Scars is out now!
Rising pop singer-songwriter JC Stewart recently shared his hopeful new single, Scars. We caught up with the musician to chat about the release, songwriting, performing live and more!
Written alongside producer Anton Hård and co-writer Linnea Södahl, the optimistic cut sees the musician move past previous hurt and heartbreak, instead embracing how all those moments have led him to this very point in life. Stewart's compelling vocals stomp above a sing-a-long chorus, bringing the songs emotive lyricism to life.
Whilst there's no word on any Australian tour dates, Stewart is currently in the midst of a European and UK tour, touring alongside Jeremy Loops in Germany. Next month, the musician will take to the stage at Boardmasters Festival 2022 in the UK and FM4 Frequency Festival 2022 in Austria.
Could you tell us a bit about your background in music and what led you to pursuing a career in music?
I grew up in a small town in Northern Ireland and didn’t love music until I was 13/14. My mum was always trying to get me into it but all I wanted to do was play rugby. For whatever reason though, I ended up at this songwriting teaching workshop thing at a local theatre. I wrote my first song that day, absolutely loved the feeling it gave me and have been doing it everyday since.
Your new single Scars is quite an optimistic offering, full of hope that embraces how past hurt can be overcome. What inspired the thematic exploration of the song, and how important was it for you to send this message?
I was speaking to someone at the end of last year and we were talking about success and failure and life and love and everything in between. One of those really nice, really deep chats. They then said, “it’s not success that makes you who you are, its failure” and I loved that. Failure breeds humility and compassion and learning and in the end, I think, love, You learn to appreciate what you have and who you have and usually end up a better person. So that’s where the idea for wearing your scars like jewellery came from. It’s like the more you collect, the richer you are,
What’s one line from the song you find at times can be stuck in your head, or one that you’re most proud of?
“I wear my scars and the stories that they’re painting,
They hurt like hell but damn it feels amazing”
When it comes to songwriting, do you have a particular process during sessions or does each song take on its own form?
It’s been changing a lot over the past year. Now, I work with a very small team of people who I love. We just talk and play pool and drink beer and have a good time and see what happens in the middle of it. It’s hard to put my finger on but its always a special time.
How did you arrive at the sonic realm your music exists within?
It’s always developed itself really. I let the song do the talking, I play what I play, and see what happens.
You’ve built up quite a following online, how do you think social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram can influence the trajectory of an emerging artists career and help to build a fanbase?
I mean obviously it’s huge now. Being honest though, I’m nor sure its the most amazing thing. I hope someday soon there will be another new artist who lives above it all and is able to create a culture and a live base and a sound that just cuts above all the social noise. But if you’re an emerging artist, I think its super important to keep feeding the machine BUT don’t let it define you. If it works then great, but keep whatever it is that makes you original and don’t change to try and get more views or likes at the start.
You’re currently in the midst of a European and UK tour. What can audiences expect from one of your live shows?
They’re fun. They’re emotional. They’re loud. For me, ifs been a lifetime in the making and I’m so proud of the show and of even being able to stand up there. I hope people have as good time as I am.
What’s been your favourite moment from the tour so far?
I played table football with Metallica at a festival last week and that was pretty insane but you can’t beat a hometown show. Playing the Ulster Hall in Belfast was the best night of my life.
What do you have in store for the rest of the year? More new music?
I’ve got shows til the end of August and then I’m finally going away to make my album with the most amazing small team. I can’t wait. See you on the other side x
GET TO KNOW JC STEWART
Tom Waits, Snow Patrol, U2, Van Morrison.
Album that has had the most impact on you?
Foy Vance - Joy of Nothing.
How do you define your musical style in 3 words?
Emotional, Pensive, Epic.
Best song of 2022 so far?
Joji - Glimpse of Us.
If you could create the soundtrack for any film, which one would it be?
Something weird like Willy Wonka. You could have a lot of fun with that one.
Hannah Montana or Miley Cyrus?
Hannah Montana all day!
What was the first song you loved to sing?
Hold My Hand by The Beatles.
A song you would love to cover on tour?
Currently, I’m covering Girls Just Wanna Have Fun and its going down a treat but next time I think Believe by Cher is up.
Album you would listen to on repeat on a road trip?
Gotta be Rumours by Fleetwood Mac.
First concert you went to?
Its an interesting one but it was Ronan Keating (formally of boyband legends Boyzone) in Belfast with my mum.
Best concert you have been to?
I think Nile Rodgers and Chic are very hard to beat.
First album you ever bought?
The Script's debut album. It still rips.
Would you rather be a Spice Girl or a Backstreet Boy?
Who doesn’t want to sing ‘Backstreets Back alright’ forever?
What’s would your street name be?
Lil Croc. Exclusively in crocs.
Most memorable show you’ve ever performed?
My hometown show in Belfast to thousands of people is one I’ll never ever forget.
Guilty music pleasure?
A bit of European chill house every now and again never hurt anybody.
If you could support any artist on tour, who would it be?
Oh right now I rekon Labrinth. He’s just on fire right now.
An artist you think has had the most influence on the music industry.
Gotta be Paul McCartney right?
What advice would your current self, give your future self, for a year from now?
Lifes short, have that beer.
The moment you knew you wanted to be a musician?
The day, when I was 14, that I wrote my first ever song.
Scars is out now!