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The J Files Podcast

Music Podcasts

The J Files is Double J's music doco show bringing together artists and fans to share and explore the stories behind the music you love. Each week the Double J radio program and online feature dig through archives, rarities and your experiences to create an in-depth profile of an artist, album or idea. It's your ticket to music discovery.




The J Files is Double J's music doco show bringing together artists and fans to share and explore the stories behind the music you love. Each week the Double J radio program and online feature dig through archives, rarities and your experiences to create an in-depth profile of an artist, album or idea. It's your ticket to music discovery.




2023: The Year That Was

2023 had moments for huge celebrations - we were gripped by Matildas fever, celebrated the 50th anniversary since hip hop began its ascent to dominance, saw technology make the impossible possible and heard more great albums than we can count. And music has been there through the hard times too - with devastating global conflicts, a referendum defeat and escalating cost of living pressures. Join Caz Tran as she reflects on some of the year’s biggest music and cultural moments, tracks that got us pumped as well as a whole heap to get excited for in 2024.


DJ Shadow

DJ Shadow (Josh Davis) changed the game of instrumental hip hop in the 1990s. An early signee of British label Mo' Wax, his debut album Endtroducing….. blew minds with its fusion of electronic music and hip hop beats and it was entirely composed using samples. But he's not been content to peddle more of the same. Keeping us guessing, pushing himself and the music forward with each release he's experimented with composing, bringing collaborators onboard (like Run The Jewels) and finding new ways of sourcing samples. DJ Shadow recently released his seventh studio album Action Adventure and it’s the perfect time for us to follow him into the studio, backstage at some of the biggest festivals and into crate-filled basements of record stores to understand how he makes his music. In this episode we also hear how Australian producers, musicians and DJs Katalyst, Joelistics and Beatrice Lewis rate DJ Shadow.


Olivia Newton-John

Olivia Newton-John is one of the best selling artists of all time. Across a six-decade career that spanned music, stage, screen and health advocacy, she firmly embedded herself in our hearts. Before the huge success of Grease she’d already made her name as a recording artist, earning Grammys, Country Music Awards and a swathe of hit singles. The story of Olivia Newton-John is full of interesting bumps and swerves. She came first in a TV talent contest as a teenager that won her a trip to England where her career first took off. She went from starring in a 1970s sci-fi film that flopped to being cast as a lead in Grease after a chance meeting at a dinner party at Helen Reddy's house. And she nearly didn't release her hit song Physical because she felt it was too risqué! For the final episode of Aus Music Month get to know this legendary singer, performer and advocate who died last year at the age of 73.



We’re handing the mic to Yorta Yorta rapper and Double J's Australian Artist of the Year winner Briggs. Adam Briggs has carved out such an important legacy in Australian music. From his early days in Shepparton, supporting artists like MC Reason, Funkoars and The Hilltop Hoods to teaming up with Trials in A.B. Original, building his own label Bad Apples Music, and mentoring the next crop of rappers. The J Files celebrates this legend with archive and reflections from Trials, Reason, The Hilltop Hoods, Nooky, BARKAA, DJ Jaytee and more.


Ron S. Peno

He may not be a household name, but Ron S. Peno had all the makings of a star. From his smalltown regional NSW upbringing to his early glam and punk groups in Brisbane and Sydney, to wowing audiences overseas and being splashed across the coolest music mags, his life and legacy is as colourful and chaotic as it has been artistic and influential. He was a singer, a songwriter, keen collaborator and dynamic frontman for many different bands, most notably Died Pretty—with albums like Doughboy Hollow, Free Dirt, Every Brilliant Eye remaining on high rotation with music lovers to this day. After Died Pretty, Peno continued performing and recording music, forming alt-country duo The Darling Downs with Kim Salmon and Ron S. Peno and The Superstitions with Cam Butler. His presence and contribution to Australian alternative rock over nearly 50 years has been immense. The J Files is paying tribute to this charismatic, unique and bold singer who died in August this year at the age of 68.


Camp Cope

For eight years Camp Cope shook up the Australian music industry with their fearless anthems, raw punk rock and stand against sexism and harassment. After three albums, countless live shows and a music industry forever changed by their advocacy, Georgia Maq, Sarah Thompson and Kelly-Dawn Hellmrich have decided to call it a day. This episode of The J Files celebrates this trailblazing band and their legacy. It features one of their last ever interviews, reflections from fans at their final Sydney Opera House show and from musicians like Teenage Joans, Jen Cloher and Ben Lee.


The Chicks

In the late 90s and early 2000s The Chicks (formerly The Dixie Chicks) were the biggest selling female group in the U.S—selling tens of millions of records and changing the face of country music. The trio weren’t afraid to do things their own way—maintaining independence from their label and speaking out about social justice issues. But their comments about George W. Bush at the height of the Iraq War in 2003 saw them blacklisted from country radio stations, receive death threats, have their CDs burnt in public and their songs tumble from the charts. They’ve regrouped, renamed and have come back fighting. Get the full story of the rise, fall, and rise again, of The Chicks ahead of their Australian tour. Featuring stories and reflections from Chicks fans Tami Neilson, Freya Josephine Hollick, Fanny Lumsden, Georgia Maq and more.



Jamiroquai’s blend of soul, funk, rock, house and jazz was an instant hit. Songs like ‘Cosmic Girl’, ‘Little L’, 'Love Foolosophy' and ‘Virtual Insanity’ are still on high rotation across dancefloors around the world. Fronted by charismatic singer Jay Kay, the English group are in the country later this month to play Harvest Rock festival. This episode is a chance to dive deep into their sound and story—travelling from the early 1990s to now. Featuring archival interviews with Jay Kay, Acid Jazz label founder Eddie Piller, fansite owner David Rowe, and Jamiroquai fans DJ Nina Las Vegas and Allan McConnell from electronic duo Close Counters.


The Birthday Party

Australian post-punk group The Birthday Party were loud, raucous and genre-defying. Forming in 1973 as The Boys Next Door, they found limited audiences on home turf and in 1980 they jetted overseas for a crack at breaking into the London music scene, changing their name in the process. The Birthday Party's famously raucous live shows were often confronting and disturbing, and their ferocious sound as a band was a potent cocktail of depravity, absurdity, and the primitive—leading them to be dubbed by the press as "one of the most violent bands in Britain". The group was relatively short-lived, although albums and EPs like Junkyard, Prayers On Fire, Mutiny! and The Bad Seed influenced plenty of bands both in the UK and Australia. The Birthday Party also launched the legendary music careers of Rowland S Howard, Mick Harvey and Nick Cave. In this episode of The J Files hear archival interviews with the band, sound engineer Tony Cohen, filmmaker Ian White, biographer Mark Mordue as well as fresh reflections from Warren Ellis, Tex Perkins and Party Dozen.


Kylie Minogue

Australia has produced its fair share of pop stars, but few are as cherished as Kylie Minogue. From humble soap star beginnings to worldwide chart domination, moving effortlessly between pop, dance, and indie, she has truly earned her title as Queen of Reinvention. On the eve of her sixteenth studio album Tension with instant dancefloor hits 'Padam Padam' and 'Tension' we're bringing you up to speed on how she went from doing 'The Loco-Motion' to being an international superstar. With huge thanks to Gemma Pike, Gab Burke and everyone involved in the 2018 Kylie Minogue J Files that this episode is built upon.


System of a Down

System of a Down's blend of thrash metal, alternative rock and politics was like nothing we'd ever heard before. Songs like 'Chop Suey', 'Aerials' and 'Toxicity' introduced new fans to heavy music in the late 90s and early 2000s – and were major breakthrough hits for the Armenian-American band that thought they'd never be played on radio. This popularity sat uncomfortably with some of the band, who wanted System to represent a middle finger to conformity and mainstream commercial success. In this episode of The J Files hear interviews with all four band members from the triple j archives discussing the politics, the tension and the legendary live shows. We also check in with triple j legends Emmy Mack, Courtney Fry and Lochlan Watt about why they're still loving System of a Down all these years on.


Kendrick Lamar

On the 50th anniversary of hip hop The J Files shines the light on one of the 21st Century's most important voices - Kendrick Lamar. The Compton rapper has had a stratospheric rise since releasing his early mixtapes under the name K.Dot. With five studio albums, a swag of GRAMMYs and a Pulitzer Prize under his belt - he's managed to maintain his artistic integrity and the respect of his peers. Albums like good kid, m.A.A.d city, To Pimp A Butterfly and DAMN. cemented him as a musical icon, but they're not necessarily easy listens. His records are complex and dense conceptual works of art, requiring patience and focused attention. So how has he managed to crossover in such a huge way— commercially as an artist, as well as legitimising the language of hip hop and the stories of the streets? To get the low down on Kendrick Lamar this episode features interviews with the man himself, his biographer Marcus J. Moore, his collaborators Thundercat, Robert Glasper and Kamasi Washington and Australian rappers taking cues from the King - Sampa The Great, JK-47, Tkay Maidza, Ziggy Ramo, B Wise and Tasman Keith.


The Panics

Twenty years ago The Panics (Jae Laffer, Drew Wootton, Paul Otway, Jules Douglas and Myles Wootton) released their debut record A House on a Street in a Town I'm From. It was brimming with sun-streaked visions and hazy memories of the people, places and experiences of their hometown Perth. It was clear straight away that this band was onto something special. Across five critically acclaimed albums (including ARIA and J Award winner Cruel Guards), a handful of EPs, relentless touring and massive tracks like 'Don’t Fight It', 'Creaks' and 'My Best Mistake' the band have helped soundtrack some of the key moments in our lives. Singer Jae Laffer guides us through the story of the band, from screen-printing Panics T-shirts in high school art class to being scouted by the Happy Mondays drummer Gaz Whelan to performing on stage with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra.


Angélique Kidjo

Angélique Kidjo's powerful voice, infectious enthusiasm and fusion of African rhythms and dancefloor-ready pop music has had the world grooving for close to four decades. Born in Benin, the singer songwriter and activist moved to Paris in her 20s and is now based in New York. Since the early 1990s albums like Logozo and Ayé and hits like 'Agolo' 'Batonga' and 'Wombo Lombo' caught the attention of music fans and DJs in Australia and around the world. Angélique Kidjo is an artist who is constantly pushing the boundaries. As well as singing her own songs in many different languages, she's covered artists like Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix and Talking Heads (her 2018 re-imagining of Remain In Light is a standout). And she's collaborated widely—from Sampa The Great to Phillip Glass and the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra. Hear interviews with Angélique from her many tours down under, as well as from tour promoter Mark Sydow who brought her to Australia for the first time, African music broadcaster Stani Goma, and former triple j World Music Show presenter Jaslyn Hall.


Women in Hip Hop

From its South Bronx beginnings to being the dominant force in music, the evolution of hip hop has been extraordinary – and incredible women have been there every step of the way. They’ve told their stories, vented their spleens, and brought wisdom and spirit – as well as sass and attitude – to hip hop. And in the process, they’ve been a major force in embedding rap music’s place in the mainstream. The J Files bows down to generations of these heavy hitters who injected their own flavour into a male-dominated scene. Hear from artists and hip hop lovers Sampa The Great, Salt-N-Pepa, Rico Nasty, Lauryn Hill, MC Trey, Okenyo, Mawunyo Gbogbo, Tkay Maidza, M.I.A, BARKAA and more. This episode originally aired in May 2022 and was produced by Sam Wicks, with thanks to Gab Burke, Corynne Tait, Phoebe Bennett and Mawunyo Gbogbo.


Courtney Barnett

Courtney Barnett is one of the most important songwriters of a generation. Songs like 'Avant Gardener', 'Depreston' and 'Pedestrian at Best' find joy in the mundane and have taken Courtney's self-deprecation, dry sense of humour, and playful storytelling to an international audience. Courtney Barnett’s story is entwined with that of Milk! Records, the label she founded from her Melbourne bedroom back in 2012 to release her first EP I've Got A Friend Called Emily Ferris. Digging into a decade of interviews, live performances, albums, EPs and B-sides, The J Files charts the stratospheric rise of this singer songwriter and finds out what the next chapter holds. We’ll also hear from Milk! Records label artists Jen Cloher and Fraser A. Gorman, as well as filmmaker Danny Cohen, musicians Kim Deal, A.C. Newman, Darren Hanlon and Sibylla Stephen (The Little Stevies).


No Fixed Address

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander listeners are advised that this program contains voices, names and music of people who have died. When No Fixed Address formed on Kaurna Country in the late 1970s, their fusion of rock and reggae was like nothing we'd ever heard before. They were sometimes referred to as "Australia's most controversial band" because their lyrics fought back against racism and colonialism (especially in songs like 'Pigs', 'Black Man's Rights' and 'We Have Survived'), and their reggae rhythms got us dancing, and listening, to what they had to say. No Fixed Address were the first Aboriginal band to tour overseas, and their appearance in the film Wrong Side of the Road brought issues facing First Nations musicians to national attention and helped to blaze a trail for artists and storytellers that followed. This episode features Bart Willoughby and Ricky Harrison of No Fixed Address, along with fans of the band like Goanna's Shane Howard, journalist and producer Russell Guy, ABC host of Island Music Rick Howe and Gumbaynggirr rapper Wire MC.



Kraftwerk were true innovators, blurring the line between human and machine and always on the forefront of musical technology. But how did these self-described musical outsiders from Düsseldorf, who were classically trained, neatly groomed, and softly spoken, go on to have such an immense impact on the development of electronic music, as well both hip hop and techno? There’s a lot to unpack in Kraftwerk’s sound, story and success—spanning from their early acoustic albums of the 1970s like Kraftwerk and Ralf and Florian, to the highly produced concept albums Trans-Europe Express, Autobahn, Computer World and The Man Machine. In this episode we’ll be exploring Kraftwerk’s sonic development with founding member Ralf Hütter, as well as a roll call of fans from all corners of music…people like Beck, Brian Eno, Dan Whitford (Cut Copy), Kate Crawford (B(if)tek), Elton John, Max Richter, John Foxx (Ultravoxx) and more.


De La Soul

Trailblazing trio De La Soul cemented their place in hip hop history with their astonishing debut album 3 Feet High and Rising which blended humour, playful samples and a flower power image that was at odds with gangsta rap ethos of the time. Over 30 years and across eight more albums, Kelvin "Posdnuos" Mercer, David "Trugoy the Dove" Jolicoeur, and Vincent "Maseo" Mason have kept that inventive spirit alive, experimenting with concepts, skits, live instrumentation, obscure samples, eclectic collaborators and a sharp eye on social and political issues. 2023 has been a year of great highs and lows for the group—in February, Jolicoeur AKA Trugoy The Dove died at the age of just 54. A few weeks later, the group’s music finally appeared on streaming platforms for the first time after decades of complex, and protracted battles with their label. Joining the party to celebrate De La Soul on the eve of the 50th anniversary of hip hop is Sky High's Hau Latukefu , Urthboy, DJ Nick Toth, 1200 Techniques, Chief Xcel from Blackalicious and many more.


Vale Joy McKean

Joy McKean isn't the biggest name in Australian music, but she has every right to be. The first ever Golden Guitar winner, the writer of so many of Australia's most iconic country songs, a workhorse who, along with her husband Slim Dusty, blazed a trail for what an artist could do in this country. Her music has helped bring communities together across the nation and her influence is impossible to overstate. Learn more about her incredible life and career in this special celebration of a true icon. This episode of The J Files was originally broadcast in November 2021. In light of the news of Joy McKean's passing, we've re-released the broadcast as a podcast on 26 May 2023.