James Hickey

Get the latest from Beat

James Hickey


When did you first start making music and what led you there? When I was about ten years old my long-haired older brother taught me ‘Blowin’ In The Wind’ on guitar. A few years later I started writing songs and really enjoyed seeing my ideas come to life, kind of jumping off the page. Songwriting is now my elixir, an affordable psychiatrist, and a constant companion.  

Which of your songs best showcases you as an artist. What is the story behind it? What inspired it? The song ‘Moon and You’ off my album Moon Gravity is pretty close to an artistic summary of my creative trajectory. It’s kind of a folk song that slips in some bluesy guitar motifs and harps on about unrequited love and late-night drinking.

What do you love about making music? There is a great deal of intimacy in knowing an instrument and using it to summarise the world around you. I suppose I feel some sort of power when I can take a life event, a conversation or an observation and craft a lyrical and melodic story then share it with an audience.

How would you describe your sound and how did you come to it? I’ve always been interested in the innate storytelling within folk and blues music. Artists like Townes van Zandt and Tom Waits have taught me a lot.

What can we expect from your live show? I’ve been known to climb on furniture and play a guitar solo, or venture on to a dance floor and groove with the audience while Jimmy Rogers (double bass) does all the work. I love to impart the inspiration behind a song or tell some ridiculous stories between songs.