Casii Williams and DRAFTDAY have been announced as the winners of the BASSINTHEGRASS Northern Territory artist competition, after judges received an outstanding number of entries this year.
The Territory-based artists will take to the stage alongside some of the biggest names in Australian music at Mindil Beach on 15 May.
Casii Williams is a Western Arrernte woman from the remote community of Ntaria/Hermannsburg in Central Australia.
She released her first single ‘Desert Pop Lock and Drop’ at just 14.
The Central Australian artist said she “screamed and almost cried” when she received the news.
“At the start of the year I bought tickets for my sister and I to go up for the concert – it’s such an amazing feeling right now to know I’ll be performing on the same stage as the artists I bought tickets to see,” she said.
Darwin-based band DRAFTDAY are making their mark on the Australian music scene, currently touring across the country.
Made up of lead singer Arran Barker, guitarists Tom Ford and Lucas Sharp, bass guitarist Manolis Kamitsis and drummer Rowan Dally, DRAFTDAY channels the sounds of Trophy Eyes, City Calm Down and Gang of Youths.
DRAFTDAY’s Tom Ford said the band were stoked when they found out.
“It’s such a big thing to tick playing at BASSINTHEGRASS off the bucket list,” he said.
“This is a very big step in our life as a band – it’s going to be unreal playing in front of all our family and friends in the crowd.”
The BASSINTHEGRASS local artists judging panel includes MusicNT Executive Director Mark Smith, DJ Delicious/Hot 100 Breakfast Presenter Danielle McMurrich and NT APRA Representative – Writers Services Phillip Eaton.
“DRAFTDAY, fresh from Yours and Owls Festival in Wollongong, are a really great band with momentum and Casii Williams is one of the most exciting voices coming out of the Central Desert and her new songs resonate,” Phillip said.
“The amount of musical talent submitted this year was overwhelming. This made choosing just two locals acts extremely difficult,” added Danielle.
“Thank you to all the artists who submitted their work as it was a privilege to be able to listen to every entry. One thing is for sure, this process has given me a greater insight into how talented the NT musical community really is. Bring on BASSINTHEGRASS 2021!”
This year’s BASSINTHEGRASS will include a new Welcome to Country performance featuring Larrakia Traditional Owner Shaun Lee, as well as acclaimed Aboriginal footballers and musicians Marlon Motlop and Rulla Kelly-Mansell.
The performance will involve a smoking and kenbi (didgeridoo) ceremony, as well as a combination of audio, visual and live elements on stage as part of an overall theme and narrative.
For more information about BASSINTHEGRASS, visit www.bassinthegrass.com.au.