triple j's top tips for applying for Unearthed High’s Indigenous Initiative

Tuesday, 09 Jul 2019

Apply by 29 July - apply sooner for the chance to get your song played!

Thinking about uploading your music to the annual triple j Unearthed High Indigenous Initiative? Do you already have your music up on Unearthed? If you are an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander high school student who is writing and recording music, the fine folks at triple j Unearthed are at the ready to listen to your tunes for the annual competition. 

Past winners are an awesome line-up: Tia Gostelow (2016), Rebecca Hatch (2017) and Alice Springs band River & Isles (formerly Juice C.A) (2018). And this year, the best Unearthed High entry from an Indigenous artist, as well as being eligible for the major prize, will win a songwriting workshop at their school by the APRA AMCOS Songmakers program and ongoing mentorship from the Association of Artist Managers (AAM).

Ahead of the 29 July deadline to enter, the Unearthed music team shares their top tips for submitting your music to the Indigenous Initiative. Have a read, share with your musical mates, and get uploading.

First step, check eligibility for the Unearthed High Indigenous Initiative

Make sure you’re eligible! It’s really simple to enter but before you do, make sure you’ve checked to make sure you’re eligible. We’re looking for anyone who is Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander. The terms and conditions define that as someone who is of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent, who identifies as such and is accepted as such in the communities where he or she lives, or come from. Oh yeah, you also have to be in high school too!

Bands, groups, duos, musical collectives: you can apply

You don’t have to be solo, you can be as many band members as you like! If you ARE a band, as long as at least 50% of the members of your group are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Island (see above!) then you’re good.

You can apply for both Unearthed High AND the Indigenous Initiative

Just make sure you tick the boxes! When you sign up for an account you’ll need to tick a box to say that you identify as an ‘Indigenous artist or group’ and you’ll need to select the box that says ‘Enter Unearthed High’ too! If you already have an account, you can go back into your account info and tick those boxes.

All genres welcome

We want everyone, from rappers to death metal bands to folk duos. No genre is too weird, no genre is too normal!

If you’re not on triple j Unearthed and you want to apply, you can!

It’s easy to set up an unearthed profile, upload your song(s), tick those Unearthed High and Indigenous Initiative boxes. Just make sure you do it before midnight 29 July. The earlier you upload your songs, the more time we have to listen to them, share them and maybe even play them on triple j! Make sure you give us some info about yourself and upload a photo too, so we know who you are.

The recording itself

If you’ve gone into a studio to record something high polished and top quality, that’s awesome. If you haven’t, that’s fine! Some of our favourite artists record their music out of their bedrooms so you don’t need to spend heaps of money to record professionally. If you only have demos, that’s fine too.

Calling all musos from all over

You don’t need to be in a major city, the competition is Australia wide! The SongMakers workshop will come to your school, wherever it is. We want to hear from high schoolers from remote communities, regional areas, small towns, the ‘burbs and big cities.

Winning is great, but so is getting your music out there

Even if you don’t win Unearthed High, heaps of other things might happen: triple j presenters might review your song, add your song to our Spotify playlist, share it on our social media, play it on Unearthed radio or even triple j radio. We also run competitions for massive music festivals like Splendour In The Grass, Laneway Festival, Falls and heaps of other local festivals. So there’s nothing to lose and heaps to gain!


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