Brett Ryan Stewart is a Nashville singer/songwriter whose lyrics lend a deep look into the artist’s life experience of loss, purpose and hope. The Delaware transplant and self-taught guitarist has a distinct indie/pop sound peppered with a southern influence which named him “…a talent worth watching!” by Performing Songwriter Magazine.
Stewart’s new record, Tilt, in conjunction with Ariel Publicity & Cyber PR and ThinkPress, was released in February. A culmination between Stewart and guitarist/producer Chris Tench, Tilt gives listeners a window to the landscape of Stewart’s heart and mind. Together with Nashville based producer Tres Sasser (Will Hoge/ James Dunn), Roger Moutenot (Guster/Lou Reed/Yo La Tango), the clean elegance and effortless power of Stewart’s voice confronts the inevitable and the unknown from Stewart’s self-professed “awakened state of mind”, which he attributes to the recent, sudden loss of two friends. The release of Tilt symbolizes a “…rebirth of sorts”, and, compared to his previous work, Stewart considers Tilt to be “more of an offering than a group therapy session”.
Tell me about how you originally got into your craft.
I discovered Rock and Roll at about 12 years old. My brother passed his vinyl collection on to me and I spun his Neil Young, Who, etc... At 13 I got my first guitar for Christmas I was learning to play, but skipped learning songs and jumped right in to making my own. I was hooked from then on. By that summer I'd started a band and the rest is history.
What is your favorite thing to do in the whole wide world?
What is your biggest challenge when it comes to running your business?
Staying organized and energized, especially about the "business" stuff. I favor the creative part, the writing, the magic. I can only handle self-promotion in small doses.
When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
Major League Baseball Player. My Dad played ball and, after he passed, I wanted to follow through his dream. Music changed my course.
In what way has your community impacted your development as a musician?
Living in Nashville has it's obvious implications. First off, you can't half-ass it if you're going to survive. You're surrounded by the cream of the crop here, so it's shape up or ship out. That's exciting for me, and of course the reason I came. The city is more culturally diverse then we get credit for. In fact, it's become incredibly hip and metropolitan in the last few years. The slow pace of the South lends itself well to a creative community, and the people really are damn friendly. Especially when you've come from Philly area.
What other artists out there do you love?
Nashville has some of the greatest. John Prine. Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. David Mead. Matthew Ryan. There's too many to name.
What does your future hold?
Hopefully years of making records, staying Present, loving, breathing, and at some point, crossing the Great Divide.