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AB Original clean up at SA Music Awards


Hip-hop duo AB Original were the big winners at last night’s SA Music Awards, scooping six gongs including best song for ‘January 26’ – a protest track about changing the date of Australia Day.

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A collaboration between Indigenous artists Briggs and Trials, from the Yorta Yorta and Ngarrindjeri tribes respectively, AB Original were formed after the two performed at radio station Triple J’s 40-year celebration Beat the Drum.

“January 26” (featuring Dan Sultan) was their first single, and took out 16th spot in this year’s Triple J Hottest 100 (listen to the track here). Their debut album, Reclaim Australia – released last year by SA label Golden Era Records – won Best Release at the SAM Awards, which were presented at the Thebarton Theatre.

AB Original was also named all-round Best Group and Best Aboriginal or Torres Strait Island Artist, as well as scooping the Hip-Hop Award in the People’s Choice Award category. Richard Coburn of Kojo won the award for Best Music Video for his direction of the “January 26” video.

Among the other major award winners was pop singer Tkay Maidza, who was named Best Female Artist and gave a surprise performance to open the awards ceremony with her song “Carry On”.

Tkay Maidza opens the SA Music Awards event. Photo: Lauren Connelly

South Sudanese-born rapper DyspOra won Best Male Artist, Heaps Good Friends won Best New Artist, and the Grace Emily won Best Music Venue.

“It’s fantastic to see AB Original polish off their epic year taking home six more awards honoured in Trials’ home state,” Music SA general manager Lisa Bishop said.

“Upcoming artists such as DyspOra and Heaps Good Friends are leading examples of the new talents coming out of South Australia – it’s great to recognise them and all of these artists and industry members for their contributions to the South Australian music industry.”

DyspOra performs at the awards with Elsy and Prospeks. Photo: Lauren Connelly

The Adelaide UNESCO City of Live Music Award for Best International Collaboration was presented to the House of Songs project, which saw Adelaide musicians Dan Crannitch, Taasha Coates and Kelly Menhennett collaborate with musicians from Austin, Texas, on unfinished songs by the late Albert Brumley.

The full list of 2017 SA Music Awards winners:

 The People’s Choice Awards

Blues/Roots Award – presented by Radio Adelaide

Country Award – presented by Grace Emily Hotel
The Bitter Darlings

Electronic Award – presented by Fresh 92.7
Abbey Howlett

Experimental Award – presented by Ancient World

Folk Award – presented by Wheatsheaf Hotel
The Winter Gypsy

Heavy Award – presented by Australian Rock & Metal Institute
Ice On Mercury

Hip Hop Award – presented by Northern Sound System
A.B. Original

Jazz/Art Music Award – presented by Elder Conservatorium
Ross McHenry

Pop Award – presented by The Gov
Rachael Leahcar

Punk Award – presented by Crown & Anchor
Young Offenders

Rock Award – presented by Fat Controller

World Music Award – presented by WOMADelaide
Adam Page

The Peer-Voted Awards

Ryan Freeman Live Music Award
Robert Dunstan

Best International Collaboration – presented by Adelaide UNESCO City of Music
House of Songs project

Lifetime Achievement Award – presented by Music SA
The Governor Hindmarsh Hotel

Best Studio
Chapel Lane Studios

Best Engineer
Tom Barnes

Best Music Festival / Event – presented by moshtix
Porch Sessions

Best Music Venue– presented by AHA (SA)
Grace Emily Hotel

Best Manager
Craig Lock

Best Cover Art
Henry Stentiford – The Bitter Darlings ‘Stuart Highway’

Best Music Video
Richard Coburn – A.B. Original’s ‘January 26’

Best Song – presented by APRA AMCOS
A.B. Original – January 26 feat. Dan Sultan

Best New Artist
Heaps Good Friends

Best Aboriginal or Torres Strait Island Artist
A.B. Original

Best Group
A.B. Original

Best Male Artist

Best Female Artist
Tkay Maidza

Best Release
A.B. Original

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