It’s that time of year once again, where we meet the winners of the Levi’s Music Prize. It’s easily one of the most coveted music awards in Australia, and is definitely one of those pivotal moments in a band or artist’s career where people start to sit up and take notice. And to match the arbitrary energies of 2020, the prize has been reimagined to help give a foot up to multiple artists for the first time.

The Levi’s Music Prize has transformed into the Levi’s Music Relief Fund, and will give a $4500 cash prize to five different artists and bands, as well as sessions to help work through a time where the music industry is severely struggling to keep afloat.

The first five winners of the Levi’s Music Relief Fund include legends across NSW, QLD and SA, as well as the first-ever winners from across the pond over in NZ. Get right around your 2020 winners: Tkay MaidzaMiieshaHaiku HandsJaguar Jonze and Kiwi champions, The Beths.

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The announcement was made this morning by the BIGSOUND and QMusic team with a very cute Zoom check-in with as many of the winners as they could, who shared what they’ve been up to during the shutdown. Jaguar Jonze, who hails from QLD, said that she actually tested positive to COVID-19, and was hospitalised for 40 days, and still managed to keep creative during that time.

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I AM FINALLY DISCHARGED AND RECOVERED FROM COVID-19!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’ve been 40 days in isolation and quarantine to be finally let out to… continue self isolating but with a bit more freedom haha. I feel emotional and can’t really write out my thoughts but I have a heavy heart from feeling grief for the adversity I faced in the last 2 months, pride for staying predominantly positive and gratitude for the wonderful support, care, love, generosity and kindness I received from everyone and even strangers. It’s been so good to smell fresh air and see other hoomans. Just wanted to say a special thank you to RPA Virtual, @ribalhosn and @sydneylocalhealthdistrict for looking after me these last 6 weeks. What a long time dealing with this pest. ????

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As well as the cash prize to help each of the artists keep things moving and happening during the pandemic shutdown, where live gigs and festivals have been canned, studio time is near impossible and doing anything to promote your work is a hell of a challenge, every one of the winners will also get a customised online upskilling ‘Blocks’ session with Bolster, and a mental health online support package from the legends over at The Indigo Project. They’ll also be kitted out in some very slick Levi’s threads, perfect for the winter chill coming up.

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It ain’t safe on the block. ????????

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The Levi’s Music Prize has previously given acts like G FlipAmyl & The SniffersGordon KoangStella DonnellyAlex Lahey, and Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever a big boost in the industry, so today’s Music Fund winners are definitely in very good company.

The new Music Fund will follow the same format as the Music Prize, and will be awarding funding to artists every quarter, and applications the final round of the Levi’s Music Fund is now open. So if you know someone who’s deserving of a little bit of a boost, get ’em to check out the music prize’s website before midnight on July 5th.

Image: Supplied