'I Can Die Now, Farnsy Knows My Name': The 2019 ARIAs Nominees Are Ready For Tonight

27 November 2019 | 8:00 am | Thelma PlumDean LewisBaker BoyGuy Sebastian

The ARIA Awards are all about celebrating our amazing pool of musicians. And as Guy Sebastian puts it, they're a chance to "celebrate how diverse and unique the talent is in Australia". Here we quiz Sebastian and fellow nominees, Dean Lewis, Danzal Baker, aka Baker Boy, and Thelma Plum, to find out about their ARIA experiences.

As an Aussie artist, what do the ARIAs mean to you?

Dean Lewis: The ARIAs are an incredible opportunity for Australian artists to be recognised for the work they have done! It’s a great time to come together and celebrate the past year.

Guy Sebastian: To me, the ARIAs are about community. I love that we all come together to celebrate how diverse and unique the talent is in Australia. I am all about breaking down the walls that divide us within this community, and acknowledging that music is bigger than us; it is such a powerful medium that moves us all. 

Danzal Baker: Getting recognition from my peers in the industry at large (and the general public for the voted awards!) is a pretty cool thing.

Thelma Plum: I grew up watching the ARIAs every year, so it means so much to be nominated for this many of them. It’s quite a surreal feeling.

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What's your favourite ARIAs moment and why? 

DL: For me it was performing Be Alright live last year! Really enjoyed it. It was a super special moment to be able to play a song of mine in front of so many of my peers.

GS: I still remember my very first ARIAs in 2003. My entry into the industry was not how I ever imagined. It was so fast and I was so naive, wide-eyed and green. I accidentally bumped into John Farnham and there I was, saying hi to one of my vocal heroes, in person!! When I apologised for bumping into him he actually said, 'No worries, Guy,' and I walked away thinking, 'I can die now, Farnsy knows my name.'

DB: Dr G at the 2008 ARIAs was very special. He was singing in language, and I use language in all my songs, so he proved it could be done and also have commercial success.

TP: Delta [Goodrem] in 2003. I was obsessed with her music growing up (still am) and was so inspired that she won so many. I could only watch half that night 'cause it went past my bedtime, but my mum taped it and I woke up so insanely early to finish it.

Who are you hoping to rub shoulders with on the evening and why?

DL: It’s always great running into G Flip and Tones & I! I think it’s going to be a big night for both of them!

GS: I have been in the industry now for 16 years. Over that time I have built so many relationships with other artists, musos and industry peeps. To be honest, I just want to be around musicians and mostly I want to see them perform live. The live element of the ARIAs is what inspires me the most. I don’t get to see many live shows, so watching these artists showcase what they have done to make such a mass connection is so good!

DB: Looking forward to celebrating with my team. I'm also really keen to catch up with Thelma Plum, I did a few gigs she was at before her album dropped and I'm keen to show her some mad love and respect for Better In Blak.

TP: Lee Kernaghan. So excited.

If you win, where will your very pointy, very heavy award live and why?

DL: I would keep it at my parent's place! As I’m travelling and touring so much all my stuff just has been piling up at their house!

GS: They used to live in my studio but now they are downstairs in the main living area, out of reach of the kids. Those things are bloody lethal!

DB: I've been fortunate to already win a few awards in my career so it will live next to the others. They all are very special to me.

TP: At my parent's place. My mum has a semi shrine of me at their home, so she would probably want to add it to that.

The 2019 ARIA Awards take place tomorrow night, airing on Channel 9 from 7.30pm.