Claire unearths her career in music

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Since graduating from John Paul College in Frankston, Claire Mooney’s schedule has been a blur of music as she’s nurtured her skills in editing, programming, presenting and listening to new songs by upcoming artists. At 22, she’s already got an impressive CV, including a festival booking for Groovin The Moo, executive producer of The Hoist at SYN, volunteering at film and music festivals, and working as the co-ordinator at Grid Series and music director at 1700. Kate Sears speaks to Claire about her current position as an Australian music producer at Triple J Unearthed.

What’s your journey been like to get you to your current position?

It's been an absolute blast. I look back on the last few years and feel so grateful. I'm very lucky to have found something I’m really passionate about so early. At one point I was volunteering and producing a daily show at SYN, interning at a record label, doing PR for Live Below The Line through the Oaktree foundation while also studying and working a part-time job. Looking back, I was determined to learn as much as I could and those experiences led to where and who I am today. 

What’s a day in your world like?

My daily routine involves listening to all the songs that get uploaded to We get sent about 500-1000 songs a week. I also get involved with reviewing songs, programming Unearthed radio, presenting TOPS, sharing advice with upcoming artists, updating the website, editing, making playlists, helping judge competitions like Unearthed High and recommending songs to Triple J music programmers and presenters.

Did you always know you wanted to be a music producer?

Never. I honestly didn't even know what a music producer was. When I was 16 I discovered my love for radio through Dom Alessio, who hosted Home & Hosed on Triple J at the time. I was then introduced to the world of SYN, a youth community radio station. I couldn't believe I could be 16 and on the radio. I did my training and got involved with presenting and producing. I went out to shows, I volunteered, I interned and just filled my life up with music. I realised very quickly that all I wanted to do was give artists a platform to share their art and music.

What’s been your most memorable experience in the music industry?

Working at Triple J, definitely. I'm so grateful that I get to work with a very talented team of legends, meeting musicians and all kinds of people from around Australia. I love presenting TOPS each week, and being a part of surprising last year’s Unearthed High winner Kian in Castlemaine was so heart-warming. Programming Unearthed radio in general and on days like International Women's Day where we get to play kick-ass women for an entire day is really special too. I also love the collaborations we do across all our music networks (Triple J, Unearthed and Double J) to bring things like Dream Festival alive. I also got to meet rock stars Jack White and Mark Ronson this year. Insane. But the biggest and most memorable part of my job is listening to an artist’s first-ever upload to Triple J Unearthed and then six months down the track seeing them tour and sell out shows across the country, or being added to Triple J and being played nationally, or taking out Unearthed High.

Who are your favourite artists and what’s your favourite song at the moment?

Right now I’m listening to a lot of Dulcie, Kaiit, Gordon Koang, Pinkish Blu, Noah Dillon, Kult Kyss, Miiesha, Mambali, Tasman Keith and Pridelands, to name a few. I’ve had Sampa The Great’s OMG on repeat today. I can’t get the chorus out of my head.

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