The independent youth broadcaster FBi Radio always backs Sydney artists, creatives and musicians. But the SMAC (Sydney Music, Arts & Culture) Awards are its chance to really pull out the megaphone. Since 2008 the awards have recognised successes across 10 categories, from Best Eats, to Best Live Act and Best Artist.
Flume, Sarah Blasko and The Preatures have won in the past. This year the pool of talent is as impressive as always, but what stands out is the number of female nominees. Here are a few of the women nominated for SMAC awards this year.
Wallace Wallace Gollan’s voice is deep, diverse and likely to touch your inner need to slow dance. “To be honest, this year has been hard, but in a good (sometimes character building) way,” says Gollan. “So far I've surrounded myself with ladies and men who are intelligent, enthusiastic and [who] make me feel like I'm in a Bey video 24/7.” Gollan is nominated for a Next Big Thing Award nomination.
2016 has been a pretty great year for Papua New Guinean-born Ngaire Joseph, otherwise known as Ngaiire (pronounced “Ny-ree”). Off the back of her Blastoma tour, Ngaiire has been nominated for this year’s Best Live Act Award. The Sydney-based signer, formerly a backing vocalist for Blue King Brown, Paul Mac and Chet Faker, says “I've had so much fun this year. Having so much radio support has changed a lot of things for me. I'm glad women are being spotlighted more in the industry as it gives me hope that we're moving towards a more even playing field.”
This Glebe-based, 25-year-old’s debut album, Don’t Let The Kids Win, is insightful and nostalgic, and somehow happy and sad at once. Currently in the middle of a national tour that’ll extend to the UK, Europe and North America next year, Jacklin is nominated for the Next Big Thing Award. "It feels really incredible to be nominated. I feel like FBi has played a huge part in my development. It's been an incredibly big year for me. Only in the last six months have I been able to call myself a full-time musician,” says Jacklin.
This three-piece, Indigenous, metal/post-punk/grindcore band (it describes its genre as “angry”)rages against injustice; the lack of education about Australia’s history; the continued ignorance regarding Indigenous issues; and the stereotypes around who and what constitutes a “metal” band are just a few.. Dispossessed is nominated for the Best Live Act Award.
Filmmaking, curating, performance and confrontation are all part of Angela Tiatia’s artist practice. The New Zealand-born artist subverts notions of cultural and social identity, gender, neo-colonialism and commodification. Her nomination for this year’s Best Artist Award comes after a series of other nominations this year, such as the NSW Visual Arts Fellowship (emerging) and the John Fries Award. “I often say it takes a village to raise an artist. My village/supporters are the backbone of my career,” says Tiatia. “With 22 exhibitions under my belt in 2016, I have been busy, and I couldn't have done it without them.”
Torres Straight Islander Ghenoa Gela creates provocative and bold dance pieces using digital media and a GoPro. Gela won the Keir Choreographic Award and the Keir Choreographic People’s Choice Award this year for her work Fragments of Malungoka – Women of the Sea. She's nominated for this year’s Best Artist Award.
Giselle Stanborough is an intermedia artist whose work discusses the corporate manipulation of dating apps and social media. Stanborough’s work invites us into an alternate-reality matchmaking startup called Lozein. By blurring the line between entrepreneur and artist, Lozein highlights the commercialisation of dating in the digital age. Giselle Stanborough is nominated for the FBi Best Artist SMAC Award.
Multimedia artist Claudia Nicholson uses sawdust, glitter, coffee, clay, wool and calico to create ceramics, alfombras de aserrín (sawdust carpets), textiles, video works and paintings. Nicholson creates art that draws on her Colombian heritage and Australian pop-culture references. This year she exhibited at Dark MOFO Festival at MONA, Hobart; MCA’s ArtBar; and the Alaska Project’s safARI Exhibition. Nicholson has been nominated for this year’s Best Artist FBi SMAC Award.