On March 30, less than two weeks after the government lockdown because of COVID-19, a young musician took a chance and uploaded her song 'Far Away' onto the digital music platform of a national radio station, Triple J Unearthed.
A Year 11 student at Newtown Performing Arts in Sydney, 16-year-old Sabine Tapia wasn’t expecting anything to come out of it. The song was inspired by something that happened in her life so she composed it relatively quickly. She did spend almost a year including production to put it all together but being her first single, and in the middle of a coronavirus outbreak, she wasn’t fussed.
But in less than a month and in a haystack of more than 120,000 tracks, ‘Far Away’ shot to number 9 in the Indie category of the website’s charts. It ranked 29th in the full sweep of genres, drawing the attention of pop, punk, indie, hip hop, dance and electronica listeners.
It's the kind of break that every artist hopes for at the start of their journey. Triple J Unearthed has launched the careers of thousands of musicians, giving space to original and independent Australian music. The station has invited artists featured on Unearthed to perform at festivals and their songs played on the radio.
Her passion and talent could be in her genes. Her father, Carlo Tapia, was the original bassist of famous Filipino rock band Freestyle. The eldest of two daughters, Sabine said that her family lived in Manila for a short while before settling in Sydney. She even recorded part of ‘Far Away’ in Davao when she was there last year. Following on her celebrity father's footsteps, Sabine is a bass and guitar player besides being a vocalist and composer.
For now, Sabine is taking it all in her stride. She said she just wants to keep working on her craft.
“My dream right now is to keep making music, make connections and [collaborate] with people,” she said.
Follow her on Instagram: @sabineitapia