Award ceremonies are known for acknowledging an artist’s achievement, but it also a vehicle for change and bold political statements. This year at the Arias we see multiculturalism being embraced, diversity celebrated, blood sweat and tears rewarded. It was a chaotic day on November 30th, 2017. The likes of Australian music royalty such as; PNAU, Amy Shark, AB Original, Dan, Jimmy Barnes, Kasey Chambers, Illy, Flume and Client Liaison, Peking Duk, Vance Joy, graced the red carpet with their glittering and flamboyant presence. It’s Star Central Magazine’s first coverage of the Arias.
The Arias awards honoured the crème of the crop of the music industry—with music categories, spanning from pop, rock, urban and electronic dance. The Arias are known for their eccentric yet “lassies-faire“ approach to fashion. You may have seen rock bands sporting loose blouses and ripped jeans; popstars wearing avant-garde dresses, suits and the country singers with their leather boots and down-to-earth classic outfits.
Although it was exciting to see the crème of the crop of the Australian music industry, eventgoers were anticipating a special somebody or two— the glorious British heartthrob and ex-One Directioner, Harry Styles and New Zealand lyrical genius, Lorde. Although Lorde did not walk the red carpet explicitly, Harry Styles was enamoured fans his last-minute appearance on the red carpet.
After 2 hours under the blazing sun and waiting around painstakingly, the media migrated into the Iain Sheddon Memorial Media Suite—named after a respected Australian musician. The man of the said media room has passed away. Robbie stopped and said his condolences to the late Iain Sheddon.
The Arias aired on real-time around 6 pm (whilst the public viewing goes out around 8 pm); an onslaught of awards were handed out to top artists such as, Amy Shark who won best pop release and breakthrough artist, AB Original went home with “Best Independent Release” and “Best Urban Release”. The “Best International Star Award”, was obviously Harry Styles and the big award. “Album of the Year” went to Gangs of Youth who also took home “Best Rock/Heavy Metal Release,” for their latest album, Go Farther in the Lightness, “Best Group” and “Best Live Act”.
In between intervals, Lorde performed a medley of her new singles, Liability and Green Light from her new album, Melodrama and Harry Styles performed his new single, Kiwi, which met with a screaming ovation from his fans.
On this very night on November 30th, there were noteworthy moments forced to be reckoned with—from Amy Shark, sharing the sombre moments of her struggles as a musician to PNAU’s reminiscent musings of their humble beginnings, but there was always a joy and happiness in the room. But, the one that took the prize would be Gangs of Youth where David Le’aupepe’s heartfelt speech on the power of rock roll that saved his life.
“It saves my f—- life. There is something unifying, and beautiful about rock and roll. I tried to kill myself in 2014, and I channelled all the nervous and negative energy into alcohol. “
Le’aupepe who happen to half-Jewish and Samoan also reminded us on inclusivity and multiculturalism that Australia was built on and pays tributes to the original inhabitants of the land.
“We’re all immigrants to this country every single one of us. This country was built on a strong Indigenous people and the backs of immigrants. A.B original, thank you for making an incendiary, important for the brown boys. We f— love you.”
A.B Original, the hip-hop duo was also in the running to win Best Album of the year made a very political yet important album, Reclaim Australia which harbours indigenous Australians– the controversy surrounding Australia Day.
Briggs and Trials, the duo of A.B Original said in their acceptance speech that their album was meant to shake nation in confronting these issues that surround Indigenous Australians.
“We made this album for our community, in our community, from our community. Change doesn’t come from everyone being comfortable. We made ourselves extremely uncomfortable trying to take this record, trying to upset all those rednecks, but we did it..they were vocal, but we had the better album.”
Despite the political statements and the controversies, Australians musical legends graced the media with their presence. The likes of Mick Fleetwood, Mac Fleetwood, INXS and Daryl Braithwaite is inducted into the Arias Hall of Fame.
Braithwaite who’s notable for being the frontman of the seventies Sherbet, reminiscent of his lifetime achievement award.
“It was one of these things that you don’t set out to achieve. It’s good, and you look back into your career. It was like 47 years and look back and say why do I still love it?”
And, by that definition of what Braithewaite said about music, it is shared the feeling of every artist in the music industry—a worthwhile enjoyment of performing/making art.