Australian artist Whitley has slammed radio station Triple J for its narrow-minded playlist, saying that it has failed as a tax-payer funded station. The statement, made via his Facebook page, comes after a Fairfax report was published, claiming musicians were altering their sound to suit Triple J.
“JJJ has an excruciatingly narrow-minded playlist that caters for the lowest common denominator, wrote Whitley on his page. “In my opinion they’ve failed as a tax-payer funded radio station that is supposed to challenge and present new ideas for the youth of Australia.”
Several anonymous artists were quoted in the original report as having deliberately catered their songwriting to appeal to what they call the “Triple J sound”. Said a 27-year-old Melbourne musician, “We did, to be honest, cater the songwriting to Triple J in the beginning.” The artists declined to be named for fear of repercussions.
But yesterday Whitley, real name Lawrence Greenwood, came forth with his criticism of the station after a comment was made on his Facebook Page asking why his album Even The Stars Are A Mess, wasn’t included in the voting for the upcoming Hottest 100.
“Because JJJ didn’t play any of Even The Stars Are a Mess,” responded Whitley. While he thanked triple j for helping kick off his career, the artist also criticised the station for failing to challenge and present new ideas for the youth of Australia.
“As a tax-paying Australian, I reserve the right to criticise the changes in JJJ over the last decade, which I see as detrimental to the expansion and nourishment of young minds of limitless potential,” he wrote during a debate that surged on the social media site, with fans and detractors alike commenting on the his remarks.
Music journalist Nick Milligan also joined in on the debate. “My biggest problem with Triple J is their apparent desire to pander to what they think their demographic might like, rather than choosing the best quality music and actually being “taste”makers” and guiding the listening audience,” he wrote.
In a subsequent post Whitley defended his right to an opinion, while clarifying his intentions in making these comments. “This is an opinion, we all have them, I don’t personalise them by saying ‘Richard Kingsmill is a bad person and he is a bla bla bla…’ I simply disagree with how the radio station is run,” he wrote.
“I’m not doing this for fun or attention, or to vent,” continues the artist. “Do you think JJJ will play my shit again? I doubt it. So did the five musicians in The Age article last week, but they wouldn’t say their names so it kind of had no-one standing behind it. Now there is.”