Baker Boy – aka Danzal Baker – has been awarded an Order of Australia medal for his contributions to Australia’s performing arts industry.
The Yolngu rapper took to social media yesterday to acknowledge the recognition, but declined to comment further, saying he was unable to celebrate while in mourning during Invasion Day.
Baker also used the opportunity to join calls for so-called Australia Day to be changed from its current date of January 26, which marks the 1788 invasion of the First Fleet in New South Wales.
“I’m greatful for this recognition, and look forward to being able to share and celebrate it, but I do not wish to comment any further at this stage as I am in mourning for Invasion Day,” Baker said in a statement yesterday.
“I have spent the day peacefully marching the streets of Narrm and look forward to a time where we celebrate our country, our people and their achievements on a different day out of respect for all of my First Nations brothers and sisters.”
Baker Boy released two singles in 2020, with ‘Move’ in March and ‘Better Days’ in September. The latter track also featured Dallas Woods and Sampa the Great. In August, Baker won Artist of the Year at the National Indigenous Music Awards 2020.
In June of last year, the rapper also shared a powerful statement following the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in the US.
“For all of my balanda (non-indigenous) brothers and sisters I hope what you’re seeing in America right now is opening your eyes to the stolen land that you live on here in Australia,” he wrote.
“To your privilege, to those ‘jokes’, to those ‘jokes’ that you don’t call out, to your racist uncle or aunt or cousin or friend or coworker and, most devastatingly, opening your eyes to the over 400 deaths in custody of Indigenous Australians without a single officer charged.”