One of the hottest acts in the Australian Country Music Scene, Casey Barnes has taken out the prestigious Artist of the Year for the third time in a row and a place in the Hall of Fame at South East QLD’s premier music celebration, the Gold Coast Music Awards Gala Event on Saturday 3 September at HOTA, Home of the Arts.

Casey is the second artist to be awarded a Hall of Fame recipient at the red carpet gala in front of some of the best in the SEQ music industry and joins the first
inductee and the catalyst for the Hall of Fame, music’s golden girl Amy Shark, who was inducted in 2019 after winning Artist of the Year for three consecutive years.

Casey Barnes was quick to step into Amy’s slipstream. Already an artist on the rise and turning heads in the country music scene well before the Gold Coast Music Awards came into existence, Casey is proud to be a Gold Coaster and flies the flag whether touring here or abroad.

Casey’s album ‘Town of a Million Dreams’ was nominated for the Best Country Album ARIA in 2020 and he’s had a whopping 18 nominations for Gold Coast Music Awards, having taken out Artist of the Year in 2020, 2021 and 2022. He’s had eight Golden Guitar Award nominations including for Male Artist of the Year in 2021 and 2022, Single of the Year and Album of the Year.

His most recent album ‘Light it Up’ spent 77 weeks in the Australian Country
charts reaching #1 in the ARIA Australian Country Album Charts, #2 in the ARIA Country Album Charts and #16 in the ARIA all-genre Album Charts.

Casey is undeniably one of the hottest acts in Australian country music right now with cross-over airplay success to awards, charts – both country and all genres,
global streaming stats and sold-out shows all over the place. With more than a quarter million monthly listeners on Spotify and cumulative streaming numbers in the many tens of millions, Casey has a global fan base that simply adores his style of pure country with catchy pop-hooks and of course, his unmistakably on-brand trucker hats.

Michael Chugg AM, Executive Chairman Chugg Entertainment says “Chugg Music are proud to congratulate Casey Barnes on receiving the award for Artist of the Year and for achieving Hall of Fame status from the GCMAs.”

He adds “It’s been an amazing three years with Casey as he has risen into the ranks of Australia’s premier Country performers both here and in America. We would also like to congratulate the team at the GCMA for the incredible yearly event, which is doing so much for Queensland performers & the Music industry.”

Back for its eighth year in 2022, the Gold Coast Music Awards are seen as a celebration of resilience in challenging times and saw the City’s rising stars celebrated across twelve categories during a glittering daytime ceremony and live concert.

2022 Winners

Wildheart received the highest number of finalist nods, named as finalists across five categories and taking out Release of the Year with “Global Crisis’. Relative newcomers to the music scene, they are fronted by proud Yugambeh man, vocalist Axel Best and their music carries strong social justice messages.

Breakout Artist of the Year nod went to Buttered. Buttered is made up of Scott Dalton and Jackson James Smith and a whole lot of blonde hair. The duo is heavily influenced by artists such as Matt Corby, Stevie Wonder and D’angelo, manifesting a unique sound that has sprinkle of soul, a dash of jazz, served with a side of blues.

A familiar face on the international festival circuit, Tijuana Cartel have taken Live Act of the Year. Finding their feet in the 1990s underground venues of the Gold Coast, Tijuana Cartel have honed their live set on some of Australia’s biggest stages dishing up an east meets west wonderland for those seeking sensory overload, euphoria, fat beats and heavy, bass-fuelled electronica. Tijuana Cartel’s sound is high-energy, guitar- driven, world music for indie kids.

Musician of the Year is Sofia Isella. Singer, songwriter, music producer and performer of original alternative pop music, the classically trained violinist who also plays piano and acoustic guitar. Sofia’s quirky ‘undeniable stage presence’ and her live performance game is both confident & engaging, likened to Bjork, Kate Bush, Billie Eilish and Freddie Mercury.

The incredibly popular Song of the Year went to Eliza and the Delusionals for ‘Save Me’. The group’s sweetly snarling, anthemic brand of indie rock has led to supports with artists such as Silversun Pickups, The Frights, Grinspoon, Nothing But Thieves, Dear Seattle and Killing Heidi, appearances at landmark festivals such as BIGSOUND, Falls Festival and Canadian Music Week, and major radio support both locally and internationally.

Studio Producer of the Year gong was awarded to Brad Hosking. Now a busy multi- instrumentalist, session musician, and record producer, Brad has also written
literally hundreds of jingles for various brands all over the world, produced a track off Amy Shark’s 2021 ‘Cry Forever’ album, produced and arranged the acoustic version of ‘Everybody Rise’ and co-wrote and produced Amy Shark’s ‘Golden Fleece’ that won the 2016 Best Pop Song at the QLD Music Awards.

The premier Venue of the Year award went to Mo’s Desert Clubhouse for the second year running. Burleigh’s arts and live music venue and creative hub. An alternative multi-function space for events, functions and performance with licensed bar.

There is so much talent in SEQ and Video of the Year went to Gimmy Flowens for ‘Don’t Be Afraid’. Gimmy Flowens is the bold new solo project from Northern Rivers-based artist, Gemma Owens. You may already be familiar with Owens as the lead singer and guitarist of charismatic garage-rock quartet, The Oogars.

Visual Creative of the Year winner is the talented Bianca Hinton. Bianca is a Gold Coast filmmaker and videographer who specialises in Live Concert Videography. Her career in the Australian and Gold Coast music industry began in 2020 when she started shooting for local artists (Casey Barnes, Doolie, Mitch King, San Mei, René Le Feuvre, to name a few).

Gold Coast Music Prize winner is Girl and Girl. 2021 saw this family band cement their position as a staple of the local music scene – supporting acts like Tiny Little Houses, Holy Holy and These New South Whales being named in the’s ‘Top 25 rising local acts-2021’, as well as their track ‘Shame It’s Not Now’ charting at #76 in 4ZZZ’s hottest 100. Girl and Girl have already reached new heights in 2022, headlining Mountain Goat Valley Crawl following Floodlights on their sold-out QLD tour, and signing with Tiny Minds Agency. Fans can expect a continued whirlwind of high calibre releases and shows throughout 2022.

The Burleigh Brewing People’s Choice Award went to Lily Grace. At the tender age of just sixteen, Lily Grace is an extremely talented artist, songwriter and storyteller. Already turning industry heads, collaborating with iconic Australian artists and drawing strong crowds, this Gold Coast Australian native is one of the most exciting female artists to emerge in recent years. With her relaxed, easy-listening style and warm and natural stage presence, this vibrant songstress leaves audiences transfixed by her talent, her young age, and her unique style.

Chloe Popa, Co-Founder of the Awards says “Our 2022 Award winners and finalists are a true reflection of the depth and diversity of the creative talent that continues to grow and emerge from this City.

“It was such a close call for the judges in many of the categories, it truly becomes more and more challenging each year to select finalists and winners. The winners announced today are all very deserving of the accolade and we’re especially thrilled to announce that Casey will be inducted into the Gold Coast Music Hall of Fame. We look forward to seeing his star continue to rise.”

The Gold Coast Music Awards partnered with the Gold Coast’s newest free music festival SPRINGTIME and this year, the Gold Coast Music Awards were excited to announce a new broadcast sponsor, the new online social platform and Gold Coast innovation, Gatho. Visit the Gold Coast Music Awards website for more information.

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