Introducing First Sounds: The First Nations Music Collective With Jimblah, Mojo Juju & More

25 July 2019 | 4:25 pm | Jessica Dale

Including Jimblah, Yothu Yindi, Mojo Juju, Thelma Plum, Emily Wurramara and many more.

Today sees the launch of First Sounds: First Nations Collective For Traditional & Contemporary Music.

Launched by Jimblah (real name James Alberts), the Adelaide-based producer, MC and vocalist who is originally from the Larrakia Nation in Top End Northern Territory, the collective aims to create change in the Australian music industry for First Nations artists and music. 

Speaking with The Music, Alberts shares that the idea for the collective came to him following the launch of his petition on, calling for a dedicated First Nations program on national youth broadcaster triple j. It was an idea that originally came to him in 2013 but was rekindled recently off the back of this year's NAIDOC Week theme - Voice. Treaty. Truth.

"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," reads the petition.

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

Following the support of the petition online, which has picked up nearly 1,500 signatures since its launch, Alberts started considering what to do next. 

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"It came off the back of me starting the petition and one of my good friends reached out and just asked, 'What's the next step after here?' So we just started brainstorming around it.

"There's such an amazing change happening within this country when we're talking in regards to First Nations' people, it's really important that First Nations' people are the ones taking lead in that change, you know," he continues. "So that was why we started the petition for the show and quota, and also the board to curate said First Nations' content."

Just today, Alberts has shared via a Facebook post that he is on his way to Sydney to discuss the program concept with the triple j team. 

On my way to Sydney to talk w Triple J fams regarding this movement we got poppin. • Today we are also announcing the...

Posted by Jimblah on Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Ultimately, the petition has lead to First Sounds: First Nations Collective For Traditional & Contemporary Music, which includes so far includes artists Yothu Yindi, Shellie Morris, Thelma Plum, Emily Wurramara, Mojo Juju, Mi-Kaisha, Alice Sky, Kee’ahn, The Merindas, Kaylah Truth, Kobie Dee, DRMNGNOW, Dobby, Baker Boy drummer Benny Clark and Alberts himself.

"We just started reaching out, seeking interest and seeing what mob wanted to see and gauging their thoughts on all of the above," shares Alberts on how the collective came to be.

"We're here to advocate to industry, in regards to how First Nations' music is received and portrayed and curated, and the aim is firstly the proper celebration of it. 

"Nowhere in the world do we see what we see in our own backyard, and the intricacies and complexities and how enriching these stories are. How beautiful they are, how different and unique they are to each other," he continues.

"There's no two alike. There's this amazing spectrum, considering the fact of what's gone down here in this country with colonisation. So, that's something that needs to be celebrated properly, like this is such a beautiful thing, so let's do right by it and do justice by it. 

"We also want to ensure that the future of First Nations' music and songlines are taken care of and in a good place where they should be."

You can sign the petition here and find out more about Jimblah and his work here.