Every year triple J Unearthed runs a national competition seeking out the best high school act in Australia. High school students across the country submit their songs to the Unearthed website in the hope of taking out the prestigious award. The top entries will have their songs played on national radio with the winner being flown to triple J’s studios in Sydney to record, remix or master their song.
Now in its eleventh year, the competition boasts some big names amongst its alumni; Gretta Ray, Asta, Japanese Wallpaper, Snakadaktal and last year’s winner Arno Faraji – the first Hip Hop winner of the competition. Earlier this week Arno chatted with triple J breakfast hosts Ben and Liam. “Everything’s changed so much,” Arno said. “I was just hurtled into the music world. Now I’m doing festivals, have a bunch of shows. I’ve learned so much, how to hold a crowd… everything flipped so fast I’m just trying to adjust to it still”. He also had some words of advice for aspiring artists, “Don’t make music for anyone else. Just do your own thing. Only advice I’d say, if you put everything into it and it’s something that you mess with, you don’t know where it could take you… I didn’t know where it would take me, I just felt it in the moment and that’s the most important thing.”
In 2016 the Unearthed competition introduced the Unearthed High Indigenous Initiative. As well as being in the running for the major prize, the best Unearthed High entry from an Indigenous artist will also receive an ongoing mentorship with the Association of Artist Managers as well as a songwriting workshop at their school by the APRA AMCOS Songmakers program.
There are many other opportunities for Australian students to showcase their musical talents outside of triple J. If you’d like to keep up to date with which competitions are open for students head to the Competitions & Awards section of our website. Music Australia also runs our own annual student songwriting competition which you can read about here.
So, if you’re a high school student writing music, now is the time to get your songs uploaded to triple J Unearthed.