Queensland Music Awards Unveil 2016 Nominees & Live Performers

8 February 2016 | 1:00 pm | Staff Writer

Get ready to celebrate the best of the Sunshine State this March

It's no secret that Queensland is home to some of the country's most iconic acts — both contemporary and historic — and the state is ready to pay homage to its finest artists once again as the 2016 Queensland Music Awards unveil this year's list of nominees and live performers headed to the Brisbane Powerhouse this March.

Led by the likes of Eves The Behavior — a dominant force this year with three nominations, the most of any artist — as well as Velociraptor, Violent Soho, Avaberée, Caligula's Horse, Sahara Beck and more, the voluminous list of nominees has been selected by more than 50 judges around the country, and canvasses an impressive 15 categories, ensuring no stone goes unturned as far as recognising the state's great talents is concerned.

The QMAs also do a magnificent job each year of sourcing a fantastic crop of acts to provide live entertainment on the night, with this year's roster of performers — brought together from the wider pool of nominees — including indie-psych lords The Belligerents, ascendant Sunshine Coast chanteuse Ayla, seven-piece hip hop upstarts Astro Travellers and the soulful strains of Standby Empire, alongside more yet to be announced.

Eves The Behavior picks up her hat trick of nominations across two categories — she's up for Best Pop Song with TV, against the likes of Amy Shark (Golden Fleece), Athena Joy (Blue) and Georgia Mae (Keeper Of The Key), as well as scoring two nominations for Best Music Video; one for TV, and the other for Electrical. She'll face down Last Dinosaurs (Apollo) and MKO SUN (Black Seaweed) in that category.

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Brissy has a history of producing next-level rock acts, and this year's nominees for Best Rock Song are no exception — along with certified icons Violent Soho (Like Soda), acts up for the nod this year include local supergroup Velociraptor (Dollarmite), The Belligerents (In My Way) and stalwart faves WE ALL WANT TO (Remove The Arrow). Queenslanders also have a penchant for heavy tunes, as evidenced in the accomplished group up for Best Heavy Song in 2016 — vying for the win this year are instrumental rockers Balloons Kill Babies (Patches In The Sky), fearsome five-piece Caligula's Horse (Marigold), the nominal and literal tenebrosity of Dark Symphonica (Estrella), and the doom-drenched The Steady As She Goes (No One Will Care When You Die).

It's not just distorted guitars and frantic drumming that gets the state's rocks off, though — the QMAs are indiscriminate in acknowledging the rivers of talent flowing through the state, with the full list of represented genres including acts from the circles of Electronic/Dance (The Kite String Tangle & Dustin Tebbutt, Mosaïc, Standby Empire, Avaberée), Blues/Roots (Bearfoot, Deena, Pete Cullen, TJ Wild), Jazz (Berardi/Foran/Karlen, Joshua Hatcher Quintet — two nominations, Matts Mates), Indigenous music (Emily Wurramara — two nominations, Robbie Miller & Nathan Morrison, Luke Peacock), Urban (The Brains Trust, ALI The GREAT, Astro Travellers, INIGO), Country (Brad Butcher, Dana Gehrman, Sian Evans, Dana Hassall), World music (MZAZA, Sol, Soniclines, Spirit Of Bhakti), Folk singer-songwriters (Angharad Drake, Jordan Pineda — two nominations, one with Olivia Dennis, Sahara Beck), Regional (Ayla, Greta Stanley, Paul Cowderoy, The Gowrie Boys) and even's Children's tunes (Candice Dianna, The Kangagang — two nominations, Cilla Slack).

Beyond the main list of prizes up for grabs, the QMAs will also be paying respect to the acts responsible for this year's highest-selling single, highest-selling album and an Export Achievement Award, presented to an act that has successfully broached the international market with their excellence. This is, of course, in addition to the annual $10,000 Billy Thorpe Scholarship, sponsored by Arts Queensland and bestowed upon an emerging Qld-based contemporary musician or band — this year's finalists are local outfits Babaganouj and FOREVR as well as solo artists Leanne Tennant and Luke Peacock.

Finally, the QMAs are pleased to announce that they're once again turning to the people to get their input on the crop of yearly Bank Of Queensland People's Choice Awards, which will ultimately decide the 2016 Most Promising Female, Most Promising Male and Most Promising Songwriting Team, the winners of which will walk away with cash in hand for their efforts. Nominees for these categories will be announced on Monday 22 February.

The 2016 Queensland Music Awards — sponsored and supported by QMusic, Bank Of QueenslandHutchison Builders and APRA AMCOS — return to the Brisbane Powerhouse on Monday 21 March, and will be hosted by beloved triple j identity and comedian Gen Fricker. Tickets are available from today via the Brisbane Powerhouse box office, and are a perfectly reasonable $38.50 (plus booking fees).

Check out a video of highlights from last year's award ceremony, and the full list of nominees, below.

For more information, or to hear the full crop of shortlisted songs and highly commended entries across the spread of categories, head to the QMA's website.

2016 queensland music awards - nominees

best pop song

Amy Shark - Golden Fleece
Athena Joy - Blue
Eves The Behavior - TV
Georgia Mae - Keeper Of The Key

best rock song

Velociraptor - Dollarmite
The Belligerents - In My Way
Violent Soho - Like Soda
WE ALL WANT TO - Remove The Arrow

best electronic/dance song

The Kite String Tangle & Dustin Tebbutt - Illuminate
Mosaïc - Animal (feat. Ashlee Minto)
Standby Empire - Tenderness
Avaberée - Can't Get You Off My Mind

best blues/roots song

Bearfoot - Impolite
Deena - Turpentine
Pete Cullen - Leaky Boots
TJ Wild - To The Rain

best heavy song

Balloons Kill Babies - Patches In The Sky
Caligula's Horse - Marigold
Dark Symphonica - Estrella
The Steady As She Goes - No One Will Care When You Die

best jazz song

Berardi/Foran/Karlen - Hope In My Pocket
Joshua Hatcher Quintet - Forgotten Languages
Joshua Hatcher Quintet - The Room Next Door
Matts Mates - Sober

best schools-based song

Hannah McLeod - Young
The Gowrie Boys - Won't Let You Go
Winchester - Say It Brutha'

best indigenous song

Emily Wurramara -
Black Smoke

Emily Wurramara -

Robbie Miller & Nathan Morrison -
The Pain

Luke Peacock -
Fruits Of Our Labour

best urban song

The Brains Trust - Worst Kind Of Girl
ALI The GREAT - Trophy
Astro Travellers - Move Actively
INIGO - Constant Beat

best country song

Brad Butcher - Jamestown
Dana Gehrman - Under The Wire
Sian Evans - Cold Feet
Dana Hassall - Spinning Wheels

best world song

MZAZA - Nightwatch
Sol - A Mente Humana
Soniclines - Do Da Da Day
Spirit Of Bhakti - Open Door

best folk song

Angharad Drake - Water
Jordan Pineda - One Day
Jordan Pineda & Olivia Dennis - Heard & Hand (feat. LIVVIA)
Sahara Beck - Mother Mother

best children's song

Candice Dianna - Mamma's Coming Home
The Kangagang - Kangaroo Dance A Roo
The Kangagang - K.O.A.L.A
Cilla Slack - We Are Farmers

best regional song

Ayla - Waiting
Greta Stanley - Bedroom City
Paul Cowderoy - Wet Hessian Bag
The Gowrie Boys - Won't Let You Go

best music video

Eves The Behavior - TV
Eves The Behavior - Electrical
Last Dinosaurs - Apollo
MKO SUN - Black Seaweed