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Illy Makes Statement With T-Shirt Repping Australian R&B On Stage At ARIAs

25 November 2022 | 9:42 am | Parry Tritsiniotis

The category for best soul/R&B release was filled with only four projects, while every other category had at least 5.

Illy is a real one. 

Illy and FlexMami presented the award last night at the ARIA awards for best Soul/R&B release.

The category for best soul/R&B release was filled with only four projects, while every other category had at least 5. The nominees included Budjerah’s Conversations, Emma Donovan & The Putbacks Under The Streets, KIAN’s Shine and Vanessa Amorosi’s City Of AngelsThis is despite the fact that Australia's R&B and Soul space is one of the most quickly developing genres in the country and is shaping up to be one of Australia's most exciting musical exports over the next few years.

In response to the shortcomings of the category, Illy wore a T-shirt that shouted out some of the most exciting names in the space. It featured artists A.GIRL, Becca Hatch, Billymaree, Chanel Loren, KYE, Lara Andalo, Larissa Lambert, Liyah Knight, Pania and Shanae

On his Instagram stories later that night, he stated, "Congratulations to Budjerah for winning Best Soul/RnB. An incredible artist already doing incredible things and destined for many more. Deserved the absolute fuck out of it, and it was a privilege to present him the award."

On Instagram, Liyah Knight thanked Illy for repping her name and the entire scene, stating, "Shout out to Illy using his space to bring attention to an incredibly special moment happening right now in R&B."

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A GIRL also shoutout out Illy calling him a "mad c*nt," and expressing her interest in copping the shirt. 

In order to be nominated for an ARIA Award nomination in the category of best Soul / R&B the album or single, “must be released in the Current Eligibility Period or the Previous Eligibility Period and must have appeared in: the ARIA Top 100 Albums chart; the ARIA Top 100 Singles Chart; ARIA Top 40 Hip Hop/R&B Albums Chart; ARIA Top 40 Hip Hop/R&B Singles Chart; ARIA Top 20 Australian Hip Hop/R&B Singles Chart; OR ARIA Top 10 Australian Hip Hop/R&B Albums Chart.”

The ARIA awards are meant to be the pinnacle of Australian music, showcasing the amazing and best voices, artists and creators that Australian music has on offer. Does its eligibility system reflect that?

Some of the best soul music and R&B in Australia’s history has been made in the last few years, with the genre emerging as one of Australia’s most promising international exports. We need this trend to be recognised on our biggest stages, both to reward the amazing artists but also to showcase to the wider industry that soul music and R&B is here to stay.

You can check out the shirt below.