Too often people define a city by what it lacks or compare cities of vastly different sizes and sociocultural structures. Canberra isn’t Sydney or Melbourne, and they’re not New York or Berlin. Our myriad arts communities have suffered because of the nation’s metonymic notion that Canberra is the Government and APS. What The MusicACT Annual Music Awards prove is, like Sydney and Melbourne, Canberra has a music industry with a national foothold.
The three finalists for MusicACT Artist of the Year are The Aston Shuffle, SAFIA and Fun Machine.
In 2010 The Aston Shuffle were named #1 Australian DJs in the inthemix Top 50, in which 65,000 voted. In 2011 they came in at #3; 70,000 voted. This year another Canberra DJ duo, Peking Duck, came in fifth. The inthemix Top 50 is an enormous national poll and Australian dance music fanatics are recognising our DJs among the best.
triple j’s Dave Ruby Howe said this of SAFIA’s latest single: “World class. That’s all I’m going to say.” SAFIA ave been nominated in the Unearthed category of the 2013 J Awards, triple j’s annual celebration of outstanding national talent.
Their latest single has been thrashed on national radio. They’re a buzz band, and they’re Canberra boys.
Fun Machine, with their reputation for ridiculous stage antics and glitzy costumes, choreographed dance moves and hordes of fans who know every word, have supported international and national acts on tour and at major festivals. They’re fiercely loved by Canberrans and pack out venues every time they play. Loved by triple j and community networks, their debut album will be released in the summer. The national reaction is sure to be as enthusiastic as their shows.
The MAMAs are recognising these Canberrans for their contribution to our music industry, but also to the nation’s industry. The MAMAs, therefore, deserve national recognition.
On the night 24 awards will be presented of which four are publicly voted.
They will not, however, take centre stage. Canberra’s music community will, in a program comprising our most outstanding performers in a dizzying array of genres. In its second year, the 2013 MAMAs will be the most diverse celebration of Canberra’s musicians our city has ever seen.
[Photo by Martin Ollman]