“Growing up in vibrant music scene of Austin, Texas in the 1970’s was a defining moment for me. I got my first guitar at 14 and couldn’t put it down, it just felt right, it was in my blood. Through those years I was a regular at the music clubs, so many known and unknown talents to absorb, including Stevie Ray Vaughn, Eric Johnson, Christopher Cross and the whole alternative rock and country scenes. I was playing in an acoustic trio and we made a little bit of a name for ourselves writing and recording jingles for local businesses. It was always a passion, despite my fears and insecurities. When I finally graduated from the University of Texas, I played safe and took an international job: goodbye to my musical fairy tale.”
James Fredholm went on to have quite a successful business career, mainly living in London and Zurich. But the “Road Not Taken” was always in the back of his mind. Over those years he continued to write songs and poems, also to paint and draw. He was a consummate gear junkie and played in several cover bands. This double life reached an epiphany with the onset of a proverbial midlife crisis.
In 2013 he founded Honeybee Records and set up a recording studio to support young, high potential artists around Zurich. This led to lots of collaborations and studio sessions. Out of that he produced and released 10 For 14 Swiss Sounds, a compilation of 10 new indie bands in 2014, a great learning experience.
Poetry and songwriting were never far away. In 2015 he made the jump to get back on that road not taken. In the end he had more than enough material to publish Uncaged, his first poetry collection and Love Is The Answer, an album of original songs, both of which were released and promoted in 2016/17. In late 2018 he recorded his second album Drifting.
When asked about his musical influences, he says it spans five decades: from the Beatles, Hendrix, Dylan, Neil Young, James Taylor, through REM, Nirvana, U2, Oasis, Kings of Leon, Radiohead, to Ed Sheeran, the Lumineers and Bon Iver.
As a poet, his references include Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes, Rumi, Robert Frost, Dylan Thomas, Seamus Heaney and Philip Larkin.
His writing style is described as emotional and arrestingly honest, from the heart. He brings a unique perspective, which together with his 1968 J50 Gibson acoustic guitar and harmonica delivers an intimate, edgy sweetness that gets easily under the skin.
In summer 2019 he bought a 200 year old farmhouse and moved to Interlaken, where he added a custom built professional music studio and relaunched his label Honeybee Records.