A.B. Original have become the first Indigenous artist to take out the $30,000 Australian Music Prize, trumping over a slew of acts like Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, The Avalanches, King Gizzard, D.D Dumbo, Big Scary and Camp Cope.
Their politically charged debut Reclaim Australia was one of the most important records of last year, a major contributor to progress in the discourse about Indigenous culture in Australia.
A.B. Original trump Nick Cave, The Avalanches, King Gizz and more to become first Indigenous act to take out the $30,000 Australian Music Prize.
Briggs and Trials accepted the award at the AMP ceremony in Melbourne last night, saying that the win was a “reflection of all the artists that came before us, who allowed us to be able to walk up tonight and win this”, listing artists like Archie Roach, Kutcha Edwards and Ruby Hunter among others. “All these artists paved the way for artists like us to be able to achieve this. It’s because of them, they made the foundation. So I think that’s what us walking up tonight and accepting this thing is going to be about.”
In the 12 year history of the illustrious prize, no Indigenous artists have come out on top. The winner of AMP is chosen every year by a panel of independent judges. The head of the judging panel, Dave Faulkner, described Reclaim Australia as a “cultural landmark”, ” an angry, funny, heartfelt, slamming hip hop album that takes its inspiration from ’90s gangsta rap, and filters it through a modern Aboriginal perspective.”
Briggs and Trials have also made a statement about the record:
“When we made this album – we thought it was career suicide. For us to be afforded this platform with so many listeners is not lost on us. We went all out because we thought it was the last one we’d make. All of this support is igniting us to do another one! We are very grateful.”
The duo also said that the $30,000 in prize money was going towards album number two.
“We’re independent artists man, it costs us to make records – that’s where this is going,” Briggs said. “If we had some reach and pissed some people off with this record, you wait till we have $30,000 for the next one.”
— BRIGGS AKA BIG SIGH (@BriggsGE) March 9, 2017