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Our New for 2020 guide introduces our top picks of the hottest new emerging live bands and musicians for those looking to find the best new acts to see live in 2020. Find the full list here.
Diverting away from his longstanding family grocery business, young County Derry musician JC Stewart’s true passion has always been music, now crafting bold anthems and intimate confessionals all crafted from his own experiences of love and heartbreak. It’s a style that has earned him The Professional Sadboy nickname, as bestowed by his sisters. “That’s the goal,” he laughs at the fitting title, “to have real songs, but also to have a lot of fun with them.”
The power of Stewart’s voice is immediately evident, not least on 2019’s Bones, which was penned by the musician the day following his first ever breakup, and September’s Pick Up Your Phone, an ode to making that ill advised call to a former lover.
In part cutting his teeth as a songwriter for his contemporaries – JC Stewart is responsible for Hollywood on Lewis Capaldi’s debut smash Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent – earlier this year he cemented his status as a rising star in his own right with the haunting pop ballad Have You Had Enough Wine?. The song, reliving the final conversation in a relationship, blends his pop prowess with a sound as dark as its theme.
It’s one in a series of equally introverted tracks that bridge the gap between pop and expert balladry, having released music as far back as 2014’s soaring Gold and 2016’s raw Parachute. Since signing to major label Warner Music he has unveiled four singles; the gritty Medicine, the acoustic-led Like I Did the pained Have You Had Enough Wine? and latest tune Bones. As grandiose as his sound gets, JC Stewart remains a singer-songwriter at heart.
This brilliant blend of ability and melody has seen JC Stewart join the likes of indie stalwarts Kodaline, Ticketmaster New Music graduate Freya Ridings and pop prince LAUV on the road. 2019 also saw him take to Latitude Festival at The Alcove Stage on the Sunday, and support Anne-Marie at Custom House Square in Belfast, and deliver a sold out residency at London’s The Islington.
Rounding off the year joining Maisie Peters on the road, and with headline shows already confirmed for 2020, JC Stewart’s career looks set to jump far from his family grocery business, yet is destined to retain the heart and soul of his heritage and his upbringing; The Professional Sadboy indeed.
More essential tracks
Like I Did
Medicine (Live Acoustic Video)
For any current and future JC Stewart live dates head to Ticketmaster.co.uk.
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