Triple J — Unearthing new Australian musical talent

 Triple J — Unearthing new Australian musical talent
Image: Triple J Unearthed artists. Image: Triple J website


Triple J Unearthed acts as both a radio station and a discovery platform for unsigned artists around Australia. There is an award given to one artist in each state organised by the station named the “Unearthed artists of the year.” Each winner every year has a fantastic opportunity to propel their career in the music industry.

Eligibility for Unearthed artists to be considered for the award may seem simple. Essentially as an artist you have to create an original song and upload it to the Unearthed website, not be signed with any record label, and have a standout year compared to anyone else who has uploaded music on the same website.

Baker Boy. Image: supplied

However, music is subjective; a standout year for an artist can very well depend on what type of music the general public currently enjoys. A possible issue with this is that artists’ music, which may be very good, does not suit the public’s idea of “enjoyable music ” which results in unfair comparison. 

Good examples of this occurred in 2017 and 2018 when Baker Boy and G-Flip respectively, were both selected as finalists but did not win. They have now arguably projected their careers beyond those who actually won.

Laneway Festival. Image: supplied

While there is no cash prize involved, Unearthed is an effective vehicle for boosting an artist’s profile and providing opportunities for artists. Triple J Unearthed winners and nominees are frequently called up for festivals. 

Winners and finalists of the Unearthed award also have the chance to sign with a record label, which is a fantastic step for any young artist who has just started their music career. A great example of this is Sycco. After losing the 2020 Unearthed Artists of the Year award, she was still able to sign with Future Classic records in the same year. 

Sycco. Image: supplied

Triple J Unearthed has a branch competition for younger artists — Unearthed High — which focuses on helping high-school aged artists build a career. The prize for this competition is a choice between funding for future music releases or opportunities to use the Triple J studio.

Considering the music landscape of the last two decades in Australia has been largely populated with indie music, it’s fair to say the Triple J Unearthed awards have been a massive success.

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