June 17, 2015 5 musical artists who got their start in high school

Unearthed High, a project of triple j Unearthed, is one of the best chances for a young band to get seen and heard by people all across Australia. All a band or artist has to do is submit a song to their website and the triple j team take care of the rest!*

It may surprise you to learn how many artists have been able to use the competition as a way to enter the music industry before they’re even old enough to legally enter most of the venues they end up playing.

Here are six amazing artists who got their start as winners or finalists of the annual Unearthed High competition since 2010, and we find out what they’ve been up to since…


This Tasmanian artist beat a field of over 850 high school acts to be crowned the winner of the 2012 Unearthed High and hasn’t stopped since. In 2013, she released her self-titled debut record and since then has found substantial success with a splattering of singles, including the recent “Dynamite (Feat. Allday)”, which you can listen to below:

Grab more of her music on her official website.

Japanese Wallpaper

Since winning Unearthed High in 2014, Japanese Wallpaper (Gab Strum) has gone from strength to strength, and is already one of the most talked about artists in the country, with his latest single ‘Forces’ (ft. Airling) going gangbusters.

Already this year, the young artist has toured with highasakite, was named one of the AU review’s artists to watch for 2015, played the iconic Secret Garden Festival in country NSW and kicked off the year playing Falls Festival and seeing his name in the Hottest 100. Not bad. And now, his debut self-titled EP is about to be released, dropping on June 18th through Zero Through Nine, via Inertia!

Off the back of this success, and to celebrate the EP, Gab’s about to embark on a tour of Australia with Montaigne, playing a string of shows, many of which have already sold out. Sydney alone will see the artist play FOUR shows at the Newtown Social Club, including an under-18 matinee with Lupa J on July 5th.

For more details head here.

Jesse Davidson

Adelaide artist Jesse Davidson impressed the triple j judges enough in 2012 to be listed as one of the finalists. Though Asta took home the award that year, Jesse hasn’t let that stop him from touring, releasing music, and being a much talked about artist in the local scene.

His Soundcloud uploads get tens of thousands of listens every time a new track comes up, and he’s currently on the road around Australia with Art of Sleeping and just got back from a string of shows in the UK, where he played iconic industry “discovery” festival The Great Escape and more… which happened just after he jumped off the stage at Groovin’ The Moo… which happened just after his single “Laika” dropped on triple j. This is a busy, busy man.

Keep tabs on the artist here.

Tyler Touché

Another finalist in 2012, we last caught Brisbane’s “future disco” artist Tyler Touché supporting Bluejuice in their farewell concerts last year. But after the 2014 success of “Heart in Motion”, things are heating up once again for the artist following the release of his track “Act of God (feat. Jason Gaffner)”. You can listen to it, and an impressive amount of original and remix material on his Soundcloud page.

Hockey Dad

Finalists last year, the Wollongong group have taken advantage of the spotlight they received from the competition, releasing an EP called Dreamin’ – which they re-released this year on 12” blue vinyl for Record Store Day. They toured with DZ Deathrays and Bass Drum of Death earlier this year, hit up a tour of their own in support of the EP last year, have played The Farmer and the Owl Festival two years in a row and are currently touring with Los Tones off the back of their latest single “Can’t Have Them”.

Most of the dates are already sold out, including their All Ages Shows in Wollongong – but you can check out all the details here on their Facebook page.

So, with all these success stories behind the, could the next artist be YOU? Head along to the Unearthed High website for more details.

* OK, so it’s probably a touch more complicated than that… but just head along to their website for all the details.