While the music world is still strung up over the pandemic-era Grammy nominations, Irish up and coming breakthrough artist JC Stewart is stealing some of the limelight as he releases his debut EP, ‘When The Light Hits the Room‘. It also features his new single “Rest of my Life” and the entire setlist can be viewed below. We caught up with this rapidly rising singer-songwriter – who hails from Northern Ireland as he discusses his most recent milestone.
This highly anticipated EP under Warner Music was self-written and is a collaboration with the Brit and Novello Award Winner Tom Odell. Releasing a single during these dreaded times is challenging, let alone an EP.
“The first few weeks were really tough, I thought my whole career is really done but we’ve decided to push through with this amazing collab with one of my musical heroes Tom Odell. I was over the moon since he’s such an inspiration and it’s like a dream,” the young singer said.
What to expect with this EP?
The vibe is easy listening which can be super heartfelt yet uplifting at the same time. It is an escape that we need from what has been going on. This hypnotizing and heart-warming EP has four thematically linked songs. This set emotive stories of the growing pains of young adulthood to songs. Its unique sound balances immediately addictive pop hooks with heartfelt reflection.
What’s more amazing is that all the songs were written during the lockdown in the pandemic. That must have added to the torment of a real-life experience which makes this EP more sincere and relatable.
“My goal is not only to play music to people but also to share real-life experiences through my songs that everyone can easily relate to. I love to do story-telling and I want my songs to be so honest and full of sincerity,” JC said.
What’s the story behind this EP?
This self-proclaimed professional sad boy was elated to share the story behind the intriguing title, “When The Light Hits The Room’.
“The whole EP is all about searching for happiness. It’s the journey of finding that end goal that you think is gonna make you happy whether it’s money, fame, success or parties, or whatever. I was able to experience that and I realized that it’s not really making me happy. There’s a lot more than the mundane stuff. What’s important is just in front of my eyes all my life, my family and my friends and the simple stuff that actually makes me happy. The whole EP is all about that journey of searching for true happiness is. It’s about that moment when the lights in your head turned on and the realization that what you’ve been seeking ever since will not really make you happy,” JC explained.
What was his creative process?
I wrote a lot of this EP in the back room of my parents’ house over lockdown and then was lucky enough to work with one of my heroes, Tom Odell, to bring it all together. I’m unbelievably proud to call my first ever small body of work.”
The EP’s lead track ‘Rest Of My Life’ perfectly captures that concept.
Driven by JC’s candid admission: “I just want to find someone that I can spend the rest of my life with,” the song’s compellingly unguarded subject matter is magnified by the production. His spine-tingling voice is enriched with subtle creative twists to elevate his harmonies and backing vocals. Meanwhile, buoyant and pulsating percussion provides a modern pop feel that enlivens his lovelorn lyricism.
The remaining tracks reiterate the strength of the duo’s collaboration. ‘Valium’ is a hymnal declaration of a fractured relationship that builds into a climactic crescendo, before the plaintive piano of ‘Friday Night’ craves the brief respite from day-to-day life that the weekend brings. It ends, however, on a high. ‘Hard To Believe’ suggests that the hopes he expressed in ‘Rest Of My Life’ are coming true, with a tender celebration of how “a girl like you should never love a man like me.”
What to expect from JC Stewart in the future?
JC plans to share his music and play in as many countries as he can and meet as many amazing people along the way. One of those is the Philippines which he is set to visit come next year.
“I was supposed to come to Manila last March or April but due to the quarantine, we have to postpone or cancel months of touring and other promotional plans,” he said.
The news though of him visiting the country will surely thrill his Filipino fans.
JC will kickstart a big year ahead of him in 2021 by sharing his boldest pop moment to date in the shape of his huge upcoming single ‘Break My Heart’. Set to arrive on January 8th, the track will be JC’s first-ever vinyl release and will also be released digitally.
How would you like to be recognized as an artist?
The music industry is so saturated and it’s so hard to leave a mark but this young musician would just like to connect to people through his music.
“I’d like to be recognized as someone who comes across it is what it is. I’m not trying to be someone else, I’m just a guy who’s writing songs honestly. It is what I’d like to promote, it’s all honesty and be real to people.”
Will this authenticity catapult him to musical stardom in the near future? Well, only time can tell. As for now, his music is heaven on earth.
JC Stewart’s When The Light Hits The Room is available to stream on platforms. You can access it by clicking here.
Listen to “Rest Of My Life” here.
When The Light Hits The Room setlist:
- Rest Of My Life
- Friday Night
- Hard To Believe