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  • Writer's pictureLaura Smith

Why Baker Boy should compete at 'Eurovision - Australia Decides'

Photo credit: @igotshotbycharlie / HMUA: @curlysiouxsie / Styling: @aurieindianna

With the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 all wrapped up, we're starting to already look ahead to the 2022 contest.

Over the next couple months we look at Australian artists who we would love to see compete at 'Eurovision - Australia Decides' and get their opportunity to represent Australia at Eurovision.

First up we look at Danzal Baker, better known as Baker Boy, a Yolngu rapper and dancer from Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory.

We look at five reasons why Baker Boy would make an outstanding artist to compete at 'Eurovision - Australia Decides'!

1. He can dance and rap in two languages

Baker Boy was an original member of the Djuki Mala dance troupe, which toured all around Australia. Not only that, he speaks and raps in both English and Yolŋu Matha languages. If the results of the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest are anything to go by, languages other than English should help improve Australia's results at the Contest. As Baker Boy's lyrics flow seamlessly from English to Yolŋu Matha and back again, his rapping is sure to be a game-changer on the Eurovision stage. He even performed as an opening act for Dizzee Rascal and 50 Cent! Look out Flo Rida, the Fresh Prince of Arnhem Land is coming!

2. He plays a mean yidaki

As Petra and Måns told us in 'Love Love Peace Peace', in order to succeed at Eurovision, one must bring a traditional ethnic instrument that nobody has ever heard of. Except you probably have heard of it, because the yidaki is actually the Yolŋu Matha word for what we call a "didgeridoo" in English. Epic Sax Guy had better watch out, because Epic Yidaki Guy is coming!

3. He has serious music industry "cred"

Ok, so between his smooth flow, epic yidaki, sweet moves, colourful style, and banging tunes, Baker Boy has the televote sorted, but what about the juries? From winning the Triple J Unearthed National Indigenous Music Awards competition in 2017, Baker Boy has received plenty of accolades from the Australian Music Industry.

The six-time ARIA Award nominee recently achieved second place at the Vanda & Young Global Songwriting Competition for his song 'Meditjin' featuring JessB. Not only that, he has won six National Indigenous Music Awards (NIMAs), three of them going to 'Meditjin'.

And while those are a ton of Aussie gongs, Europe is also starting to pay attention to Baker Boy. In 2020, he was nominated for the award of Best Australian Act at the MTV Europe Music Awards!

4. He's a fantastic role model with an incredible story

Baker Boy is an inspiration to his communities of Milingimbi and Maningrida in Arnhem Land. From a young age, he has learned about the shame that can come with growing up in remote Indigenous communities. In an interview on ABC's One Plus One program, he says:

"Shame in remote communities around Australia is a really big thing. People would be like 'shame, no, I don't want to do that — too many people watching.'"

Having seen his own cousins lack the confidence to push themselves at their own passions of AFL and gymnastics, Baker Boy was determined to combat his own feelings of shame and become an advocate for young Indigenous Australians to realise their potential and achieve their dreams.

He has promoted language and dance in the community through the arts company Indigenous Hip Hop Projects, and as a result, he has gained recognition and admiration from young Indigenous Australians throughout the country.

"They were like, 'he's just like us, he's Aboriginal, he speaks his language — I want to do that'."

Baker Boy was rewarded for his efforts by being made Young Australian of the Year in 2019, and in the 2021 Australia Day Honours, he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his services to the performing arts as a singer and musician. Talk about a high achiever!

5. He will bring something truly unique to the competition

Fusing traditional Yolŋu Matha sounds with rap, funk and hip-hop, Baker Boy has a sound and style that is all his own, which represents his culture superbly. Although rap and hip hop aren’t genres that are commonly seen at Eurovision, Baker Boy’s energy is infectious and his charisma and confidence should win over even the toughest critics.

His upbeat music, energetic performances, and uplifting lyrics bring joy and hope to many people across the nation. He is inspirational to so many Aussies and would be a wonderful ambassador for Australia on the world stage, plus it would be amazing to showcase one of our many native languages to the world. For these reasons, Baker Boy would be a fantastic artist to watch at Australia Decides (and hopefully Eurovision!)


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