Gemma Pike, Triple J Presenter
Gemma Pike is a musical legend, who you can hear most weekends brightening up the airwaves on triple j. Her positivity and infectious smile keep our hearts happy, while her musical choices keep our ears happy. Thanks for your excellent advice on list-keeping, zero-fucks and your insights into women in the music industry. We're so excited that you're our Make Nice Dance Party DJ!
What do you do?
Do you have a maxim that you live and work by?
List it! I swear by lists. Everything from a daily to-do breakdown, to prioritising projects and events, even future planning and dreaming. There’s power in writing it down, and immense satisfaction in getting to cross things off.
What are the three milestones that have led you to where you stand?
1). Volunteering with RTRfm 92.1 for my formative radio years – they’re a fantastic community radio station in Perth without whom I would not have a career.
2). Applying for a job at triple j, which I didn’t get, but Richard Kingsmill was on the panel and took a chance on me in another role.
3). And hosting Summer Breakfast in 2011 – filling in for Tom and Alex, brand new to triple j (and Sydney) and absolutely out of my depth. It was baptism by fire, and it forced me to grow really quickly both in my broadcasting craft, and as a person.
What is your dream project?
Broadcasting a remote new releases program - one that would allow me to travel the world in search of the greatest new sounds, and then share them weekly, no matter where I might be.
What projects do you have in the pipeline?
Looking at podcast/online only content at the moment, curatorial projects for people wanting to be steered in the right direction of good sounds. And a lot of personal/non radio projects right now, including painting some new portraits.
If you could choose to hear any female contemporary present at Make Nice, who would it be and why?
Any woman who keeps doing what she’s doing with 100% passion and zero fucks, really! But… Patti Smith is an absolute idol and I would die to hear her talk. PJ Harvey would also be incredible on the back of her new album. And Gaby Hoffmann,
What is the best advice you’ve been given, or wish you had been told sooner?
“Don’t ignore the ogre”. Going back to my love of lists, if there is something on there that is glaringly ugly or laborious, just get it done and out of the way. And… “don’t play anything you don’t love”. While that was said to me in relation to radio programming, I think it’s true of all arts and culture. Don’t bang on about something if you’re not connected to it. People can smell bullshit from a mile away.
Do you have a supportive female network in your field? Was it always this way?
HUGE. triple j, the ABC, community radio and the music scene in general has so many boss women. While it’s not as represented in upper management roles (yet) or the number of women making music – on a peer level, I’ve got some of the most inspirational and supportive women anyone could ever ask for just a phone call away.
What are you listening to, reading, watching of late, that is inspiring or entertaining you?
HBO’s Vinyl has really hooked me in! I keep going back to Empress Of’s debut album ‘Me’, loving Madeleine Pfull’s artwork, reading a really trashy biography on The 27 Club… high brow lit around the corner, I promise.
What is one facet of your field that you want to see change?
I’d love to see more women making music. Currently only 21.5% registered members with APRA in Australia are female.