Best Video

Presented by Fireball Cinnamon Whisky

In a year where digital reigned supreme, these six artists pulled out all the stops to capture your YouTube scroll attention. Striking visuals, high concepts and scathing social commentary were the name of the game as music videos made a comeback in a big way.

 

DOBBY – I Can’t Breathe (feat. Barkaa)

As the unofficial anthem of Australia’s Bla(c)k Lives Matter protests, DOBBY backs up his song’s powerful message with an equally powerful and authentic music video. Presented by Vyva Entertainment and directed by Luke Currie-Richardson and Benjamin Ling, the video cuts between DOBBY and BARKAA’s performance with portraits of First Nations Australians. With the participants staring boldly down the barrel of the camera, often with fists raised, the video sends a crystal clear message of Bla(c)k solidarity and Bla(c)k pride in the face of eons of colonial violence.

Photo courtesy of the artist

Lupa J – Supermarket Riots

With the help of ARIA Award Winning film director James Chappell, Lupa J has created a dystopia set in an empty supermarket with her music video for ‘Supermarket Riots’. Drawing inspiration from 80s horror films such as The Blob and the real-life horror of COVID-19, Lupa J and Chappell have created a music video that is as much camp as it is eerie. With a cameo from No Frills Twins, ‘Supermarket Riots’ is one of the year’s most entertaining music videos, eliciting a familiar nostalgia and mirroring the year’s universal experience of tension.

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ONEFOUR – Welcome to Prison

Directed and produced by JÁEN Collective, the ‘Welcome to Prison’ music video is a raw and intimate portrayal of ONEFOUR’s experiences in and out of the prison system. Much like ONEFOUR’s previous videos, it landed with impact – holding the top trending position on YouTube for at least three days when it was released in February, and since amassing over 5.3 million views. Following tense relations with the Australian police force regarding their live shows and the sentencing of members YP and Lekks (as well as former member Celly14), ONEFOUR’s ‘Welcome to Prison’ is a spirited and timely critique of the system that is out to silence them.

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OKENYO – Anthropology

Directed and produced by Claudia Sangiorgi Dalimore, ‘Anthropology’ unnervingly depicts OKENYO as a marble statue, being observed by white gallery patrons. Drawing references from the tale of Saartje Baartman, an African woman who was put on display in 19th Century Europe, ‘Anthropology’ makes a very clear analysis of the intersections of Bla(c)k and White cultures throughout our history. The video relays the track’s themes of colonial exploitation and the ownership of Bla(c)k bodies. In a year of deconstructing the White lens and power structures not only in the political world but also in the world of art, ‘Anthropology’ is a timely and vital work.

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Sevy – Ting

An underground Sydney workers club sets the scene for Sevy’s captivating music video for ‘Ting’. Directed and produced by Utility and Jeremy Elphick, the video features striking visuals and cinematic colouring that conjures comparisons to Stanley Kubrick. Sevy moves from frame to frame between vintage mirrors against a background of what could have once been an ultra-glam bar in the 1980s. A sensational debut music video for a local star on the rise.

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Tasman Keith – Billy Bad Again

A hanging old microphone, an old school iMac Bubble computer and a whole heap of ultra-contagious head bopping, Tasman Keith’s ‘Billy Bad Again’ music video is brimming with charisma. The team at Entropico (this time led by Joey Hunter) bring masterful cinematography to an appropriately cheeky and suave music video. Featuring scenes from around Keith’s hometown Bowraville, Tasman Keith pride for his community is apparent in this braggadocious love letter to his hometown.

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