It’s a familiar phrase which thousands of Australians welcome with open arms – and ears – every morning.
However, few of them would be aware they’re coming from the mouth of a direct descendent of Al Capone.
Have I got your attention yet?
Hailing from a family of “rough-and-tumble little gangsters”, Linda Marigliano is in many ways more Italian than a bottle of Chianti straight from a Tuscan vineyard.
In fact, the celebrated musician and radio presenter is currently gearing up for a proper Italian Christmas Eve feast, complete with zeppole, an antipasto featuring “every pickled thing possible”, and spaghettini with baby octopus.
“Our family goes mental,” she exclaims.
“Then we do it all again on Christmas Day, only with red meat... it’s manic!”
The product of post-war migration, Linda was raised in the Sydney suburbs surrounded by a tight-knit Italian family.
Her father was born in rural Campania and migrated to Australia as a young boy in the mid-1960s.
Many members of the Marigliano clan had the same idea, ending up in Sydney as well.
From when she was a tiny tot to her final days of high school, Linda spent three days a week at her grandparents’ house, indulging in a wide spread of Italian fare prepared by her nonna Carmelinda (whom she also happens to be named after).
“All of our cousins would go,” she recalls.
“Our mums would cook with nonna and they’d all play cards afterwards.”
A self-proclaimed “oriental-meatball”, Linda is blessed with not just one, but two vastly different yet equally interesting cultural backgrounds: her mother is Chinese Malaysian and came to Australia on her own at just 19 years of age.
A talented cook, Linda’s mother soon learnt the secrets of the Italian cuisine and the traditions associated with it.
While Italian culture was a part of Linda’s everyday life, her Chinese heritage was never overshadowed.
Every year, her parents would extend the school holidays and the family would spend two months in Malaysia visiting her mother’s family.
“We experienced a beautiful melody of both cultures,” she says.
Speaking of melodies, where does Linda’s passion for music stem from?
“It’s always been there,” she says in a matter-of-fact manner.
Raised on classic rock, Linda’s interest in music was partly influenced by one particular father-daughter ritual which she fondly recalls:
“Every time I washed my hair as a girl, my dad would blow dry it.
“He had a huge vinyl collection, and each time he’d play me a different album on his record player.
“He’d talk to me about Imagine by John Lennon or why George Harrison was his favourite Beatle.”
While many kids record themselves playing radio host growing up, Linda explains this was a pastime she simply never grew out of.
In a dream-come-true moment, she landed a job with triple j straight out of university, and joined the station on a full-time basis in 2007 as a weekday lunchtime presenter.
Demonstrating clear talent from the beginning, it wasn’t long before she was co-hosting the afternoon drive show.
A year later, Linda left triple j and moved to London to pursue a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity with her band, teenagersintokyo.
After four years of recording and touring Europe with her bass guitar in tow, Linda returned to Australia and picked up right where she left off: at the triple j studio.
“I guess the lesson to be learnt there is that as long as you work hard and are on good terms with the people you work with, you’ll always have a job to come back to,” she says.
Linda began hosting the hot new evening show Good Nights, in which she championed fresh music and emerging artists, and also had listeners winding down their windows to all the classics.
Just this year, Linda traded in evenings for mornings, bringing Australians music knowledge and discoveries every day and hanging out with the nation’s favourite science expert, Doctor Karl, every Thursday.
She also launched her podcast INSPIRED, in which she chats with the likes of Tame Impala and Lily Allen about the stories behind their biggest songs.
“For me, radio has always been about the craft of music and how it connects people,” she says.
“Being able to talk with artists really candidly about where they come from musically is always an honour.”
So far, Linda’s spoken with Paul Kelly about how the line at the pub and ‘80s comedian Yahoo Serious both had a hand in the making of all-time Aussie rock classic Dumb Things, and, most recently, she explored the conception of Mumford and Sons’ breakthrough Hottest 100 hit Little Lion Man.
Over the years, Linda has become one of the most admired figures on the Australian music scene and an inspiration for the youth of a nation with her well-informed, non-judgemental and inclusive outlook.
She’s a role model for thousands of young girls across the country and one of the many women who are effecting change and pushing for gender equality in the music industry.
“The battle is definitely still going on…it exists, it is real,” she says.
“You only have to take a glance at any festival lineup or the triple j textline when there’s a story about women or when it’s International Women’s Day.
“Perhaps to some people, it seems like we’re being too outspoken or too sensitive, but until it changes and the balance is there, we need to keep speaking up.”
Linda hopes that moving forward, people will continue to call out discrimination and pave the way for a more equal future.
“We need strong, diverse females up on a platform,” she concludes.
In other words – and I think we can all agree – we need more Linda Mariglianos.