Singer-songwriter and proud Wergaia woman, Alice Skye has been announced this week as the 2018 triple j Unearthed NIMAs winner to coincide with NAIDOC week.
Already moving mountains with her accomplished storytelling, Skye will follow in the footsteps of previous winners including Baker Boy, Kuren and Thelma Plum and now has the opportunity to perform at this year’s NIMA ceremony in Darwin this August.
Speaking to The Music about what the win means, Skye said “To be honest I didn’t even think, like it was just so unexpected.
“It took me a couple of days to let it sink in and now I’m just like ‘Oh my gosh!’ I feel really, really lucky. Really honoured.
“The past winners are just some of my favourite artists and some of my friends so it’s pretty amazing to be in that company.”
Skye also performed at this year’s official NAIDOC ceremony last night at Parliament House, an experience she was initially quite hesitant about.
“I mean to be honest, it was better than I expected” she tentatively starts.
“As a young Aboriginal person in this country, anything government related sort of makes me feel a little bit untouchable.
“But it was really nice, there were lots of elders there. My aunty and uncle were there and I didn’t even know they were going to be there.
“It was really nice to see that sort of space filled with lots of our people celebrating NAIDOC.”
This year’s NAIDOC theme ‘Because Of Her, We Can’ is one that holds a special place for Skye and is something she thinks “people should be celebrating all year round”.
“I think one of the aunties said the other day ‘It’s also about time.’
“About time that the women in our community were acknowledged and given the recognition that they deserve.
“I’m really lucky to come from quite a long line of strong Aboriginal women, even the ones that I didn’t exist in the same time as. Even they have given me so much.
“I wouldn’t be able to be as loud and proud as I am if it wasn’t for what they did. I think a lot of the changes that we have had in this country have been thanks to Aboriginal women.”
So what does the rest of the year have in store for Skye? “Collaborating with some deadly rappers," she says.
"Which is really new for me. I have been working on a song this week for triple j with Ziggy Ramo and he’s just amazing. And then there’s another one that will come out later in the year.
"I think once the touring calms down I want to start recording again. My favourite part is writing music so I’m just keen to have time to do that again.”
The Unearthed project with Ramo and Trials sees them collaborating to create a new song in the space of a week. It will premiere this afternoon on triple j.