Happy Mag turns 10: A look back on some of favourite cover stars

Baker Boy, Julia Jacklin and Courtney Barnett are among the starry cohort to grace the cover of Happy Mag’s print issues over the last ten years. 

It was around ten years ago when Happy Mag, a now-leading tastemaker in the emerging arts and music space, was officially born on the humble streets of Sydney’s inner west.

In the decade since, the youth-focussed publisher has established itself as a flagship portal for all things culture, from independent news coverage to music reviews and industry interviews.

happy mag issue 11 the photo issue

This November, Happy Mag will celebrate its 10 year anniversary — a milestone run sustained by being the finger on the pulse source for the local and national music scene.

The anniversary also marks ten years since Happy’s print issue magazine has been in circulation, with a wealth of trailblazing features, investigative reports and buzzy cover stars to look back on. 

In the lead up to Happy Mag’s tenth birthday, we’re reflecting on some of our favourite cover stars and interviews from the biannual print edition, spanning a list of names so starry they warrant their own constellation.

Courtney Barnett cover star issue 1

Where else to begin but with Courtney Barnett? The now-prolific singer-songwriter graced Happy’s debut Issue 1 in January, 2016, the same year she was nominated for Best New Artist at the Grammy Awards. 

Catching Barnett at the height of her early success, Happy quizzed the rock star about her blossoming career, the influence of social media, the creative process behind her debut album ‘Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit’.

DMA'S print issue cover star issue 2

This inaugural issue was the first taste as to the sheer star power that was yet to come. Later that same year, DMA’S graced the cover of Happy’s August 2016 Issue, finding the band as they charted their plans for industry domination — long before their ARIA-winning album ‘The Glow’.

After notable standout cover stars like Marcus Whale and Jaala — who appeared on the both of the 2016 Issues — it was Julia Jacklin who ushered in a new era with her 2017 Issue Four cover. 

Julia Jacklin issue 4 cover star

Jacklin had been making waves in the indie-folk scene, and her Happy Mag profile shed new light on the singer-songwriter on the cusp of her breakout.

Elsewhere, hip-hop duo A.B. Original were the first Indigenous artists to grace Happy’s cover in 2017, before Stella Donnelly swung by the same year for Issue Six.

AB Original cover stars issue 5

Since then, the cover has played host to a cohort of some of the country’s biggest names, from Baker Boy in 2018 to Tkay Maidza’s show-stopping profile for Issue Nine. More recently, The Chats roared onto the front cover with 2020’s Issue Fourteen

Stella Donnelly issue 5 cover star

While these artists might’ve graced the covers of Happy’s print issue, they shared the spotlight with the equally starry musicians in its pages.

Baker Boy issue 7 cover star

In the ten years since its circulation, the magazine has listed on its contents pages an array of interviews, jam sessions and deep-dives with artists like DZ Deathrays, The Laurels, and Winston Surfshirt, among many others.

Tkay Maidza issue 9 cover star

It’s an alumni worthy of reflection, and stands as a testament to the enduring spotlight Happy shines on the country’s most eminent creatives. Head here to see the full range of Happy Mag’s print issues.

The Chats issue 14 cover star