A rising star in the County Derry music scene has announced his biggest Belfast headline show to date this autumn.
Magherafelt singer songwriter JC Stewart will take to the stage at the Ulster Hall in September for the JC Stewart and Guests showpiece.
JC’s is approaching two million monthly listeners at Spotify and Radio 1 has emerged as a key backer, resulting in a playlist for Lying That You Love Me and a live performance for their virtual Big Weekend.
Apple Music also tipped him as a rising star, when they named him as their new artist of the week, and the scenes he orchestrated his London residency have been repeated with shows as guest to Lewis Capaldi, Lauv, Anne-Marie, Maisie Peters and Freya Ridings as well as an MTV Push event alongside Yungblud, Raye and Lily Moore.
JC’s songwriting is inspired by emotion and universal truths in language that is consciously direct and uncluttered. Is he as good at doing that outside of a song, in everyday life?
“No, I’m terrible,” he chuckles.
“Actually, I think I’m bad at doing it in a song sometimes. The best of my songs are the ones where I genuinely do it; but a lot of the time I find it really hard to get there.
"You circle round it but you never quite catch it. I’ve got so much stuff going on in my head. Take for example, The Wrong Ones is a song I wrote after a year of failed attempts at finding 'the right one'.
"It’s essentially an account of the different people I came across and at the end wondering if actually maybe I was the issue the whole time."
Bored during lockdown, JC filmed his quarantine-themed take on the Friends theme song I’ll Be There For You, singing, “It looks like we'll be inside for a year/ Or it might only be a day, a week or months it's really not clear.”
It exploded after Jennifer Aniston shared it on Instagram. Suddenly it was featured on Good Morning America, and Nina Dobrev also shared it with her 20 million followers as it raced to five million views.
JC kept his profile riding high throughout the remainder of 2020, collaborating with 220 Kid for Too Many Nights, before he released his long awaited debut EP When The Lights Hit The Room.
He wrote the EP with the BRIT and Ivor Novello Award winner Tom Odell, and together they crafted four emotive stories of the growing pains of young adulthood.
He now looks set to become one of 2021’s biggest breakthrough artists, starting in January with boldest pop moment to date in the shape of the new single Break My Heart.
“The whole point is to make it quite big and epic,” he concludes.
"But at the same time, I’m from a farm in Northern Ireland, so I want to keep hold of that too. I’m writing songs, and I’m doing my own thing.”
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