top of page
Bio: Image


Born and based in Newcastle and the oldest of 6, Jacob Ridgeway spent part of his childhood in his mother's hometown of Dubbo before the family relocated back to his father's home area of Port Stephens.

Award-winning singer/songwriter/performing artist and proud Worimi and Gamilaroi man, Jacob credits the influential dose of '90s/00's Country and Hip-Hop/RnB that his mum would sing to him to provide a soundtrack to his uniquely inspired sound and storytelling. This soundtrack of life opened doors for Jacob's vocal versatility and writing as he began his steady rise as a performing artist.

"I taped over my parent's wedding video to watch Rage when I was 3; Hustled burnt mixtapes out of my school bag in my free time for spending money; I was kicked out of my high school music class and didn't think about singing let alone a career in music for another ten years. I didn't want to be that small-town shoulda', woulda', coulda' pub yarn. I finally felt empowered enough to leave everything I had ever known to become everything I wanted to be."

Jacob's breakout performance came in 2014 when he was selected to sing "My Island Home" with the backing of the QPAC Choir and William Barton for the climax of the G20 Summit opening.

Opportunities grew over time as Jacob paved his cross-genre path performing, opening, or collaborating with such artists as; Jessica Mauboy, Troy Cassar-Daley, Ash Grunwald, The Last Kinection, Catherine Britt, Shannon Noll, James & John Morrison, Emily Wurramara, Urthboy, Mitch Tambo, Sally Walker, Sally Whitwell, Buddy Knox, Microwave Jenny, DOBBY, John Paul Young, Kevin Bennett, Thirsty Merc, Damien Leith, Archie Roach, Guy Sebastian, Emma Donovan, The Veronicas.

Jacob has performed at QLD Music Festival, Jazz on the Green, X-Factor 2015, NRL All-Stars & Indigenous Rounds, 2018 Bleach Festival, 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Ceremonies, 2018 UON International Choral Tour in Canada, 2018 RUOK? 'Conversation Convoy', Yabun Festival, This Land, Saltwater Freshwater Festival, and various community events around the country.

Jacob has also facilitated music industry conversations for BigSound 2020, 2022 ARIA Week keynote conversation with nominee Tasman Keith and multiple organisations/peak bodies/artists nationwide.

"Music defines who we are. I love sharing that and a piece of who I am with others. Music and writing give me a safe space to emote or share experiences or observations that surround my life."

Jacob released his Grand Prize National Indigenous Story Award-winning debut single 'Bullyman' in July 2019, charted on the iTunes Alternative Chart (#8) and All Genres Chart (#69). 'Bullyman' also charted on 2021 (#53), 2022 (#15), 2023 (#12) & 2024 (#36) Triple A Original 100 Countdown.

Jacob was awarded winner of the 2019 Australasian Conference of Undergraduate Research: Best Indigenous Oral Presentation (Performance Anxiety & Protest Songs) and highly commended at the 2018 International Choral Kathaumixw Competition (Canada) in the Traditional & Folk category where Bullyman featured.

In September 2022, Jacob released two different musical versions of Bullyman (Reimagined & Acoustic) after many requests from attending his live performances. 'Bullyman' has also been used in schools in his local area and around Australia in the school curriculum to assist in students' education.

'I'm Not Coming Home' was released in February 2020 and charted on the iTunes Alternative Chart (#22) and All Genres Chart (#122). 'I'm Not Coming Home' also charted on the 2022 (#13) Triple A Original 100 Countdown. The brooding lyrics describe a journey of straying from oneself while blending a demise derived from Jacob and his co-writer's trials and tribulations.

In April 2023, Jacob released three new musical versions of I'm Not Coming Home featuring rapper Mr Rhodes and remixes from Fox Control. Both provide colour and contrast that lived from dark places survived in I'm Not Coming Home and performed to thousands at events such as Yabun (Sydney), This Land (New Annual - Newcastle), and Ngarrama (Newcastle) Festivals already. Since its release, the ‘I’m Not Coming Home’ EP has amassed over 200k streams and featured on numerous playlists on Spotify, Apple Music & Amazon Music. I'm Not Coming Home Feat. Mr Rhodes was also included on the Amazon Music Blak List’s Best of 2023.

2023 saw Jacob perform in Nashville, USA, for Sounds Australia’s debut showcase and networking event, ‘A Taste of Australia’ as part of CMA Fest alongside acclaimed Nashville-based artists such as Morgan Evans, Seaforth, Phil Barton & Kylie Sackley. His unreleased song, 'Shore’, was also a semi-finalist in the 2023 Listen Up Music Songwriting Prize and is due for release in 2024.

In between all this, Jacob has continually made room to improve by being a graduate of the Aboriginal Centre of Performing Arts (Advanced Diploma of Performing Arts), The Academy of Country Music (2016) & The University of Newcastle (Bachelor of Music - Distinction & Master of Creative Industries - Distinction).


Jacob has started 2024 on a high by being awarded the 2023 Port Stephens Annual Award for Cultural Endeavour. This is awarded to individuals who have exhibited outstanding service to the cultural community of Port Stephens or who have attained a high level of achievement in the wider cultural community.

Jacob has been back in creation mode for new releases due in 2024, inspired by his passion for RnB melody, authentic Country storytelling and the drive of Hip-Hop production.

Bio: Bio
bottom of page