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Tenzin and Innessa named finalists for the 2017 QMAs

Tenzin and Innessa named finalists for the 2017 QMAs

QMusic this week revealed the 2017 finalists for the annual Queensland Music Awards (QMA), and we are thrilled to announce that two of our artists have made the list!

After months of deliberation by over 60 esteemed industry judges, Tenzin Choegyal and Innessa have emerged triumphant from among thousands of entries, to be named as two of finalists in the World Music category. Presented by Hutchinson Builders and Bank of Queensland, with support from APRA AMCOS the QMA awards ceremony will be held at the Brisbane Powerhouse on March 27.


Tenzin Choegyal

Born to a nomad Tibetan family, Tenzin Choegyal came to Australia in 1997 with little more than a bag, his Dranyen and a voice full of passion for the homeland he was displaced from at the age of four.

Over the years, Tenzin’s mystical vocals and instrumentation has seen him forge a successful international career as a musician, playing to packed audiences at WOMAD, Woodford Folk Festival and Concerts for Tibet at Carnegie Hall, New York.

In addition to his solo performances, Tenzin has been an avid collaborator with musicians from diverse cultures, traditions and genres, including Patti Smith and Phillip Glass.


“Snow Lion,” the song for which Tenzin was nominated, he wrote in Japan in the midst of the environmental disaster that was triggered by the Fukushima Accident on 11 March 2011.

“This song is about leaving fear behind and finding refuge in fearlessly facing the challenge that has been placed before you.”

“Snow Lion” was released on Tenzin’s album “Heart Strings” which he describes as a biography through song. He will be performing it at the opening night of the Festival of Tibet on 26 April with the Camerata Queensland Chamber Orchestra.

Innessa-3-big -ed


Innessa is a Russian singer/songwriter that migrated to Australia shortly after graduating from University. With Russian Folk Music a clear influence in her unique musical style that combines dreamy, emotional lyrics sung over a mixture of eclectic styles, Innessa has become a firm favourite in the world music scene, performing at some of the country’s largest multicultural and folk music festivals.

Since arriving in Australia she has released three albums, “Innessa”, “Folklorica” and “Love-n-Jazz”.

“I am very excited that my song “Yasen” was selected as a finalist for the 2017 QMA World Music Award,” she said.

“Yasen” (Ash Tree) was the first song Innessa wrote in a traditional Russian folk style. She said in it a lonely person is compared with an ash tree slowly withering away.

“Back then I was left with a broken heart sitting in a shade alone, feeling lost, torn apart, my soul wanted to scream helplessly, instead I opened my mouth and started vocalising in a traditional Russian folk style,” she said.

“At that moment nothing else could express my feelings better than that. I poured my feelings out into the air (and a piece of paper) and that’s how the song “Yasen” was born.”

The QMAs grew out of the annual Q Song Awards, which between 2006 and 2010 received close to 8000 entries and highlighted Queensland’s finest musical talent, including Kate Miller-Heidke, Kev Carmody, Bernard Fanning, The Grates, Hungry Kids of Hungary, Emma Louise and The John Steel Singers, to name but a few.

In 2011 Q Song evolved into the Queensland Music Awards, which continues to recognise excellence in songwriting and provide a platform for Queensland artists to catapult their careers onto a national stage. The QMAs have unearthed many artists over the years, especially in the Schools Category – Sahara Beck and Emma Louise are both previous award recipients in this category.

Music fans will also soon be able to have their say in the BOQ People’s Choice Awards by voting for their favourite artists in the Most Popular FemaleMost Popular Male and Most Popular Group categories – voting starts on Feb 28.

The Awards ceremony will also feature awards to Highest Selling Album, Highest Selling Single, and the Export Achievement award, recognising Queensland artists taking their music to the world.

Limited tickets to attend the ceremony are available to the public via the Brisbane Powerhouse box office