This week we caught up with Northern Ireland’s Callum Stewart, a super talented young singer/songwriter. We asked him about his his proudest achievement, what motivates him, who his hero is, his hopes for the future, and his tips for aspiring musicians.
How long have you been making music?
I’ve been singing since I was around 10 but I only discovered songwriting 3 years ago. It changed everything for me as I discovered that I could actually say something through my own music instead of singing what oner people wanted to say.
How did you get involved?
My friend invited me to a songwriting workshop that was run by local musicians. I went with a guitar with only 4 strings and had no idea what I was getting myself in for. I needed up writing 3 songs that weekend and it kicked off my immense passion for songwriting.
What’s your proudest achievement so far?
My proudest achievement so far has to be being invited to write on the re-mix of Le Freak with Nile Rodgers and Rudimental. It was an experience that I will never forget and was one of the most incredible weeks of my life. It was an honour to be able to work with people at the top of their respective genres and something I hope to continue to do!
What motivates you?
The thing that motivates me the most is the fact that, quite simply, I love making music. The possibility of making music professionally for the rest of my life and not having to get a “proper job” is something that pushes me to work as hard as possible to achieve my goals. Also, working hard in music can be a lot of fun!
Who’s your hero?
The answer for this question changes everyday but i’ll give today’s variation of it. First of all, I would have to say Levon Helm who was the drummer and vocalist in “The Band”. They started as Bob Dylan’s backing band and worked their way up to being one of the most popular bands in the 60’s and eve put on one of the most famous shows of all time, The Last Waltz. A more modern hero of mine is Mark Ronson. He is consistently successful and has worked in so many genres and with so many music legends. If I could achieve even half of what he has I would be very happy.
What are your hopes for the future?
My hopes for the future are to be able to make a living from my music, to be travelling constantly and to be happy. As cheesy as it sounds, I want to be able to be happy both inside and outside of the music industry and need to find a way of achieving this. Another thing that I have realised is that I would be more than happy to be a collaborative songwriter full time and not do the performing. Of course the ultimate goal is to be able to perform my songs but if that doesn’t work out, I have my fall back option.
Any tips for aspiring musicians?
BE PROLIFIC! Write as many songs as you can. Even if most of them are rubbish, you are bound to find a gem in their somewhere and the more you write, the more you can produce the gems. Also, know your business. Study up on what publishing is, how PR can help you and just generally have a grasp of every aspect of the business. This makes you look like you are taking your music seriously and will also help you when hiring managers or signing record deals.
How would you spend £1 million?
This a tough one and my head is split.
My two options are either saving and investing the money i.e being safe or having a bit of fun and buy a Yacht. I’ve always dreamed of sailing in the Caribbean in the lap of luxury and I think £1 million would just about do it!