22 year old J-MILLA is a proud member of the Mak Mak Marranunga people, the traditional landowners of the Litchfield National Park in the NT.
"My young life started hard from the get-go, yet I managed to find a way to stand outside the intergenerational trauma pathway that affects so many Aboriginal families."
"Losing myself in music and storytelling was what got me through, and it was this part of my culture that I clung to. I noticed the power of narrative and [the] influence it had on mob, so I turned that into my own storytelling style.”
With tracks that oscillate between banging club vibes and social commentary on subjects like racism, Indigenous incarceration rates and mental illness, he hopes he can bring people together through music. His 2018 collaboration with M4SONIC, ‘Matchstick’ racked up 400k streams, but it’s his latest release, ‘Unlock the System’ which cemented his status as a rapidly rising MC. Written on a flight to Darwin, the song is J-MILLA’s response to the shooting of Indigenous teenager Kumanjayi Walker at the hands of a police officer in Yuendumu. He’s since been featured twice as a ‘Spotlight Artist’ on triple j Unearthed, and sold out a headline performance at Darwin Festival.
Joining #TheBIGSOUND50 has boosted J-MILLA's confidence and motivated him to keep striving towards his dream of taking his music worldwide. By connecting with new Aussie artists and meeting new people in the industry, he hopes his music will reach an even wider audience.
”I want to be a role model for the youth, [to] give back and to show them that they can do whatever they want if they put their minds to it.”
While 2020 has been rough, J-MILLA has made use of his downtime to work on new material, and to set out and structure his live shows. “I am now ready… to come out of COVID-19 with a massive bang!”