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Interview: David Stewart

David Stewart is West London’s finest new talent. The singer, songwriter and record producer has already worked with top British artists such as Ed Sheeran, Yasmin and Wretch 32; which inevitably seduced him into pursuing his own solo career. We caught up with David, and here is what happened…

Planet Notion: Tell us about your first musical experience and what that experience meant to you?
David Stewart: When I was 12 years old my dad brought me on stage to play the piano, then I was brought on again to play the drums with his band so that was my first proper stage experience. The first audience I played to was two and a half thousand people on a massive stage with lights and everything so that kind of made me spoilt at a young age, because when I did perform at smaller venues, I would question where the lights and smoke were [laughs] but it was a great starting platform for me at such a young age.

PN: For those who may not know, who is your father?
DS: My dad’s name is Alan Stewart. He is a Scottish entertainer and he was on television a lot in the 80’s. He had a television show. He is an actor and an impressionist.

PN: Do you have any form of credible mentions i.e. have you performed alongside Justin Timberlake?
DS: Well apart from playing alongside Example for three years, things are only just beginning to come together as I venture out on my own with doing live shows. I did the Isle of White festival this year and hopefully really soon I will be performing alongside some amazing artists.

PN: Tell us a bit about the concept behind your new single ‘Pouring Rain’ and the video?
DS: The concept behind the single is very 80’s driven… very Phil Collins, Earth Wind & Fire influenced, you know big stacked harmonies, driving kind of bass, big horn sections. With the video I went out to LA not knowing anyone, emailed the single to about 30 directors and one got back to me, a 21 year old who could work with the budget and timeframe. I told him exactly what I wanted and we just ended up shooting this video on a very low budget and I’m really chuffed about how it all came out. I basically went out there blind, not knowing anyone so it was a real exciting experience.

PN: If you could be as big as any artist, who would it be?
DS: I would say Bruno Mars because he is a proper musician, he plays the instruments and I see him as an amazing songwriter and a producer as well. Live show wise I think he has the best live shows in the world, compared to your Beyonce’s and Jay – Zs to be honest, he’s just so exciting.

PN: How important do you feel it is to have creative control over your music?
DS: Because I produce and write everything myself, I’m quite controlling in what I do anyway. I’ve got such a clear vision so to be able to have full control of exactly how the release goes and exactly how I’m being perceived as an artist is an amazing feeling, to not have anyone telling me what to do at this stage of my career, not saying that in a ‘diva’ way I just think it’s so important to establish yourself as an artist first before you bring on a label because I think those things can get quite confusing.

PN: How would you describe your sound?
DS: I have been through quite a few genres over the past few years from lo – fi RnB to what I’m currently doing now, which in my opinion is what I really do best which is pop music, but I’m still trying to keep it cool and a little bit different, even though I have opted for the 1980’s very stylised production. When you go and see a Beyonce show for example, there is so much tension in the show it makes it more than just a concert, it makes it like an actual show, so that’s what really excites me about this kind of stuff, it allows me to be a bit dramatic and theatrical which is naturally easy for me.

PN: What is your opinion on such competitions like XFactor and The Voice UK?
DS: I don’t think it is a bad thing in the slightest. There is a lot of negative press from these kinds of talent shows, but in saying that, it does give the opportunity to people who never originally had the opportunity to get into the industry. They are amazing platforms. For me personally, it’s not the right route and as I’ve gotten this far without it, I feel I don’t necessarily need it. However two weeks ago at the Isle of White Festival after my set I did get scouted for The Voice.

PN: If you were invisible for a day what would you do?
DS: I would definitely make sure I was in a session where Jay – Z was recording his record with Pharrell and Rick Ruben I would just be chilling.

PN: If you had a time machine, what period of time in music would you visit and why?
DS: I would like to be in Miami in the 1980s wearing a white suit, gold Rolex and driving an old Ferrari.

PN: What’s next for David Stewart?
DS: Hopefully booking a tour by the end of the year and writing, recording my record.

You can find out more about David Stewart here: Twitter | Facebook | SoundCloud | YouTube

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