South African singer-songwriter-guitarist Rowan Stuart has created an inimitable brand of Soul Folk music, with pop and world influences. Recalling Sting’s imaginative storytelling, Death Cab for Cutie’s sense of space and beauty, and John Mayer’s tight grooves, Rowan uses his notable prowess on the guitar as the foundation for his creativity.
Rowan’s career came into full swing in 2014 with the release of his album ‘Hidden Doors’. He has since toured South Africa, and opened for some of the country’s biggest acts, including The Parlotones, Prime Circle, Matthew Mole and many others. Rowan’s talents were recognized by Cort Guitars, who invited him to become a South African brand ambassador.
His latest single “Silver Balloon” – released August 2016 – juxtaposes Rowan’s earlier acoustic focus, working in a house/urban beat that provides a strong undercurrent for his signature lyrical content – storytelling at its best. This song is at once recognisable and different, indicating a fresh, new direction for the young guitar maestro.
Produced by Shotgun Fakes – the husband and wife duo Stef and Pam Myburgh, previously of The Arrows – “Silver Balloon” carries with it the capacity for universal appeal. This is typical of Rowan, whose formula of both discerning, yet uplifting pop songs always hits the sweet spot. “Silver Balloon” is currently receiving radio play on 5FM, Algoa FM, East Coast Radio and radio stations across South Africa.
Your curiousity is probably running high now, so without beating around the bush, here are 10 things you didn’t know about Rowan Stuart:
1. He has phobias for spiders and needles. And possibly spiders with needles for legs. (Nothing to be ashamed of Rowan, I don’t like them either)
2. His first big concert was front row at Lenny Kravitz in Durban. It was super inspiring for a young fledgling musician. (Now I am jealous, thanks…)
3. He creates clutter wherever he goes. Even if it’s a hotel or B & B overnight – within an hour the bed will resemble an earthquake aftermath photo. (Sounds like my tent at Oppikoppi, I know what you mean)
4. He doesn’t drink or smoke, and has never taken an illegal drug. (Impressive)
5. He thinks he is dangerously good at Scrabble, and has not met his match yet. (Challenge Accepted…)
6. He is bad at pretty much anything to do with sports. He will most likely come last in a group of 5 in any sporting activity. (Sounds like me, can one get Springbok colours for blogging? I’m good at that…)
7. He occasionally does really strange dances at the accommodation on tours. It amuses his bassist and his girlfriend. They have filmed some of these dances, and now have leverage / blackmail material against him for the future. (Videos or it didn’t happen).
8. If he wasn’t a musician, he’d probably be drawing and designing for a living. You can view some of his set list doodles on his instagram account.
9. He doesn’t like dogs, and he tolerates cats. He’s not an animal-lover – there he said it! But before he loses half his fan-base, please note that . . . he has respect for all life, including animals. He doesn’t even kill mosquitoes – he actually catches them and releases them outside. (How many mosquitoes do you catch every month?)
10, Liam from Veranda Panda recently reminded him that when they were in school, he was the only one of his friends who used to wear in-line skates while the rest were on skateboards. Apparently that was pretty lame! Or was he just unique . . . ? (We are going with unique Rowan).
I’d like to thank Rowan for giving us this interesting facts about himself and I wish him all of the best with his future musical endeavors. If you’re not familiar with his music, check out the music video for his song “Castle Beach” below: