By Cole Cahill
Photo by Cole Cahill
Charlie Hickey is no stranger to the songwriting world. Although he is just 16, his life has been surrounded by music and defined by creating songs and lyrics. Both his parents are musicians and songwriters, and he got his start writing before he could even hold a pen.
“When I was in preschool, I would write songs about how I couldn’t decide who to play with. In middle school I wrote some songs, and one of them accidentally ended up being a rip-of of a Nickelback song. I feel like I’ve improved from the Nickelback rip-off stage, and come into my own style in the last few years more than ever,” Hickey said.
The last few years have indeed been busy for Charlie Hickey. He released his first EP, “Odds” in 2014, and has since been feverishly writing, performing, and honing his craft at the LA County High School For the Arts (LACHSA). His latest EP, “This Is Not Easy For Me,” came out in July of this year featuring a more mature sound and collaborations with acclaimed names in the music world like Jay Bellerose, Jennifer Condos, Patrick Warren, and Beck producer Tony Berg.
“[Bellerose, Condos, and Warren] are really are able to tap into a song without even being in the room with you. When I heard what they played I felt like they really sensed my vision, and maybe even helped me realize it more.”
Hickey describes his music as “alternative folk-rock,” but the songs themselves defy genre, blending the lines between classic singer-songwriter, folk, rock, and pop. He draws influence from legends like Elliott Smith and Radiohead and adds refreshing originality to every song he creates.
The young artist played his first live, full band show at Genghis Cohen this Friday, August 5. Typically Hickey is a solo guitar-and-vocals artist, but with a full band he had the opportunity to showcase his songs in a fuller way.
“This was a great start to the process of experimenting with different sounds, arrangements, and presentations of my songs. I’m always thinking about how I want a song to be recorded, and it’s hard to transition that vision into the setting of a live show. I really got to explore that here.”
Charlie Hickey’s EP “This Is Not Easy For Me” is available now on iTunes, Apple Music, and Spotify.