The music industry is a hard one to crack. You need the perfect combination of talent, hustle, motivation as well as being at the right place at the right time. The Hottest 100 is Triple J's annual poll of Australia's favourite songs which takes place on the 26th of January. We take a look back at the Triple J's hottest 100 winners over the past five years to see what lessons we can all learn about progress and perseverance as the path to success rarely happens overnight.
2011 Gotye - Somebody that I used to know
Before the smash hit that saw Gotye win multiple ARIA awards, a Grammy and international stardom, the Melbourne-based artist had been making music for over ten years. In 2001 he put together a four-track CD in which he made approximately 50 copies of, handwriting the track list and colouring in the cover sleeve in pencil.
2012 Macklemore - Thriftshop
It's the song that made everyone want to go to op shops and try on a variety of extravagant faux-fur coats, but four years before his global success with Ryan Lewis, Macklemore was struggling with alcohol and substance abuse. After going to rehab and taking charge of his life, the duo decided to carve their own path by managing themselves and working on their full-length debut album independently, relying on their business savviness, hard work, and word of mouth to gain traction.
2013 Vance Joy - Riptide
Before his music career, Vance Joy was a promising Australian Rules football player. He found the joy in music by creating his own lyrics to existing songs. When Riptide went 7 X Platinum on the ARIA charts in 2013, there was an enormous amount of momentum and anticipation of releasing a new album. However, Joy was hit with a major roadblock. After pushing himself too hard he ended up losing his voice and was unable to sing for two months. However, the downtime allowed him to refresh and reflect on his rise to stardom. It also allowed for a smooth transition into a music career with a sustainable foundation.
2014 Chet Faker - Talk is cheap
After his rise to superstardom from doing a cover of Blackstreet's 'No Diggity' and gaining traction by collaborating with other influential artists, Chet Faker (now known as Nick Murphy) sets short and long-term goals to continuously improve his live performance by stating; “I set myself little goals each year. I started off sitting down at the keyboard, then the big goal was to stand up and perform, then to sing with just a mic and not be playing all the time and now I can’t help myself, and I am crawling all over the stage.”
2015 The Reubens - Hoops
Like many artists, The Reubens recorded their songs at home and put their demos online in the hope that a few people might hear them. What they didn't expect was that this home recorded demo would find its way to the ears of David Kahne, a New York-based, Grammy Award winning record producer whose impressive client list includes the likes of Paul McCartney, Regina Spektor and The Strokes.
What we can learn
Success often has much more to do with perseverance than it does with a person's innate qualities. That isn't to say talent doesn't matter, just that it only goes so far without sacrifice and effort.
To track your progress on the goals you're working towards and to see how far you've come, check out the pocket-sized Progress Journal.