Grace Hickey Grace Hickey, Artlands 2023 at Regional Arts Australia

Grace Hickey / Artlands 2023

Songwriter, performer and producer Grace Hickey has spent the last 6 years pushing an upright piano around Australia.

With her collaborator and fellow piano-pusher Hugh Murray, Grace co-writes songs based on the true Australian stories the pair encounter on the road, before bringing them to life with the help of regional musicians. Grace and Hugh’s journey culminated in the award-winning music documentary Up Armidale Road, which chronicles the pair’s year-long collaboration with the bushfire-ravaged village of Nymboida. The film was recently awarded Best Music Documentary at the 2022 Commffest Global Community Film Festival in Toronto, Canada. Throughout the film’s production Grace added the titles of filmmaker, screen composer, cinematographer, producer and presenter to her resume.

Screenings of Up Armidale Road are currently touring to disaster-affected communities across the country alongside Grace and Hugh’s acclaimed live music act. Grace works directly with communities to produce the shows, mobilise attending support services, fundraise for local charities and feature performances by local, regional musicians. She has facilitated screening/live music fundraising events in almost 40 recovering communities in partnership with the RFSA, St Vincent De Paul, The Yulgilbar Foundation, The RAMHP, Bendigo Bank, The FRRR and others.

Growing up in regional Australia, Grace was introduced to playing music at a young age as a component of her physical therapy for cerebral palsy hemiplegia. Following 8 years of AMEB classical voice training, she graduated from The Queensland College of Arts with a Fine Arts Degree/Interdisciplinary Drawing major in 2018 (her signature stop-motion animations feature in Up Armidale Road). Now 26 years old, Grace has devoted herself full time to performing, songwriting and storytelling- exploring her interest in how Australia hears itself, and how the world hears Australia.

In 2018 Grace and Hugh recorded their eponymous first album together between Sydney and Nashville. The tracklist featured co-writes with Don Walker (Cold Chisel) and Bones Hillman (Midnight Oil). Traveling with Hugh and the old piano, Grace’s exceptional voice and compelling stage presence resonate with audiences from all walks of life, in some of Australia’s most iconic outback venues and festivals.