By Melissa Sheil
THE Year 10 cohort at Helena College appear to have a future music star in their midst, with one talented student having been nominated as a finalist and winner of different triple j national titles.
Kurrungaya ‘Jett’ Biendurry, otherwise known by his rapper name KAYPS, has made it to the top five in triple j’s Unearthed High competition, a program that scouts musical talent from high schools across Australia.
At 16 years old, he is the youngest finalist and the only one from Western Australia.
“It’s pretty crazy I’m a finalist because it’s not every day you get opportunities like this,” he said.
“When I uploaded my song, I had a one in 1400 chance of winning – now it’s one in five.
“I reckon I’ve got a fair shot, but really I’m just happy to have got this far and be recognised.”
He said his nominated song NUISANCE! does not follow any narrative, but rather serves to showcase his range of skills.
On Monday, Kurrungaya was announced as the winner of the triple j Unearthed High Indigenous Initiative, winning ongoing mentorship from the Association of Artist Managers, and a song writing workshop at his school run by the APRA AMCOS Songmakers program.
“It was pretty cool to be recognised as an Indigenous artist, especially by an established brand like triple j,” he said.
“It means a lot.”
Kurrungaya said he has always been interested in music, with his dad encouraging him from a young age.
“I’ve never not been musical I don’t think.”
“I did the music course at school last year and do percussion, but only started writing and recording about a year and a half ago.”
Helena College principal Peter Coombs congratulated Kurrungaya on his individuality and reaching the national stage.
The winner of the coveted Unearthed High crown will be announced next week, receiving a trip to Sydney to record at the triple j studio, professional industry advice from a senior music manager and a mentoring session with one of their favourite artists.