Jess Ingham and Charli Davis
What are Underground artists?
Simply put, an underground artist is a musician who hasn’t yet achieved mainstream fame. They could be far into their career or just starting out. They usually have a small, local fan base and are very underrated.
Why should you listen to underground artists?
While they may not have sold out stadiums and chart topping hits, listening to underground artists will expand your music tastes. You can learn about styles you have never even heard of and support young artists who could be the next Justin Bieber and started right here in Sydney. (For example, global sensation The Kid Laroi was an undiscovered rapper before triple j unearthed spread his music.) Plus, you can gate-keep these artists when they blow up!
Why did we choose each of these underground artists?
We classified an artist as underground if they had very close to or less than 1 million monthly listeners on Spotify. They needed to be reasonably early in their career or still releasing music often and, of course, they needed to be good! (Or have potential)
(Disclaimer: Not all of these underground artists sound exactly like their famous counterparts, they also have their own original spin.)
Famous Artist: Kendrick Lamar
Underground Artist: Jerome Farah
Jerome Farah in an Australian rapper who started his career through co-writing and co-producing ‘Waiting’ with Kian before releasing his first single in 2020.
Listen to his song ‘Concrete Jungle Fever’
Famous Artist: Cardi B
Underground Artist: Leikeli47
Leikeli47 is a hip hop and rap music artist. She released her second full length album in 2018. She is known for concealing identity, as she has not released anything about her age or face.
Listen to her song ‘Money’
Famous Artist: Dua Lipa
Underground Artist: Elle Murphy
Based in Melbourne, Australia, Elle Murphy makes pop, dance and soul music. She released her first song in 2021.
Listen to her song ‘Beautiful Sensitive Boy’
Famous Artist: Shawn Mendes
Underground Artist: Caleb Hearn
Caleb Hearn is from North Carolina and released his first song in 2021.
Listen to his song ‘Brown eyes, Brown Hair’
Famous Artist: Olivia Rodrigo
Underground Artist: Carobae
Caroline Baker is the real name for Carobae. She sings soft pop, electric elements and dance music.
Listen to her song ‘I don’t miss u.'
Famous Artist: Selena Gomez (but a more electronic version)
Underground Artist: CXLOE
She is a 27-year-old singer / songwriter from Sydney. She debuted with her single in 2016 and makes dark pop and electronic music.
Listen to her song ‘New Trick’
Famous artist: Lime Cordiale
Underground artist: The Rions
They are from the Northern Beaches in Sydney. They have been producing music since 2016 and won the Triple j Unearthed award for artists of the year in 2021.
Listen to their song ‘Night Light’
Famous Artist: Tame Impala
Underground Artist: Great Gable
The Great Gable is an Australian indie rock band from Western Australia that was formed in 2014. The band consists of 4 members: Alex Whiteman, Matt Preen, Chris Bye, Callum Guy.
Listen to their song ‘Drift’
They don’t sound like anyone, but deserve more hype…
Cat & Calmell
Cat who is 20 years old was born and grew up in China before moving to Sydney as a teenager. When Cat was about 15 she met Calmell who was born and raised in Sydney, and together they joined after school programs to develop their singing skills.
Listen to their song ‘dramatic’ - sounds a little like an upbeat Billie Eilish song.
Lily papas was born in Melbourne but raised on the gold coast is a singer-songwriter who has been singing since she was 8 years old.
Want to listen to more underground artists?
Tune in to triple j’s unearthed radio station on the website or on their app. They play new music every day from submissions to their website. Emerging artists can also be found on SoundCloud and Spotify playlists, such as your personal ‘Discover Weekly’.