Regan Hickey delivers some home grown inspiration

18- year-old jazz student Regan Hickey may not like sitting at home, but if there’s anything to say about his recent four song EP, we sure do like it when he does!

A multi-talented first year Jazz major of the Conservatorium of Music in Brisbane, Regan is used to long commutes and many hours spent jamming in the company of fellow musos. Now in isolation, he’s jumped on board the experimental train to channel some seriously groovy home-grown inspiration into his four track release ‘i don’t’ like sitting at home’.

Having taught himself guitar and bass from a young age, the cruisy composer says it was his early high school music teacher who helped him develop as a musician in a group setting.

“My best mate is a drummer. At school, we’d jam on lunch breaks and stuff, and one day I just started playing rhythms that were out of time,” he says.

Although his misadventures in the music room may have initially irritated his mates, Regan soon discovered a stylistic loophole that would allow him to shape his unique sound.

“That became something that I ended up practising and following through on actually; learning how to create tension with rhythms. You talk about chord progressions- it’s all about tension and release, so why not do the same with rhythm?… I’ve been working on that for a couple of years and finding the weirdest possible rhythms.”

Describing his style as “funkish”, sometimes “angry” and “rawkus”, Regan tells Blank Gold Coast about the origins of his new album:

“‘i don’t like sitting at home’ was inspired by finding different things at home, musically. I think in one of the songs, there’s my little brother playing video games in his bedroom, and that’s just lying under the song, [which] inspired the whole feel. I think that was for ‘like’.”

For Regan, the focus is on delivering the essence of story through the communication between instruments and the feeling of the music, rather than using vocals. As someone who’s clearly connected to his surroundings, there’s no second guessing the message he wishes to convey with the EP:

“Each tune draws inspiration from different emotions of me being stuck at home at the moment. I just wanted to communicate how all these different feelings come together just from one thing.”

While he happily procrastinates at home with his newly purchased telecaster and double bass, he dreams of one day being able to collaborate with Anderson. Paak– the top artist on his list of idols, which also includes Tom Misch, Vulfpeck, and local trio, daste.

Regan’s creative style is nothing if not raw and organic; he’s always finding ideas through chords and riffs that would go on to become over 200 Ableton sessions and voice memo recordings in his phone. Between surfing, hanging out with his mates, and “giving each other really good haircuts”, he’s constantly creating, with plans to release another EP this year.

Following his first EP ‘yes/no’, released earlier this year, ‘i don’t like sitting at home’ is the start of many feeling-driven, spontaneous ventures yet to come. On that note, he wants to maintain the quirky conscience of his personal brand– an idea plucked from thin air which struck an unexpected chord.

“I’m not good with naming stuff, so I just thought, here’s a story that I’m trying to tell – I don’t like sitting at home, and just broke it up. I think I’ll follow through with that [style] for every release, probably,” he chuckles.

On honing his craft: “For me personally, I don’t think I want to be a full blown jazz musician–I love playing jazz gigs and stuff, but I think I’m much more interested in seeing how you can take everything from jazz and apply it to new music like combining it with hip hop and funk and stuff and just go with it.”

Along with many GC musicians, Regan looks forward to seeing more local gig venues launch to support the Gold Coast’s wide variety of talent.

“Dust temple is a really good space – it’s small, niche, and I think it’s one of my favourite places to be and play and watch music as well… it’s so small and intimate, and you’re really close to the audience, and I think that’s really important.”

Acknowledging his niche style, he looks forward to taking ideas from past live shows and combining them with new ones to jam out with his mates at some live gigs later this year.

He may be grounded by the pandemic, but Regan sure is hungry to create at any cost!

If this is any indication of the talented potential coming through Gen Z, we’re in for a real treat.

If you also don’t like sitting at home, or just want a really cool, moody playlist, check his latest release out on Spotify.

IMAGE (C) Danilo Allen

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