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Meet The Triple J Unearthed High 2018 Finalists

Written by Jackson Langford on August 6, 2018

UPDATE: Meet Triple J’s 2018 Unearthed High Winner, KIAN

ORIGINAL STORY: It’s that time again, folks. The good people at triple j and triple j Unearthed have scoured through over 1,000 entrants and have now revealed the five, high school-aged finalists in this year’s ‘Unearthed High‘ competition.

Following the footsteps of other Unearthed High alumni, like Gretta Ray, Japanese Wallpaper, Montaigne, Hockey Dad and Ninajirachi, these five acts represent a myriad of genres and there’s truly something for everyone.

Here they are, in no particular order:

Burnout – ‘Get Out’ (Trinity College Gawler & St. Patrick’s Technical College, SA)

What triple j says: “Adelaide teens Billy, Nik and Kyle a.k.a. Burnout distil the essence of Unearthed High into their two minute rocket of a track ‘Get Out’. You can hear it in the energy and chaotic skate punk surge, this a group of friends having the best time ever.”

Nancie Schipper – ‘Long Fall’ (Warrnambool College, VIC)


What triple j says: “We’ve had an eye on this talented artist’s striking song writing since she entered last year’s competition. Now in her final year of school, Nancie’s making music that is assured and super warm. It feels like just the start of huge things for her.”

KIAN – ‘Waiting’ (Castlemaine Secondary College, VIC)

What triple j says: “Having stepped into the spotlight at 14 with a triumphant vocal feature on Baker Boy’s ‘Cloud 9’, 16 year old KIAN is now writing his own story as a solo artist with sky high potential. His track ‘Waiting’ packs emotional punch, just like ur crush.”

The Kid Laroi – ‘Disconnect’ (Australian Performing Arts Grammar School, NSW)

What triple j says: “South Sydney hip hop sensation The Kid Laroi only uploaded ‘Disconnect’ to Unearthed High during the competition’s final hours, but it’s one heck of track. With all this confidence and cool you’d think that The Kid Laroi has been rapping for 14 years, but he’s only 14 years old.”

yergurl – ‘Skateboard’ (Bendigo Secondary Senior College, VIC)

What triple j says: “Listening to the uploads from yergurl it’s almost as if you’re getting a look at a constantly refreshing feed full of her influences. There are colours flashing in slow motion, nods to contemporary pop icons like Charli XCX and Lana Del Rey, dank memes and teenage hang-ups all stirred up together.”

On top of these finalists, triple j and Unearthed have announced their ‘Indigenous Initiative’ winner, who is Northern Territory’s Juice C.A.

Juice C.A. – ‘Foolish’ (Centralian Senior College, NT)

What triple j says: “With just one Unearthed upload to their name Juice C.A impressed the triple j judging panel with how together they already sound. Tipping their hat to Red Hot Chili Peppers while showing signs of the influence from modern RnB, psychedelic bush reggae and current scene setters Ocean Alley, Juice C.A are ripe with promise.”

“Now that we are 11 years deep into Unearthed High’s history it shouldn’t be a surprise to hear the high quality of artists making music while still in school,” says triple j Unearthed Music Director Dave Ruby Howe.

“But here we are again, absolutely floored by this year’s crop of young artists. We’re beyond stoked with just how good the future of Australian music sounds.”

Last year’s winner was Perth hip-hop artist, Arno Faraji.

Triple J’s Ben & Liam will announce the winner throughout the week. The winner of Unearthed High for 2017 will be flown to the triple j studios to record, mix or master their tunes, which will then be played across triple j and triple j Unearthed.

Watch a run through of this year’s finalists below.

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