Music

A.B. Original Take A Stand Against Racism At This Year’s ARIA Awards

"Change doesn’t come from being comfortable."

ARIA

Indigenous hip-hop duo A.B. Original have used their acceptance speeches at this year’s ARIA Awards to call out ongoing racism in Australia.

The duo picked up the awards for Best Urban Release and Best Independent Release for their acclaimed album Reclaim Australia, which also picked up the J Award last week for Album Of The Year.

In their speeches they thanked their community, and acknowledged the struggle they went through to make Reclaim Australia. 

“Change doesn’t come from being comfortable, it comes from being extremely uncomfortable,” Briggs said on stage while accepting the award for Best Urban Release. “We made ourselves extremely uncomfortable trying to make this record…trying to upset those rednecks. They were vocal, but we just had the better album.”

“The main point of this whole record was to spark an idea and change the expectation of what an Indigenous artist could be,” he said during their second appearance later in the evening. “Because we weren’t saying we’ve gotta make it through the struggle; we said, we’ve made it, we’ve persisted, we’ve been here for 80,000 years.”

“This moment is not lost on us, trust me,” added bandmate Trials. “The idea of writing a record for your nephews and nieces and it resonating through a crowd and an industry like this is not lost on us.”

Briggs also dedicated their Independent Release Award to Dr. G Yunupingu, who passed away earlier this year.

“I know he would love that – he loves things that are famous, he loved being famous. I love you wa wa I miss you every day. Thank you everybody.”

While speaking to The Guardian on the red carpet earlier in the day, they also gave triple j a shoutout for their decision to move the Hottest 100 away from Australia Day.

“I think it’s a good trajectory for the industry, and it’s also a good indication of how the majority of people feel,” Briggs said. “They’re reasonable folks who know that Australia Day is trash and we can’t enjoy the countdown that includes our songs on that day. So it was a smart thing for the Js to do, so we appreciate their step towards equity and inclusivity.”

The ARIA Awards are currently underway in Sydney, we’ll have the full list of winners to you soon.