Since its inception over 20 years ago, triple j Unearthed has well, unearthed dozens of the Aussie artists we have come to know and love.
So successful is the platform in boosting the profiles of some of the industry’s biggest and brightest, it’s hard to keep up with each and every artist that was discovered through it.
Because of this, we’ve decided to take a walk down memory lane by collating some of the most memorable acts that got their start with Unearthed.
While this list is by no means exhaustive, here’s some of the best artists to have been discovered via triple j Unearthed.
It’s hard to believe it’s only been about two and a half years since G Flip took Unearthed by storm with her song ‘About You’. With likes on her Facebook page increasing by 300 per cent within a week of dropping the track, it’s fair to say she’s only gone from strength to strength since. This year alone saw ‘Drink Too Much’ reach #5 on the Hottest 100 of 2019, as well as her performance of ‘Lady Marmalade’ for Like A Version.
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Ruby Fields tripled her following within 24 hours of uploading her debut song ‘I Want’ to Unearthed in 2o17. It’s no surprise fans flocked to hear more, given that the track was played on triple j the same day it was uploaded to the platform. Since then, Fields has released two EPs to critical acclaim.
Ball Park Music
Although they’re now mainstays of most Aussie music festival lineups, Ball Park Music was a little known band when they first began uploading to Unearthed back in 2008. Fast forward 12 years and their myriad of achievements include winning the 2011 J Award for Unearthed Artist of the Year, and reaching #17 on the Hottest 100 of the Decade with ‘It’s Nice to Be Alive’.
Back in 2011, an emerging Allday began uploading tracks to Unearthed. It didn’t take long before they started gaining traction, and the following year saw him crowned one of the winners in the NIDA x Unearthed music video competition for his song ‘The City’. Closing in on a decade later, Allday remains one of our most beloved Aussie rappers.
Before she started performing under the stage name Montaigne, 17-year-old Jessica Cerro became a finalist in the 2012 Unearthed High competition with her entry ‘Anyone But Me’. Since then she has released a slew of hits, and will no doubt gain an immeasurable number of new fans when she represents Australia at the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest.
Sampa the Great
Upon first uploading to Unearthed five years ago, Sampa the Great won the platform’s competition to perform at 2015’s The Plot festival. Since then, she has gone on to grace the stage at Glastonbury, and won awards including Double J Artist of the Year and the ARIA for best Hip Hop release.
Yep, we couldn’t not include Australia’s king of electronica/performing, ah, passionate acts mid-Burning Man set. It’d be an understatement to say Flume’s come a long way since his debut upload ‘Possum’ back in 2011. Not only did he get his start on Unearthed, but he also won the 2012 competition to perform at Field Day, which marked his debut festival performance. Bless!
It didn’t take long before Thelma Plum started making waves in the Aussie music scene. In fact, it was only two months after her first upload to Unearthed that she won the inaugural triple j National Indigenous Unearthed Music competition in 2012. Since then, she’s gone on to become the highest-ranking Indigenous artist ever in the Hottest 100 (just casually), with ‘Better in Black’ charting at #9 in 2019.