A Look at Australia’s Top Indigenous Artists of 2023
Australian music wouldn’t be what it is today without the artistic brilliance of its Indigenous musical artists. 2023 has been a bright year for indigenous artists who draw from their cultural heritage and personal experiences to create captivating melodies and rich lyrics that are driving the music industry in new directions.
Award-winning artist Thelma Plum’s music continues to influence Australian music even a year after the release of her EP, Meanjin. Her exploration of her Gamilaraay heritage and personal journey captivates her listeners. Plum brings her fans in close, through her soulful vocals and heartfelt lyrics, often addressing themes of identity, relationships, and Indigenous Australian experiences. In 2023, Thelma Plum continues to tour the world 2023 as fans brace for her to release new music soon.
Ziggy Ramo’s socially conscious lyrics and genre-blending style have taken Australian music by storm. The award-winning artist’s music is a potent blend of hip-hop, R&B, and spoken word, with lyrics that touch on Indigenous rights, mental health, and the societal inequalities that affect Australia’s youth. In January 2023, Ziggy Ramo released his second album, which addresses the dark legacy of Australia’s colonial past. Earlier this year, Ramo told Rolling Stone Australia, “Black Thoughts (2020 album) was explicit and unmissable, whereas Sugar Coated Lies is insidious and hidden; Australian South Sea Islanders are the forgotten people.”
With his energetic performances and infectious music, Baker Boy has become a rising star in Australia’s music landscape. Mixing hip-hop with traditional Yolŋu languages and dances, he brings a unique and captivating energy to his performances. In 2023, Baker Boy’s music continues to celebrate cultural pride and promote positivity, showcasing the vibrant spirit of Indigenous youth.
AIR Award-winning Emma Donovan’s soulful voice weaves elements of gospel, blues, and Indigenous storytelling. Her music dives deep into themes of resilience, family, and connection to your roots. In 2023, Donovan released the powerful and emotional single, “Take no More” with Yalanji, Jirrbal, and Badu Islander artist Kee’ahn. Fans are hopeful for a new album to drop soon. 2023 has already shaped up to be one of the artist’s busiest years yet, following a wave of international tours and festival performances like the Storyland Festival and Perth Festival.
It’s hard not to recognize the multi-award-winning duo Electric Fields as one of Australia’s leading musical acts. The duo blends electronic beats with traditional Indigenous languages, creating what music fans call epic. The result is a sound that is contemporary and powerful and deeply rooted in cultural heritage. Their 2023 single “We the People” was chosen as the official anthem of the World Pride Organization.
This year, the Australian indie-pop sensation Tia Gostelow is about to drop her third album Head Noise. Gostelow’s music has earned the artist adoring fans worldwide for her powerful message of self-discovery, and identity. Drawing from her Wiradjuri heritage, her music explores the challenges faced by Indigenous youth and modern life. After her award-winning debut album “Thick Skin” and popular follow-up “Chrysalis,” fans are eagerly awaiting the artist’s third release. Regarding her upcoming album, Gostelow told NME in April, “I hope in some way this album can bring a little bit of comfort to the Head Noise that might keep you awake in the early hours.”