including Archie Roach, Jessica Mauboy, Alice Skye and Mau Power.

Jessica Mauboy at the National Indigenous Music Awards (NIMA) 2019 in Darwin. Photo by David Hancock.

Hosting a virtual ceremony on Larrakia Country (Darwin) this year due to COVID-19, Creative Director Ben Graetz is excited to showcase the Awards in a new way.

“What makes this year so exciting, is that we are able to involve and showcase many more of our First Nation artists and musicians through the virtual platform. Also, to be able to connect regionally and remotely is extremely exciting,” said Graetz.

The NIMAs will stream via NITV, Double J, National Indigenous Radio Service, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube on August 8, 7pm AEST.


View the full list of finalists below:

Artist of the Year:

  • Baker Boy
  • Electric Fields
  • Emily Wurramara
  • Jessica Mauboy
  • Mau Power
  • Thelma Plum


Album of the Year:

  • Archie Roach – Tell Me Why
  • Jessica Mauboy – Hilda
  • Mau Power – Blue Lotus The Awakening
  • Miiesha – Nyaaringu
  • Ray Dimakarri Dixon – Standing Strong Mudburra Man


New Talent of the Year:

  • Allara
  • Dallas Woods
  • Kee’ahn
  • Miiesha
  • Mitch Tambo


Indigenous Language Award:

  • Rrawun Maymuru and Nick Wales – Nyapililngu (Spirit Lady)
  • Stuart Nugget – Nayurni (Woman)


Song of the Year:

  • Alice Skye – I Feel Better But I Don’t Feel Good
  • Baker Boy ft. Jess B – Meditjin
  • Briggs ft. Tim Minchin – House Fyre
  • Electric Fields and Keiino – Would I Lie
  • Kee’ahn – Better Things
  • Thelma Plum – Homecoming Queen


Film Clip of the Year:

  • Baker Boy ft. Jess B – Meditjin
  • Briggs ft. Tim Minchin – House Fyre
  • Dallas Woods – If It Glitters It’s Gold
  • Miiesha – Drowning
  • Tasman Keith – Billy Bad Again


Community Clip of the Year:

  • Booningbah Goories
  • Bwgcolman Mob
  • Githabul Next Generation
  • Iron Range Danger Gang
  • KDA Crew
  • Ntaria Connect


By Hannah Cross