triple j announces The Rions as winners of 2021 Unearthed High

They surprised the Sydney four-piece with the news via Zoom

The winners of this year’s triple j Unearthed High competition have been crowned, with Sydney four-piece The Rions taking out the title for their song ‘Night Light’.

Usually, triple j hosts would surprise the winning band by showing up at their school, but with New South Wales in lockdown, Breakfast presenters Bryce Mills and Ebony Boadu crashed the band’s Zoom meeting instead. They revealed the news to the stunned outfit yesterday (August 19), sharing the moment in a video to social media.

Lime Cordiale, Tones and I and Spacey Jane also dropped in to the call to offer their congratulations. Watch the sweet exchange below:


As competition winners, The Rions will visit triple j studios to record, mix or master their next single, and receive professional industry advice from a senior music manager. They’ll also be paired up with Lime Cordiale for a mentoring session.

“As difficult as it is to turn more than 1400 entries into just five finalists, it’s a desperately hard decision to pick a winner to top the class of 2021,” said triple j Unearthed’s music director, Dave Ruby Howe.

“In the end, Sydney’s The Rions edged ahead of the competition by presenting an undeniable all-round package that impressed all of us at triple j Unearthed – not to mention the triple j textline which popped off with every play of their roaring single ‘Night Light’.

“With their mainstage-ready confidence and urgent indie hooks, this foursome is ready to launch and we reckon that the Unearthed High crown will be the rocket fuel to send them flying.”


Other finalists in this year’s competition included fellow NSW singer edith, Melbourne’s TIA, the Gold Coast’s Jacob Biermann and KAYPS from Perth.

Walmatjarri and Bunuba rapper KAYPS went on to win Unearthed High’s Indigenous Initiative with his song ‘NUISANCE!’.