If you don’t know the name, JC Stewart, we’re sure you’ve at least heard one of his hit songs on the radio! Writing with some of the industry’s biggest, like Lewis Capaldi and Niall Horan, JC Stewart is well on his way to making himself a household name and we got a THP Exclusive Interview so you can get to know him a little better!
Hailing from Northern Ireland, JC Stewart released his debut EP just last year, and has been making a mark on the industry in every way possible ever since! With over three million monthly Spotify listeners, and even going viral on TikTok, Stewart shows that there’s no slowing him down anytime soon, especially since he recently released his newest single, ‘Break My Heart!’
Know for his songwriting skills, he has a way of telling a story in the most catchy way, no matter how deep or emo it may make you feel. We got to talk to JC Steward about where he finds the inspiration for those touching lyrics, his new single, and how it feels to have Jennifer Aniston as a fan!
You’re an incredibly talented lyricist and you’ve deemed yourself as a “professional sad boy,” where do you get the inspiration for your songs, and what’s your favorite part about the songwriting process?
I get inspiration from everywhere and everything. It can be a conversation with someone, something that’s happened to me in the past that’s popped into my mind, a tv show, a book, literally anything. My favourite bit has got to be when you get into the flow of lyric writing and it feels like the song is just writing itself.
You’ve said that people like hearing the deeper side of your music. Do you think writing from this deeper, more personal side of you, has helped you in any way outside of music?
Definitely! The old cliché that writing is a form of therapy is so unbelievably true. It’s made me definitely open up a lot more and be more available to the people around me. In terms of helping with mental health, it’s absolutely invaluable.
‘Break My Heart’ is your first-ever vinyl release, do you have a vinyl collection or would you be interested in starting one? Who are some of your must-have artists you’d want on vinyl?
I grew up listening to my dad’s vinyl collection on his old system which included The Who Live At Leeds and The Band which I’m still obsessed with to this day. It’s definitely something that I want to get more into. Just gotta get a big enough flat to keep them in!
And you co-wrote with Niall Horan, Ben Kohn, Tom Barnes, and many others during the lockdown over a zoom call, how was the experience for you? Was it difficult or do you think you’d incorporate virtual sessions after the pandemic? How is it different for your creative process than working together in a studio?
It’s definitely harder. I feel like the song needs to come a lot quicker on zoom or it’s just not going to work. I definitely miss the vibe of being in the studio with people you respect and admire and getting to pick up instruments and swap stories and ideas and work on songs really naturally. I think going forward it’s still something that’s gonna happen as it’s super easy to cross borders with zoom and work with other musicians all over the world.
Charlie Sarsfield directed the music video for ‘Break My Heart’ and also directed your previous video, what is it about him that makes you want to keep working on projects together?
Charlie is a genius. As soon as we started working together on INYTHM there was an instant vibe and then when it came to deciding who was going to do the next video it was a pretty easy choice. I love his aesthetic choices and he is also able to translate what I’m trying to say in music in the videos really well.
You keep your fans in the loop with a lot of things and we love your posts about your songs and the meaning behind them, why do you think it is important to be transparent with your fans? What do you hope listeners take away from the overall message of your latest projects?
I just want people to know the process. I’m not trying to be some mysterious artist here, just trying to write songs that people can connect to and use in their lives to feel something. Without people listening, it would be very very hard to make the music I do so I’m so grateful to them all.
You co-wrote Lewis Capaldi’s song ‘Hollywood,’ what was it like working with him and where did the song’s inspiration come from?
It was very fun as you can imagine. We wrote it super late at night in a tiny studio in West London and didn’t think it would ever make the album. We were just messing around! For it then to go on that album that did what it did is still so mind-blowing to me. I’ve got number 1 trophies in my flat and sometimes I feel like a bit of a fraud but I’m very proud of what we did.
You’ve already worked with some pretty big names in the industry, who is a songwriter or producer that would be your dream collaboration? (Alive or Deceased)
That’s a tough one! Would have loved to meet and work with Elvis. He does seem like a G. In modern day, working with Mark Ronson or, rougely, Beyoncé is the absolute dream.
The response to your “Lockdown-inspired Friends’ parody” was enormous and we absolutely loved it. In fact, Jennifer Aniston is now the latest member of the JC Stewart fan club, what was your reaction to all of that?
Haha that is still, to this day, and probably forever more, the weirdest thing that has ever happened to me. That video literally took me 20 seconds to make and so for it go that viral was very very strange.
And you recently posted on your Instagram about a new video for ‘Break My Heart’ using videos submitted by fans as a backdrop, this is the second time you’re enlisting their help for a music video, and that’s a really cool way to get your fans closer to your work! What made you want to get them involved? How else do you try to stay connected with fans and how important do you think that relationship is?
Without them there wouldn’t be any point in me doing this. They are so unbelievably supportive and hilarious and just really behind me. So to have them be a part of the video only feels right as they are as much a part of this as me at this point.
We love an artist who connects with their fans and we can not wait to follow JC Stewart on his musical journey! 2021 already looks like it’s going to be great for new releases, as Stewart showed us just a few weeks ago, and we aren’t lying when we said we’ve had ‘Break My Heart’ on repeat! Are you a JC Stewart fan? Tell us what you thought about ‘Break My Heart’ in the comments below or send us a tweet over @TheHoneyPOP!
Featured Image Source Courtesy of DediKATed PR