Baker Boy grateful for OAM win, but mourns ‘Invasion Day’
DANZAL Baker, known onstage as Baker Boy, has been awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for his service to the performing arts as a musician and a singer.
However, he won't be celebrating the honour today, declining media opportunities and releasing a statement indicating he would instead be in mourning of Invasion Day connotations surrounding Australia Day.
"I'm grateful for this recognition, and look forward to being able to share and celebrate it but I do not wish to comment any further at this stage as I am in mourning for Invasion Day," the statement read.
"I look forward to a time where we celebrate our country, our people and their achievements on a different day out of respect for all of my First Nations brothers and sisters."
Baker's achievements in 2020 included being named Artist of the Year for the second time at the National Indigenous Music Awards (NIMA) and winning Song of the Year and Film Clip of the Year for his song Meditjin.
After winning the NIMA's top gong for artist of the year for the second year in a row, Baker said it was just as much a shock the second time around.
"I was really shocked. I feel so blessed and honoured," he said.
"There were so many incredible nominees, I didn't expect to win anything at the NIMA's this year.
"I'm just really honoured to be acknowledged amongst the best."
However, his list of accolades extends well beyond the past 12 months.
Baker first hit the entertainment scene in 2017 when he won the Triple J Unearthed National Indigenous Music Awards competition, after releasing singles and music videos Cloud 9 and Marryuna.
A former member of the Djuki Mala dance troupe, Baker has also claimed prizes at the National Dreamtime Awards and received nominations for the ARIA Awards and APRA awards.
Away from music, Baker has been the Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation ambassador since 2019.
Originally published as Baker Boy grateful for OAM win, but mourns 'Invasion Day'