Interview: David Stewart: “As much as writing my own material is important, writing and producing for other people are important as well”
The art of music has always been a form of expression. For some people this expression grows and is strengthened by life time experiences. For others, like David Stewart this expression starts at a young age, almost a way of life, a familiar setting.
David notes his father as an influence to his musical expression, and as with many artists there’s always that one song or band which brings them back to understanding what music really is.
Sometimes the simplest things are the most effective. I think this ideal is reflected strongly with David Stewart’s debut single, Pouring Rain. There’s nothing ‘deep’ behind it, “just words that sounded good and kind of ended up making sense”. Great sense if you ask me.
When did you fall in love with music?
As soon as was old enough to understand that, this was how people expressed themselves.
Briefly tell us about your musical journey thus far?
My musical journey so far started when I was 12-years-old, performing with my dad on stage and I used to get up and play the piano and sing Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word and then I used to go off and come back on and play the drums with him and his band and that’s where it kind of started.
So to skip forward five or six years I went on tour with Simply Red playing drums in a support band and off the back of that I booked the Example gig and where I was playing guitar for him and I played with him for three years touring around the world doing lots of gigs, lots of fun times and this is where I am now and at 23 I am now releasing my first proper iTunes single on my own label for my first single Pouring Rain which I wrote and produced.
Who did you look up musically when you were growing up?
Well, my dad was actually a huge inspiration to me because he is an amazing performer but as far as the greats you know Phil Collins, Michael Jackson, people that entertain real showmen. Robbie Williams, I use to go see. Coldplay I’ve seen them on tour, I would also go as far as saying Celine Dion and Whitney Houston – quite theatrical performers.
Tell us a bit about the concept behind the lyrics for Pouring Rain.
So the concept behind the lyric is that there is nothing deep about it, it’s a nice sentiment and it’s just about the simple things in life – being with that other person the chorus is a little bit dark but like I said there’s no story behind it, it’s just words that sounded good to me and kind of ended up making sense.
How did you end up touring with Example?
So the Example tour came about through the Simply Red support tour where I was playing drums. The tour manager for that was also working with Example and said ‘listen, Elliot [Example] needs a guitar player he’s about to go on tour with Lily Allen. He’s supporting her, his first single comes out which was Watch the Sun Come Up’. So I met Elliot in Nando’s and we get on really well and a week later we were rehearsing and a week later we were on tour.
Who do you aspire to be like?
As an artist I’m really intrigued into what Bruno Mars has done and also someone like Ryan Tedder actually as both are song writers and producers. It’s almost like a modern day concept that someone is established as a writer and producer for other artists as well as being an artist themselves because Ryan Tedder is the lead singer of One Republic so as much as writing my own material is important writing for other people and producing for other people is important as well.
How do you feel about supporting Ronan Keating next month?
Yeah that’s going to be great supporting Ronan, that came through John Giddings who is agent to The Rolling Stones, U2, Madonna, and he is someone I’ve actually been keeping in contact with since I was 16-years-old and it’s only been now really that I’ve been ready to kind of do something that he’s involved with. But I can’t wait for that to be great, it’s two days before my single comes out. It’s going be a full band, there is going to be good lighting and it’s going to have proper sound. It’s going to be the first proper gig where it’s going to be on a proper stage and I’m really, really excited about it. I just hope it’s the starting block for more gigs like that.
Pop Justice had some kind words to say about you recently, they described your sound as a cross between mid-to-late-80s US pop, what do you think about this statement?
I would say that’s exactly right, that’s exactly what I’m going for that kind of mid 80s pop sound.
Who would you least like to collaborate with and why?
I’ve got to be really careful with what I say here, erm, I don’t want to bad mouth anyone that’s not really my thing, let’s just say I don’t think I would do a song with Jedward.
If you lost your voice tomorrow what would you be doing instead?
I would still be in the music industry, I think I would just be on the other side. I would still write somehow without my voice, I would find a way to do it. I love business; it’s a huge part of what I do, so whether it would be developing artists or running a record label that is the end goal for me, running a big record label.
Describe the kind of artist you are in a sentence?
I feel comfortable in quite a few different genres, I’m quite a versatile artist, also as a producer and a writer I feel that’s something I’m very keen on and I work hard basically.
CJ Beats from BBC Radio 1 gave your single its first spin recently, describe your initial reaction to this?
It was very kind of him to play it, I’d previously had support from MistaJam also from Radio 1Xtra with my last single, so it was nice to be played again on 1Xtra. Hopefully that’s the start of more radio play and we can move onwards and upwards, but I was very flattered he played it.
Which is your favourite track to date?
Not because it’s my current single but I am very proud of Pouring Rain as a piece of writing and production and because I played everything on it, I’m just very proud of it as a whole.
Tell us your future plans with your independent label Sun Dream City?
At the moment Sun Dream City is just kind of housing my own stuff in the future I hope to house other artists and even further on from that I want it to become an empire.
If you had one wish within the music industry what would it be?
To support Bruno Mars on tour in December.
Do you have any last words for your fans?
My new single Pouring Rain is out now, keep your eyes peeled and I hope that I’ll be coming somewhere soon to come and play a gig for you and play you all my new songs.Tagged in: David Stewart, Example, Lily Allen, Pouring Rain, Ronan Keating, Simply Red
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