The music of Robbie James has been described as ‘a journal through time and space with deep respect for our vast and varied land.’
Robbie James has released four solo albums throughout his career:
Robbie’s classical commissions and concerts include the soundtracks for the 2001 and 2002 Perth Australia Day Skyshows, an orchestral arrangement of GANGgajang's Sounds Of Then (This Is Australia) for the 2004 Premier's Luncheon performed by the SYO, a string quartet arrangement of Sounds Of Then performed at the London Paralympics in 2012, and the string quintet Dreaming In the Sand (part one) performed by Bentley String Quintet at the 2021 Restrung Festival in Brisbane.
It was the release of his String Quintet No.4 The Marree Sisters through ABC Classic in 2022 that brought his classical music to a wider audience, confirming his place amongst notable Australian composers.
Robbie became a represented composer at Australian Music Centre in 2023.
Robbie has been GANGgajang’s lead guitarist and one of the band’s songwriters and producers since 1985. The songs of GANGgajang were an integral part of the contemporary music revolution of the 1980s. The band continues to tour and record to present day. The timeless Sounds Of Then (This Is Australia) is one of the all-time classic Australian songs, and is often referred to as Australia’s alternative national anthem. GANGgajang is regarded as one of Australia’s most iconic bands, and have a multi-generational fan base throughout Australia, and overseas - most notably in Brazil.
Robbie toured Australia and the world for five years as guitarist with Yothu Yindi after joining them in 2001 when they and GANGgajang toured Brazil together. Yothu Yindi was the first band to put First Nations culture on the world stage, their song Treaty is regarded as one of Australia’s most important songs. Treaty was the first mainstream hit to integrate Aboriginal Manakay with western music, sung in the language of both cultures.
Robbie was one of the principal songwriters on Wendy’s first two platinum selling albums, contributing the songs, Square Moon, As We Speak, Mother Can’t Do and Homecoming Song. And on her third album, The Ruins Live On.
Since 2012, Robbie has been a member of Scattered People, a group of musicians who rose out of the Brisbane Asylum Seeker Centre in 1998. He produced, co-wrote and performed on their latest album Sugarmill Road, the subject of the 2021 documentary film, Scattered People. The award-nominated film will begin its three year run on the Ten Network and Paramount Plus early in 2023. https://www.scatteredpeoplefilm.org