Derry native JC Stewart grew up in a family of grocers, but was determined to take the road less travelled.
The young musician cites everyone from James Blake to Bob Dylan as an influence, has written songs with his pals Lewis Capaldi and Niall Horan, has played with Maggie Rogers and Maisie Peters and has been cited as 'one to watch' for 2021 by several publications.
He released his latest single 'Break My Heart' earlier this year and has big plans for the next few months – so we caught up with him for a chat.
1. What's the music that you listened to growing up, that you still listen to today?
I used to listen to a lot of Paolo Nutini and I’m still a bit in awe of him. Other names include The Band, FUN and The Script's first album - I love that first album so much.
2. In three words, describe the minute before you walk on stage.
Quiet, intense, focused.
3. How do you wind down after a gig?
Usually me and my bandmates will have a few beers, talk rubbish for a while and play Fifa. I wish I had a more rock’n’roll answer for this…!
4. What’s the one song you wish you’d written first?
'Jealous' by Labrinth or 'Stay' by Rihanna. Perfect songs.
5. What’s the last thing you watched on TV?
'Schitt's Creek'. I’m obsessed and would absolutely love to be on that show. It’s so well written!
6. Name one record and one film that everyone should hear / see.
Benjamin Francis Leftwich’s first record and 'The Last Waltz'.
7. What's your biggest pet peeve?
People who walk slowly and don’t leave any room for you to pass them, so you have to pick the perfect moment and power walk around them whilst trying to retain your dignity.
8. Who's the most famous person saved to your phone contacts?
Lewis Capaldi, Niall Horan or Alex Albon.
9. You’re ordering take-away, what do you get?
Chinese. Crispy chilli beef, sweet and sour chicken, Kung Pao chicken, rice, chips, chicken balls, spring rolls, curry sauce, prawn toast and half a duck DON’T EVEN ARGUE WITH ME HERE CAUSE I AM RIGHT.
10. Describe your perfect day off.
A rooftop in Barcelona. Sun shining. Beer in hand. The dream.
BONUS QUESTION: Recommend a podcast and tell us why we should subscribe to it.
Off Menu' by James Acaster and Ed Gamble is amazing. They essentially just ask famous people to describe their dream menu in any restaurant, and hilarity ensues.
'Break My Heart' is out now.