“It was a great night of celebration and recognition for the talented, and resilient Australian independent artist and label community.”
This year’s edition of the annual AIR Awards just wrapped up in Kaurna/Adelaide, and King Stingray tops the scoreboard with not one, not two, but three massive wins.
The trailblazing Arnhem Land band earned the prestigious gong for Breakthrough Independent Artist Of The Year (presented by PPCA), as well as Best Independent Rock Album Or EP and Independent Album Of The Year; the latter two wins both came courtesy of their eponymous debut, which arrived last August.
Elsewhere, Teen Jesus And The Jean Teasers won the award for Best Independent Punk Album Or EP (thanks to last year’s Pretty Good For A Girl Band record), while Genna Alexopolous was bestowed the honour of Independent Publicity Team Of The Year for her work on its release campaign. Confidence Man also earned their team a trophy – I OH YOU and Mushroom Marketing were the joint recipients of the Independent Marketing Team Of The Year award for the duo’s TILT album campaign, while the LP itself won Best Independent Dance Or Electronica Album Or EP.
The night’s other genre-based award winners were Dope Lemon (who took out the Blues And Roots award for Rose Pink Cadillac), Jesswar (Hip Hop for Life’s Short, Live Big), Andy Golledge (Country for Strength Of A Queen), Donny Benét (Jazz for Le Piano), William Barton and Veronique Setter (Classical for Heartland), Teeny Tiny Stevies (Children’s for How To Be Creative), Northlane (Heavy for Obsidian), Felivand (Soul/R&B for Ties), Cub Sport (Dance, Electronica or Club Single for Always Got The Love) and Daniel Johns (Pop for FutureNever).
Also honoured was Genesis Owusu, winning the award for Independent Song Of The Year with his recent Struggler single Get Inspired. Rounding out the list, this year’s Moshtix-sponsored Independent Label Of The Year award went to Chapter Music, and the Merlin-sponsored Outstanding Achievement Award went to Dr. Catherine Crock (the incredible woman behind the Hush Foundation).
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In a press statement, AIR CEO Maria Amato congratulated “all the nominees and award recipients”. She said of the occasion: “It was a great night of celebration and recognition for the talented, and resilient Australian independent artist and label community. We thank the South Australian Music Development Office for being our major sponsor and extend thanks to our supporting partners and label members for their continued support.”
In a statement of her own, Andrea Michaels (SA’s minister for the arts) added to the sentiment: “The Malinauskas Government is proud to host the wonderful artists and music businesses that make up the independent music sector on their night of nights. We would like to congratulate tonight’s winners and nominees for excellence in their categories and look forward to seeing their continued success.”
You can see the full list of 2023 AIR Award winners below.
Best Independent Blues And Roots Album Or EP
Dope Lemon – Rose Pink Cadillac
Best Independent Hip Hop Album Or EP
Jesswar – Life’s Short, Live Big
Best Independent Country Album Or EP
Andy Golledge – Strength Of A Queen
Best Independent Jazz Album Or EP
Donny Benét – Le Piano
Best Independent Classical Album Or EP
William Barton and Veronique Serret – Heartland
Best Independent Children’s Album Or EP
Teeny Tiny Stevies – How To Be Creative
Best Independent Dance, Electronica Or Club Single
Cub Sport – Always Got The Love
Best Independent Punk Album Or EP
Teen Jesus And The Jean Teasers – Pretty Good For A Girl Band
Best Independent Heavy Album Or EP
Northlane – Obsidian
Best Independent Dance Or Electronica Album Or EP
Confidence Man – TILT
Best Independent Rock Album Or EP
King Stingray – King Stingray
Best Independent Soul/R&B Album Or EP
Felivand – Ties
Best Independent Pop Album Or EP
Daniel Johns – FutureNever
Breakthrough Independent Artist Of The Year – Presented by PPCA
Independent Song Of The Year
Genesis Owusu – Get Inspired
Independent Album Of The Year
King Stingray – King Stingray
Independent Marketing Team Of The Year
I OH YOU and Mushroom Marketing for Confidence Man – TILT
Independent Publicity Team Of The Year
Genna Alexopolous for Teen Jesus And The Jean Teasers – Pretty Good For A Girl Band
Outstanding Achievement Award – Sponsored by Merlin
Dr. Catherine Crock
Independent Label Of The Year – Sponsored by Moshtix