Briggs announces Alice Skye, Becca Hatch and more as first Barpirdhila grant recipients

13 First Nations artists will benefit from the inaugural fund

Briggs has shared the full list of recipients for his inaugural Barpirdhila grant initiative, which aims to help First Nations artists who have been impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The rapper first announced Barpirdhila (which translates to “morning star” in the Yorta Yorta language) back in July, with grants of up to $10,000 available to First Nations artists who are actively working on a forthcoming music project. Applicants were expected to have already made some progress on the project, and have it pegged for completion by the end of the year.

Today (September 29), Briggs announced that a total of 13 artists will benefit from the first round of Barpirdhila funding. The two largest grants, each at $7,000, have been awarded to Yuggera DJ Dameeeela and Kamilaroi/Tongan singer Radical Son (aka David Leha). Dameeela’s grant will help to expand her live setup and cover touring costs, while Leha’s will aide in the creation of a music video and promo package for his new single ‘Elder’.


Brisbane metal band Wildheart received the second-largest grant, earning $6,500 to fund a music video for their ‘Sacred Ground’ single as well as an upcoming EP.

Meanwhile, Alice Skye, Kootise Don and Daen have all been given $6,000 to give their next projects a boost. Skye will be using her grant to press an upcoming vinyl release and launch a new online store, while Don will use hers to complete a three-track EP and Daen will record a soundtrack album for a short-form series.

Five artists have each received grants of $5,000. Among them are Kiwat Kennell – whose grant will fund the post-production and release of his upcoming single ‘Waste’ single and ‘Breaks My Heart’ EP – and Becca Hatch, who will use the money to produce a music video for her song ‘Blessed’.

Aodhan and Canisha will use their $5,000 grants to record their respective upcoming EPs, while T Breezy and Walkerboy will use theirs to deliver a joint mixtape, titled ‘INVY’, in December.

Rounding out the list is Woorabinda artist Jada Weazel, who’s been allocated $4,000 to help finish off her upcoming ‘No Peace’ EP, as well as an accompanying visualiser.

The Barpirdhila initiative was launched by Briggs through his own nonprofit organisation the Adam Briggs Foundation, with support from Sony Music Publishing (SMP), the Australian Community Foundation, Vic Health and Thinking Loud.


Recipients were decided upon by a five-member panel of judges – which, in addition to Briggs himself, included producer, editor and curator Emily Nicol, journalist Sosefina Fuamoli, The Deans Of Soul frontman Linc Yow Yeh, and SMP managing director Damian Trotte.

In a statement shared alongside the list of recipients, Briggs said: “Long before I received my first grant for a project, I was knocked back by countless others. What I, with the support of my board and partners, have attempted is to remove a bit of the language barrier so artists who were like me can be heard; sometimes academia isn’t a language some artists can speak – but the potential, the talent and work ethic are there.

“Congratulations to the artists who have received funding this round. I believe we have a great range of artists and genres to help nurture an exciting new landscape of First Nations creators. I appreciate the time and energy everyone has put in to be considered and it was a tough job narrowing it down. Don’t be disheartened if you weren’t successful this time; there will be more opportunities to follow. Good work is hard work.”

Meanwhile, August saw the return of A.B. Original – the duo of Briggs and Ngarrindjeri rapper and producer Trials – who released their first new song in over four years, ‘King Billy Cokebottle’. The pair described the release as a “teaser track”, preempting an “official” single that will arrive in November.

This Saturday (October 1), Briggs will co-headline the Treaty Day Out in Bendigo, performing alongside Dan Sultan, Kee’ahn, Marlon X Rulla and Scott Darlow.

[Editor’s Note: NME contributor Sosefina Fuamoli was a judge for the Barpirdhila grant.]

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