Blue Mountains artists Julia Jacklin, Nick McKinlay, and Thundamentals nominated for ARIA Awards

Three Blue Mountains artists have been nominated for awards in the 31st Annual Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Music Awards.

Singer/songwriter Julia Jacklin and photographer Nick McKinlay have both been nominated for an ARIA Award. Julia Jacklin is a nominee for the Best Female Artist award, resulting from the major success of her Indie/Alternative album, Don’t Let The Kids Win, which was released in October 2016. Nick McKinlay designed the cover for the album, and has received a nomination for Best Cover Art. Hip hop group Thundamentals has been nominated for Best Urban Release for their new album Everyone We Know.

Julia Jacklin’s debut album has achieved recognition around the world. Following the release of Don’t Let The Kids Win, Jacklin has since hit incredible milestones for a new artist, including being nominated for Album of the Year at the Triple J Awards and for the APRA Australian Song of the Year. The former Winmalee High School student’s interest in music arose in her younger years, influenced by her childhood idol Britney Spears- in particular, a documentary she watched about the singer.

“It made me realise that you just couldn't sit back and wait for things to happen," Jacklin told the Sydney Morning Herald in November last year. Her 10 year old self saw the motivation of Spears, and from then on, knew that dedication was necessary for success. She began taking singing lessons, continuing this for five years, and finished her high school studies at Newtown High School of the Performing Arts.

The artist’s quarter-life crisis was the motivation behind her album. After her 24th birthday, she set herself a goal - to write and produce her first album before turning 25. She had little time to achieve this; however she successfully released it on time, despite experiencing writer’s block and anxiety due to the huge rush to complete it.

The album couldn’t have come together without Nick McKinlay, who worked his magic on the camera to create the cover for Don’t Let The Kids Win. McKinlay has since worked together with Jacklin on her music videos. Born in Hornsby, though currently living in Blackheath, McKinlay is a photographer who is well-known in the Blue Mountains. In 2016, his work was displayed in the window space of Atelier in North Lawson’s Lyttleton Stores. The majority of his clients aren’t based in the Mountains, but he prefers engaging in his personal photographic practices locally.

“This place hasn’t really gentrified in a significant way, so you’ve still got quite unusual buildings and architecture and other interesting things to find,” he said to MTNS Made in reference to why he prefers shooting in the Mountains. His photographs of local scenery are always bursting with colour, too, which results from the ever-changing colours of the environment.

“You find a lot of colour here. It changes colour every day out in the garden.”

Everyone We Know is the Thundamental’s fourth album, released in February this year. The group are no strangers to success in the music industry, however - their LP So We Can Remember earned them nominations for an AIR Award, J Award, FBi SMAC Award, ARIA Award, and the Australian Music Prize. The album also proved to be victorious in achieving popularity in the charts when it debuted, #1 on Independent, Australian, Digital, and Urban Aria Album Charts, and in addition, #3 on the Aria Album Chart.

The 2017 ARIA Awards are in Sydney on Tuesday, November 28. It will be broadcast live on the Nine Network.

Emily Werner was a Year 10 work experience student at the Blue Mountains Gazette.