For the first time in the Australian Music Prize’s 15-year history, an artist has taken home the prestigious prize for a second time. Sampa The Great has been awarded the huge prize for her huge 2019 album, The Return.
Not only does Sampa now hold two of the coveted titles under her belt – her last win was in 2017 for her debut, The Birds And The BEE9 – she’s also been given a $30,000 cash prize to further her music career, and I’m hoping she’s gonna use that to keep telling her story of being a woman born in Zambia, raised in Botswana, and now living in Melbourne. Because that shit absolutely slaps.
“The Return was not written for radio play or commercial appeal. It was written to bring to light the journey of a person who began her career in a country far away from home,” Sampa said.
“It was to bring to light the sense of displacement felt in that journey and in a global sense throughout the world. It allowed me to tell my full story – without having it told for me. I thank the AMP for looking at solely the music and judging only that. As in this day and age, it seems that is not the norm.”
This year Sampa beat out the likes of Amyl & The Sniffers, Julia Jacklin, Thelma Plum, Methyl Ethel, Dispossessed, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and more to take home the top prize, which truly shows the high level of talent and excellence that’s coming out of the Aussie music industry at the moment.
Having won the award twice, Sampa now sits high among the previous award winners, including A.B. Original, Courtney Barnett, Big Scary, Hermitude, and Cloud Control.
Outside of the finalist shortlist, AMP director Scott Murphy said there were over 400 albums that met the eligibility for the award, which is incredible in itself.
“A truly unbelievable nod to the amazing body of work being produced by Australian musicians in just the past twelve months,” he said.
Sampa The Great is set to light up the stage at Golden Plains Festival in Victoria this weekend, before heading overseas for a lengthy US and European tour, and then returning to Australia to turn it out at Splendour in The Grass.