2023 Shure Rolling Stone Australia Awards Went Out With A Bang!

2023 Shure Rolling Stone Australia Awards Went Out With A Bang!

2023 Shure Rolling Stone Australia Awards kicked off last night with a star-studded party at Sydney’s the Argyle.

The awards, which saw the music industry gather in Sydney to celebrate the best in Australian music, were hosted by Former triple j breakfast host turned podcaster, Alex Dyson and featured stellar performances from Tina Arena and rising star Budjerah, who also teamed up for a surprise performance of ‘Chains’.

Spacey Jane, Gang Of Youths, and Tash Sultana were among the winners at the 2023 Shure Rolling Stone Australia Awards on Tuesday night, but the night belonged to the first-ever recipient of the 2023 Rolling Stone Icon Award, Tina Arena.

B&T: Are you a Rolling Stone reader? 

Tina Arena:I have been a reader of Rolling Stone. I grew up pretty much on Rolling Stone and really started reading it in the 90s. It’s a very different magazine now.” 

B&T:  What do you like about Rolling Stone’s coverage of news?

TA: “I really liked the political incorrectness that it used to have. I don’t like the political correctness of it now so much, but I think that’s something that you can say across the board. I think too many people are trying to be too political.

“I think art is about pushing boundaries. I think if artists start censoring what it is that they have to say we really are screwed. So I would say that live dangerously and unpredictably. Speak your mind because I think that that’s when people are best served.”

In her speech presenting Tina Arena with the first-ever Rolling Stone Icon Award, The Brag Media’s editor in Chief, Poppy Reid described Tina Arena as one a once-in-a-generation talent, an icon for young people everywhere and one of Australia’s highest-selling artists.

“Her work comes from a place of love, it comes from obsession, and it shows in everything she does. From her music, to her activism, her feminism, her allyship and the way she fights the sickness in our society around ageism, to her using her platform to lift others up. She’s an inspiration to me and everyone I know.”

B&T spoke to Reid about what the future holds for Rolling Stone and how the publication is expanding under her leadership.

B&T: You must be excited about tonight. What does it feel like to see the fruits of your labour?  

Poppy Reid: “Oh I’m so excited. This is almost three years in the making when you think about it because every year we learn new things about what we want to do, what we want to add to the awards. And just super thankful it’s not raining! We did have a wet weather plan but it’s way nicer for us all to be outdoors.

“The music God’s are shining down on us! I’m super excited because we have one of my all time favourite artists Tina Arena and Budjerah, incredible upcoming talent, and the nominees are so insane. I just feel like the talent that we have in Australia right now in terms of exporting, in terms of global, we are in a purple patch for Australians right now.”

B&T: What does the future look like for Rolling Stone? 

PA: “Well, I think we’re gonna get bigger and just grow. We grew last year when we went into New Zealand so we have Rolling Stone New Zealand and we’re on shelves in New Zealand as a magazine.

“We have a dedicated Rolling Stone New Zealand website and the Rolling Stone New Zealand awards. We had the first one in August so we’re going to grow that. Honestly. I just want to keep shouting from the rooftops about local music at a global level. Yeah, that’s my whole ambition.”

B&T: There’s a lot of brand presence here tonight, what do you look at when you’re deciding on which brands you want to work with for Rolling Stone?

PA:Well, I think with Shure we got really lucky because they have such a history of championing music and of being in music as well. So they’re a perfect partner for us. 

“Budjerah, an ARIA award winning singer-songwriter and Coodjinburra man from the Bundjalung nation, won the 2023 Shure Rolling Stone Award for Best New Artist. B&T spoke to the artist before he took home his Rolling Stone diamond ring.”

B&T: What does it feel like to be nominated tonight? 

Budjerah: “It’s pretty crazy. Rolling Stone, like the biggest music magazine in the world, and I’m nominated, they liked me, so I feel very honoured and appreciated.” 

B&T: You performed with Ed Sheeran recently, what was that like? 

B: “It was super surreal. Ed Sheeran is one of my favourite artists. I grew up listening to him and now my family is in my band, my cousins, and for us to go from a little small beach town to pull up stadiums with Mr. Ed Sheeran is one of the most craziest things ever, I can’t believe.” 

B&T:  Tell us about your musical inspirations, where do you draw from?

B: “I grew up in church so I was into soul music and gospel. My family, they taught me how to sing and play. That’s where I learned how to make music and sing and perform. Now I really like Destiny’s Child, Tina Arena who’s performing tonight. I’m really excited about that. Who else do I like? Olivia Rodrigo.” 

Rolling Stone Australia introduced new awards sponsors in 2023, including headline partner Shure, alongside Australis, Canna, Panhead, JMC Academy, Brixton, and Jim Beam.

Will Repanellis, head of marketing at Jands, said of Shure’s sponsorship: “It’s fantastic that we can bring together two iconic music industry brands, with a combined 153 years of championing Australian music, at this year’s Shure Rolling Stone Australia Awards.”

Reid added: “We share a deep-seated love for local music with our new headline partner Shure, and together we can’t wait to celebrate the industry with our friends and guests next week.”

In his speech presenting the awards, Repanellis discussed Shure’s brand alignment with Rolling Stone and emphasised the company’s mission to promote music:

Stoked to be here tonight for the Rolling Stone awards 2023. For those who don’t know Shure’s a 93 year old microphone business. Part of Shore’s heritage is actually bringing together the artists, industry professionals, all of us in this room to celebrate music and stoked to be able to bring it together with Rolling Stone to celebrate Australia and New Zealand music tonight. 

“But I wanted to really shout out to the Rolling Stone organisation. So absolute privilege to be part of this tonight. It’s something that’s really special, really close to Shure’s heart, having talked to the global team this week about it. Shure globally, look to what we’re doing here in Australia. We’re leading the push, we’re leading the charge in promoting Australian music and promoting music in general. And I’m really happy to be able to present tonight’s awards. So let’s get into it.”

The Rolling Stone Global Award went to prodigiously talented singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Tash Sultana, whose star has catapulted upwards internationally over the past year or so, and who beat household names including Alison Wonderland, Iggy Azalea, Keith Urban, Kylie Minogue, The Wiggles and Troye Sivan to the gong.

Accepting their award, Tash Sultana said: “I’ll keep it short and sweet, just like me. I was at the Rolling Stone Awards two years ago and it’s much better tonight! Next round’s on me… I’m joking, there’s a bar tab. Thanks very much!”

According to Roy Morgan data on the national magazine market, Rolling Stone Australia reached 224,000 readers in the six months to December 31 2022, up 17.3 per cent on the same period in 2021, and ahead of Gourmet Traveller, Vogue Living, Harper’s Bazaar, Who and more.




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