Music

Indigenous Artists Are Petitioning Triple J To #ChangeTheGame With A First Nations Show

"It feels like now is the right time."

#ChangeTheGame Triple J campaign

Rapper, producer and Larrakia man Jimblah has kicked off a campaign called #ChangeTheGameTripleJ, asking triple j to commit to an Indigenous content quota, a regular show dedicated to Indigenous music, and an all-Indigenous advisory for First Nations content.

A Change.org petition circulating across both First Nations and music industry circles has gained over 1,250 signatures in the past two weeks — and Jimblah promises a much bigger push in coming days. The petition acknowledges the strides the station has made by moving the Hottest 100 away from January 26 in 2018, and says that an Indigenous music show is the “next step” for triple j.

“Triple j has done some great things to further the discussion and open up greater awareness regarding First Nations Australia, including their partnership with AIME & also changing the date of the Hottest 100 countdown, so now we ask them to take the next step,” it reads.

“First Nations/Indigenous Music within this country is doing amazing things, and what better way to help nourish, grow and celebrate it with a dedicated show on the National Youth Broadcaster to help it truly thrive and gain the recognition it deserves. ”

Talking to Music Junkee, Jimblah says he’s been floating the idea since 2013, but where people then “would look at [him] funny, now so much has changed”. Not only did the #ChangeTheDate campaign see triple j move the Hottest 100 away from January 26, but there’s been a proliferation of big name Indigenous acts played on the broadcaster, such as Thelma Plum, Mojo Juju, A.B. Original and Baker Boy, for starters.

Inspired by this year’s just-passed NAIDOC week theme, ‘Treaty. Voice. Truth’, Jimblah wanted to take the energy that’s too often left in the week, and keep it going.

“[Triple j] was the first place to comes to mind, it’s so influential,” he says. “This is something we want to see across the whole industry, and going from here we will be campaigning across the whole industry… To get something popping there would change the game.”

For Jimblah, the importance of having a quota, dedicated show, and an First Nations advisory board is self-evident. While more Indigenous voices are being heard on triple j (and Australian media), there are simply more to be heard.

“It feels like now is the right time,” he says, “People are intrigued and want to know more. There’s so much more openness to these stories but only a handful are getting through, which in some ways feed stereotypes of what Blak is, what First Nations and Indigenous is and isn’t, when we need the whole spectrum here to shine light.”

Part of that is having the all-Indigenous advisory board, so that any content around Indigenous peoples comes from a body that are more attuned to the complexities of the many differing First Nations voices and communities.

“There’s complexities here that we, as First Nations people, are 100 per cent aware of but the wider Australia isn’t fully up on and don’t truly understand,” he says. “That’s why its so important to curate that content… [so that people can say] ‘Oh, it’s not what I thought it is, it’s so rich and multi-faceted.'”

You can sign the petition here.