triple j announces details for 2022 Unearthed High contest

Past winners have included Teenage Joans, The Rions, Gretta Ray and Arno Faraji

triple j has shared the details for this year’s iteration of its annual Unearthed High contest, opening submissions to artists and bands with members who are currently in high school.

As is typical for the contest, the winning act will receive funding for their next single to be recorded professionally.  They’ll also be connected to experts in the Australian music industry, who are able to help the budding artists establish longstanding careers. In years past, they’ve have taken on the roles of mentors – after winning 2020’s contest, for example, Teenage Joans were mentored by Tired Lion frontwoman Sophie Hopes.

Although only one act can be crowned the winner(s) of Unearthed High, the remaining five finalists will all receive specialised guidance from a senior music manager working with the Association of Artist Managers (AAM), which triple j notes will “help them springboard their music careers”.


Also returning for 2022 is the Unearthed High Indigenous Initiative, whereby an additional prize – an ongoing mentorship from the AAM, and enrolment in a songwriting workshop hosted by the APRA AMCOS Songmakers program – will be awarded to the best Unearthed High entry submitted by a First Nations artist or band.

Entries for the contest opened this morning (June 21), and will be accepted until midnight AEST on Monday July 25. There is no particular process for applying to or submitting songs for the contest; entrants are asked to upload their songs to the triple j Unearthed platform as they normally would, and in the back-end of their profile, tick the box that specifies whether they’d like to be considered as an Unearthed High artist.

Further information for this year’s contest, as well as the full list of terms and conditions, can be found here.

This year’s contest will mark the 14th edition of Unearthed High. In addition to Teenage Joans, past winners have included George Alice, Gretta Ray and Arno Faraji, while some finalists – like The Kid LAROI, Genesis Owusu, Hockey Dad and Montaigne – have also gone on to become some of the biggest names in Australian music.

Last year’s contest was taken out by Sydney indie-rock band The Rions, who won with their song ‘Night Light’. That track went on to chart at Number 51 on this year’s triple j Hottest 100.