psychedelic rock band King Gizzard and the Lizard Sorcerer won the first Environmental Music Awardwhich pays tribute to Australian songwriters and musicians who inspire action on climate and conservation and “move billions of people from apathy to action”.
The genre rockers beat out 23 finalists, including Briggs, Lime Cordiale and Paul Kelly.
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard’s 2020 song “If Not Now, Then When?” and the accompanying music video won the award. The song, written after the Black Summer 2019 bushfires in Australia, includes the lyrics; “If not now, then when?” When the forest will have almost disappeared? When will the hole be in the ozone layer? When the bees will be gone?
The music video shows an animated post-apocalyptic world that eventually disappears completely.
“We need real, real, tangible action from our leaders, otherwise what good are they?” frontman Stu Mackenzie explained after receiving the award. “Why don’t we do all we humanly can to right our wrongs? When we are literally on fire, why not now? If not now, then when?”
The award was open to any Australian citizen who had published an original work within the previous five years.
A pre-selection committee made up of artists and creatives, as well as musical and environmental partners, selected the finalists. A public vote of over 7,000 people in 58 countries then selected King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard as the winner.
The group announced they would donate the A$20,000 winnings to a conservation organization The savage society.
Djugun’s proud wife, Nidala Baker meanwhile won the Emerging Environmental Songwriter award for her collaboration on “Our Song with The Tambah Projectan initiative that aims to link music and storytelling to environmental sustainability.
All proceeds from the song were dedicated to a biodiversity support and education organization, Wild Ark.
The power of music to inspire collective action is something Global Citizen truly appreciates.
That’s why Global Citizen has a rewards program that incentivizes and thanks Global Citizens for taking action by donating tickets to the world’s hottest concerts and enduring gifts like clothing and household items. Global Citizen’s festival events, which have seen performances by artists like Beyoncè, Ed Sheeran, Rihanna and Coldplay, are another way Global Citizen is working to unite pop and politics in the mission to end the extreme poverty.
Through the musicians who lent their voices, the actions of Global Citizens, tireless policy and advocacy work, and partners, Global Citizen has helped mobilize the distribution of US$41 billion, impacting US$1.15 billion of lives to date.