Music

“It’s Not Our Opinion, It’s Fucking History”: Dan Sultan On The Australia Day Debate

"The biggest thing about white entitlement is that they think it’s a myth."

This year hip-hop duo A.B. Original hit number 16 in the Hottest 100 with their track ‘January 26’ — a song about the racism and ignorance that clouds Australia Day. It was a tad awkward for triple j, given that’s precisely the date the national music poll is broadcast on.

Six months on, the #ChangeTheDate campaign hasn’t lost its momentum — just yesterday, triple j invited listeners to vote on whether the station should move the date of the Hottest 100.

One artist firmly in favour of moving not just the Hottest 100 — but Australia Day entirely — is Dan Sultan, who also appears on ‘January 26’.

In an interview with Music Junkee to promote his new album Killer, Sultan has explained that ‘January 26’ isn’t a protest song — it’s the exact opposite.

“I don’t see that as a protest, I see it as pointing to the scoreboard,” he told us. “It is what it is, whether people want to believe it or not. It’s completely beside the point. It’s the fucking history of this country. It’s not our opinion, it’s fucking what happened, and is happening.

“A spade is a spade. It’s not a protest at all. If anything, it’s a protest to deny it.”

He’s got strong words for those who don’t want to listen to the message of ‘January 26’. “If there’s anyone out there whose connection to this place is so fucking fragile and flimsy that someone giving them a history lesson about the place that they apparently love so much is threatening, then they can go fuck themselves. They’re not patriots, they’re nationalists and they’re racists. Why is their fucking security threatened by us feeling more secure?”

“The biggest thing about white entitlement is that they think it’s a myth. Like, it’s not up to them to decide what I’m offended by — it’s up to me whether I’m offended.”

Read our full interview with Dan Sultan — where he talks Killer, the empathy you need to be a good songwriter, and making ends meet as a muso – over here.