Written By Kelly Holm
For 23-year-old singer-songwriter JC Stewart, the decision to be a musician was a spur-of-the-moment one. Eight years ago, the then-teenager penned a song and had a eureka moment.
“I literally went from never having thought of writing a song to making it my future career in 24 hours,” he said.
A year later, he was showcasing his original tunes at the Oh Yeah Centre in Belfast, opening for the alt-rock band More Than Conquerors.
“I’d Facebook messaged the drummer about ten times begging them to let me play and eventually I broke them down,” Stewart recalled. “They let me play four songs as soon as the door opened.”
Although More Than Conquerors is defunct as of 2015, Stewart remains close friends with its members, and that memory serves as a motivator for Stewart to chase his dreams. His most recent single, “Lying That You Love Me,” is comparable to those of recent hitmakers Lewis Capaldi and Dean Lewis.
“I was too in love with your flaws/Saw the signs, missed them all/Baby I was under your spell/Oh, you shot us down, started war, killed us off, wanted more… But I miss you lying that you love me,” the chorus goes.
The track, which Stewart describes as one of his favorites, was inspired by a mutual experience he shared with a friend.
“It was one of [my friends] who mentioned… something he was going through at the time. When he [shared that], I massively related to it and realized that I’d fully been in that situation before as well,” he said. “We wrote it pretty quickly and all the lyrics just fell out. It’s essentially about missing something that was awful for you, but because it was all you knew at the time, you still need it.”
The “Lying That You Love Me” music video just dropped on the 16th and truly brings the lyrics to life.
“The video is the story of the song,” he promises. “It’s super colourful and bright and tries to demonstrate the memory of the situation contrasted with the reality of it.”
However, “Lying That You Love Me” isn’t all you’ll hear from Stewart in 2020. Having been described as “hot” by Lizzo, he’s due to go on the upswing in the coming months, with more music in the works.
“I’ve got so much music coming out that people are going to be very sick of me by the time it’s over,” he says.
Additionally, a European tour is scheduled for later in the spring, pandemic permitting. While on the road, he advises fellow musicians to 1. Bring their friends along for collaborations and 2. Pack all the socks they can.
Whether or not the tour needs to be postponed, though, Stewart’s still got plenty to look forward to in his future, such as the fulfillment of lifelong goals like collaborating with 30 Seconds To Mars.
“Screaming sad songs at the top of my lungs in a roomful of people doing the same thing makes me so happy. That’s why I want to write euphoric, sad songs that people can really belt out,” he says. “Hopefully I get to do it for a lot longer.”
As for his ultimate pinnacle of success?
“If I played Red Rocks in Colorado and saw Chris Martin and Tom Waits sharing a whiskey whilst Lizzo belted out my lyrics, I would probably think I was getting pretty close.”
“They say happiness exists and you’re not sure where it goes/And you don’t know how you feel but you’re getting real close.”
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