Baker Boy adds to his heaving collection of trophies with a hattrick at the Music Victoria Awards, presented Tuesday (Dec. 13) in central Melbourne.
The Fresh Prince of Arnhem Land, and he’s known in these parts, was the big winner, topping categories for best regional act, best song and the coveted best album honor for his full-length debut Gela (Island Records/Universal Music Australia), which peaked at No. 3 on the ARIA Chart.
The singer, songwriter, rapper and dancer entered the event in great awards form. He was a dominant force at the 2022 ARIA Awards last month, where he collective five wins, including album of the year, best hip-hop/rap release, and best solo artist.
Also, at the 2022 NIMAs in August, he took home artist of the year and album of the year. In 2021, the year Gela was released, Baker Boy received an Order Of Australia (OAM) medal for “service to the performing arts as a singer and musician,” to go with his young Australian of the year honor, from 2019.
With his Music Victoria triumph, Baker Boy (real name Danzal Baker) boasts eighth Music Victoria Awards, including four scooped in 2018.
Following the release of Pre Pleasure (Liberation Records/Mushroom Group), Julia Jacklin won the Music Victoria Award for best solo artist. Jacklin’s critically-acclaimed third studio album hit No. 2 on the ARIA Chart, No. 1 on the ARIA Australian Album and Vinyl charts, and last month took out the ARIA for best adult contemporary album.
Organized by trade body Music Victoria, the awards were decided by a panel of more than 200 music experts, and the “largest public voting response” in its 17-year history, organizers say. This year’s in-person ceremony took place at The Edge, on Federation Square.
Other winners on the night included soul artist Emma Donovan and her band The Putbacks (best group); Noongar woman and Naarm artist Bumpy (the Archie Roach Foundation Award for emerging talent); “Native Tongue” singer Mo’Ju (best soul, funk, R&B or gospel work); punk band Pinch Points (best rock or punk work); Harvey Sutherland (best electronic act); Georgia State Line (best country), and Alice Ivy (best producer).
In one of the special moments of the event, Deborah Conway, the singer, songwriter and one-time leader of post-punk outfit Do-Re-Mi, was inducted into the organization’s Hall of Fame. Georgia State Line Conway’s paid musical tribute with a cover of Conway’s glorious love-struck number “It’s Only the Beginning.”
“I played my first gig 44 years ago and was hooked,” Conway said from the podium. “Music has been my lifelong map. I’ve followed the well lit way, the rocky back alleys, the detours and shortcuts, worked and played with incredible people in extraordinary places for the best and worst audiences and the worst and best sound and my interest has never flagged; how tremendous to be rewarded for doing something you would do regardless.”
Meanwhile, Helen Marcou & Ian “Quincy” McLean of Bakehouse Studios were inducted into the Hall of Fame, for their tireless efforts in supporting the country’s music culture.
The Music Victoria Awards 2022 Winners
Hall of Fame Inductees: Deborah Conway AM, Helen Marcou AM & Ian ‘Quincy’ McLean AM
Best Album: Baker Boy – Gela
Best Musician: Xani Kolac
Best Song: Baker Boy – Survive
Best Group: Emma Donovan & The Putbacks
Best Producer: Alice Ivy
Best Solo Artist: Julia Jacklin
Best DJ: MzRizk and Jennifer Loveless (Tied award)
Best Regional Act: Baker Boy
MAV Diasporas Award: Charles Maimarosia
Best Blues Work: Checkerboard Lounge
Best Country Work: Georgia State Line
Best Electronic Work: Harvey Sutherland
Best Experimental or Avant-Garde Work: The Amplified Elephants
Best Folk Work: Kerryn Fields
Best Heavy Work: Outright
Best Hip Hop Work: MAMMOTH. & Silent Jay
Best Jazz Work: Barney McAll
Best Pop Work: The Stroppies
Best Reggae or Dancehall Work: JahWise
Best Rock Or Punk: Pinch Points
Best Soul, Funk, RNB or Gospel Work: Mo’Ju
Arts Access Amplify Award: Evelyn Ida Morris
The Archie Roach Foundation Award for Emerging Talent: Bumpy
Best Metro Festival: Brunswick Music Festival: Wurundjeri
Best Regional Festival: Port Fairy Folk Festival (Gunditjmara)
Best Large Venue (Metro): Forum Melbourne (Wurundjeri and Boonwurrung)
Best Small Venue (Metro): Brunswick Ballroom (Wurundjeri)
Best Regional Venue (Established): Caravan Music Club – Archies Creek (Boonwurrung)
Best Regional Venue (Under 50 Gigs): Daylesford Hotel (Dja Dja Wurrung)