Inaugural Hilltop Hoods Initiative winner, Jimblah is an Indigenous Hip Hop Artist shaking up Australia’s Hip Hop scene. A proud member of the Larrakia, Yanyuwa, Bardi and Wardaman Nations, Jimblah was born in Broome, Western Australia and grew up in Katherine in the Northern Territory. More recently, Jimblah has been living and making music in Adelaide, South Australia. His influences include Soul, Rhythm & Blues, Gospel, Funk & Reggae to name a few. Winner of the prestigious Hilltop Hoods Initiative in 2007, Jimblah has since become a name associated with such artists as A-Love, BVA from Mnemonic Ascent, Karnage & Darkness and The Last Kinection. He has performed at countless festivals including The Spirit Festival, The Dreaming, Stylin up, Big Day Out, Groove Is In The Park and Good Vibrations. Jimblah also helps out wherever he can in the local Indigenous Hip Hop scene in Adelaide, often supporting local and emerging Indigenous talent. Jimblah celebrates his Indigenous roots, with a strength that shines through in his music. He is also strongly committed to the positive aspects of Hip Hop culture and its empowering ability to influence and change lives. As a youngster he moved from the northern parts of Australia to Adelaide and quickly fell in to the Hip Hop scene. Originally leaning towards more commercial Hip Hop, Jimblah became involved in the local Adelaide Hip Hop scene, discovering more about Hip Hop as a way of life and as a cultural movement that he became increasingly a part of. He started out freestyling regularly, rapping with others and writing tracks at the tender age of 15. Nowadays, as well as fast-becoming a veteran rapper, Jimblah is also a well-respected DJ and Producer. He’s passionate about Production and aims to produce much of his own music, as well as others. Jimblah is well known as a strong young Aboriginal man, highly respected amongst his peers and wider community. As well as his music, Jimblah has worked hard as a tutor over the past seven years. He is employed by organisations such as Deadly Vibe, Lower Murray Nungas Club, Carclew Youth Arts and Kurruru Youth Performing Arts. Through mentoring and teaching, Jimblah has had the chance to teach what he loves – Hip Hop. He has had the opportunity to run workshops in regional areas such as the Flinders Ranges, Ceduna, Leigh Creek, Maree, Copley, Iga Warta, Port Lincoln, Port Augusta, Swan Hill, Townsville, Albany, Goulburn, Broome and the list goes on. He also teaches in various schools and detention centres around Adelaide. Jimblah has toured extensively across Australia, using both his music and intellect to give voice to young people, particularly Indigenous Australians. As such, Jimblah was invited to represent Australian and Indigenous Hip Hop, nationally and international as a member of the Australian Youth Music Council, attending the 3rd International World Music Forum in Tunisia, North Africa. Jimblah made such an impression, he was invited to run his own session at the 4th International World Music Forum in Tallin, Estonia, Hip Hop As a Tool For Social Change. To date, Jimblah is the only Indigenous Australian to have represented Australia at this prestigious international forum, a role he carries with enthusiasm and great respect. Jimblah has just released his self produced debut album Face The Fire, and has a national tour planned for 2012. A couple of film clips are also in the works, so make sure you keep a lookout for this artist in the near future as big things are promised.
A proud member of the Larrakia, Yanyuwa, Bardi and Wardaman Nations, Jimblah is an Indigenous MC and producer with his heart on his sleeve and his head on his shoulders. Check out his thoughtful, soulful and impassioned rhymes here on Unearthed.
Tell us about your music - how did you develop your sound?
My Dad is a musician/songwriter, so music was everywhere throughout my child hood. I started playing the drums at the age of 6 or 7 and later on down the track, I got into Hip Hop. Eventually I began to produce and write my own songs, and also DJ here and there. I draw from many different genres, but I think soul/gospel/rap describes my music best. I love to sample, but I also love to use live instrumentation and mess with synths and stuff like that. I mainly rap, but I also like to sing stuff as well.
What’s the Jimblah live show like?
You will never ever know, unless you never ever go! haha. Nah, we have fun, but we also try to get you to stop and think about a few things on the way.
You’ve done a lot of work to encourage and inspire other Indigenous Australians through music, but tell us about the bands, producers and people in the Indigenous music community that inspire you.
Trials, from the Funkoars, is a big inspiration for me. His hard work and dedication to his craft is awesome. Also, The Last Kinection are as cool as they come. The list goes on, Dan Sultan, Kev Carmody, Frank Yamma, Impossible Odds. My biggest hero ever though is Pemulwuy. What a Boss. Brother must've had the meanest of songs.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given and who was it from?
Mum said that "Nothing is supposed to be easy". Lord Finesse said "Patience plus persistence".
What’s coming up in 2012?
I'm hitting the road a fair bit with workshops and some shows plus Ive got some big news dropping real soon. Ive also got a new clip in the works, which will be released within a few months. Other than that, I'm in the studio working on my next release which will drop next year.
Australian music is...
...Awesome. Its really cool that we have our own thing going on down here. A is for Awesome.View Profile Hide Interview
09 Aug 2012
This is how it r...
This is how it runs... You can have the skill, the lyrics, the delivery, but if you don't have the passion behind it, all that won't matter. Jimblah is a near-perfect example of when all these things come together. Keep an eye on this lad. He is destined for great things.