The Triple J Hottest 100 has become one of the staple components of a true blue Australia Day bash. In 2015, celebrants will be sure to don their Aussie flag tattoos, sip on a few brewskies, put a few snags on the barbie and excitedly countdown the top tracks played by Triple J this year…perhaps to a song that has in fact never been played by the station.
Buzzfeed Australia kickstarted a grassroots social media campaign two days ago beseeching Taylor Swift fans to get ‘Shake it Off’ into the countdown. Thanks to #Tay4Hottest100, the song has gained massive momentum over the last 24 hours and according to SportsBet is now sitting the second favourite to win behind Peking Duk’s High.
Tay-Tay has overtaken the likes of Chet Faker, Hilltop Hoods, Mark Ronson, Milky Chance and Sia to establish herself as a firm contender for the top spot. The song did not feature on the Triple J Hottest 100 shortlist due to lack of airplay, however, fans have taken it upon themselves to add it in to the voting process.
The Hottest 100 voting rules state that triple J “reserves the right to remove artists from the list who have benefited from competitions or commercial campaigns that incentivise fans to vote for them”. Triple J are yet to officially reveal whether the move is above board or not. However, Triple J station manager has reportedly told News Corp that, “people are welcome to add songs manually to their voting shortlist and those votes count exactly the same as anything voted from the Triple J list.”
Buzzfeed kicked off the campaign, attributing Swift’s lack of airplay to ‘music snobbery’. As FasterLouder aptly pointed out, Triple J does have a history of a few double standards when it comes to their aversion for mainstream music. For example, Iggy Azalea’s Fancy was nowhere to be seen on the list, despite it being played on a frosty morning back in May. Similarly, Milky Chance has crossed over into commercial pop, as did the winner of the competition in 2012, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ Thrift Shop.
Regardless of whether Triple J is being snobbish about its music choices, the fact of the matter is that their music choices have already been made. Triple J is dedicated to uncovering new bands, playing “music made in bedrooms and garages around Australia by people we’ve never heard of” and music they see live or discover online. They provide an alternative to mainstream commercial music and give a voice to the local or unheard-of bands.
Ultimately, the decision will obviously rest with Triple J themselves. But having an artist win a competition by a station that they’ve never been played on would be like going to Antarctica to enjoy a Moroccan delicacy.
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