Moving up in the world from the Powerhouse to the Royal International Convention Centre, music industry folk converged in Brisbane for the Queensland Music Awards (QMAs) last night, with major winners including industry darlings Amy Shark and Jeremy Neale. There is one thing that can be said about the music industry in Queensland at the moment: the more you think about it, the bigger it gets.

It seems there is no stopping Amy Shark, who walked away with five impressive gongs on the evening, including Pop, Regional, Singer Songwriter and Highest Selling Single. On winning the Export Achievement Award, presenter Maggie Collins from BIGSOUND said, "There is only one nominee and one winner for this award". Shark, who couldn’t be there on the night, paid tribute to the Gold Coast via video message, telling each and every person in the room to have a large beer for her – hey, as long as she is shouting.

The Kite String Tangle opened the live performances of the night with pounding beats and strobe lights and later walked away with the award for the Electronic/Dance category for The Prize (feat. Bridgette Amofah). He was up against fellow performer, May Lyn in this category, who also treated the crowd to a thought-provoking performance of her track Soldiers, especially poignant in light of the recent Malaysian elections.

The Brisbane music community is a tight-knit bunch, which was especially a testament in the Rock Category, taken out by the beloved Jeremy Neale. During his acceptance speech, Neale praised the other nominees, speaking of D&M’s and driving to Ipswich with Marie De Vita from WAAX, the exceptional work of Landings who helped audio-engineer his new album and getting his break in the industry after starting Velociraptor with DZ Deathrays way back in 2008. Neale also went on to win Song Of The Year for Dancin’ & Romancin’ which literally got everyone up, dancing and romancing, as the closing performance of the ceremony and which will land him a star on Brisbane’s very own Walk Of Fame.

WAAX blew the roof off with their performance of Wild & Weak, and also took home a well-deserved award for their video for Same Same.

The Jungle Giants, who were up for three nominations, came away with the coveted Album Of The Year prize for latest record, Quiet Ferocity.

It also proved to be a fruitful night for performer Brad Butcher, who walked away with the award for the Country category for his track, Well Dressed Man.

The evening comprehensively celebrated the diversity of music that comes out of the state, with acclaimed singer-songwriter Emily Wurramara earning the win for the Indigenous category with Ngarrukwujenama, vibrant outfit Trichotomy taking out the Jazz category (Asset Or Liability), The Brave getting the nod for the Heavy category (Ethereal), a giddy Xander Holmes picking up the Schools award for Something Real and Gold Coast artist Eleea walking away the winner of the new Soul/ Funk/R&B category, for Without You.

Among the other musical performers of the evening were Hip Hop/Rap nominees Camouflage Rose — however that category ended up going to Crooked White, for his song Put Me On — as well the delightful Greta Stanley who was named as this year's winner of the $10,000 Billy Thorpe Scholarship, supported by Arts Queensland.

The highly respected Grant McLennan Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Chad Morgan who couldn’t be at the event because of gig commitments in far North Queensland. Also, because he is 85. What a legend. The award was accepted by his daughter who asked her father to share some words of wisdom to the audience but it turned out he had “no advice, - he just does what he does". Liverpool has The Beatles, Memphis has Elvis and Wondai, Queensland has Chadwick William Morgan.

Also noteworthy from an industry standpoint was Keith Urban’s win for his album Ripcord, which was the year’s Highest Selling Album.

As for the publicly voted categories, it is no doubt that live music is the heart and soul of the industry, and if you want to make sure the night is a rowdy one, schedule it for a Monday and invite all the hospo’ workers from the category. Solbar on the Sunshine Coast was given the nod for Regional Venue Of The Year and the beloved Tivoli, which was saved from demolition two years ago, took home Metro Venue Of The Year. In a surprising twist, Woodford Folk Festival lost out to The Big Pineapple Festival for Festival Of The Year.

Qld Music Awards — 2018 Winners


Xander Holmes – Something Real


Trichotomy – Asset Or Liability


Sue Ray – Junior Was His Name


The Brave - Ethereal


Eleea – Without You


Karl S Williams – Blood to Give


Emily Wurramara - Ngarrukwujenama


WAAX – Same Same

Billy Thorpe Scholarship

Greta Stanley


Amy Shark – Weekends


Brad Butcher – Well Dressed Man


Amy Shark – Weekends

Singer Songwriter

Amy Shark – Weekends

People’s Choice Awards – Regional Venue of the Year


People’s Choice Awards – Metro Venue of the Year

The Tivoli

People’s Choice Awards – Festival of the Year

The Big Pineapple Music Festival

Grant McLennan Lifetime Achievement Award

Chad Morgan


Jeremy Neale – Dancin’ & Romancin’

Hip Hop/Rap

Crooker White – Put Me On


The Kite String Tangle – The Prize (feat. Bridgette Amofah)

Export Achievement

Amy Shark

Highest Selling Single

Amy Shark – Weekends

Highest Selling Album

Keith Urban - Ripcord

Album of the Year

The Jungle Giants – Quiet Ferocity

Song of the Year

Jeremy Neale – Dancin’ & Romancin’