David Stewart Jr
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David Stewart Jr

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Rock Alternative




"Berklee Rock Trio DSJR Visits Red Bull Studios New York"

By Gabi Lamb

For the majority of college students, Red Bull is that extra ounce of strength when pulling an all-nighter during midterms and finals, but for a few lucky Berklee students, Red Bull has provided a platform much larger than a caffeinated drink. After months of preparation, rock trio David Stewart Jr. (DSJR) and a full media team kicked off spring break ‘14 at Red Bull Studios in New York City. The band had a full two-day itinerary of studio sessions and promotional activities including a 20 hour studio lockout with Chief Engineer Chris Tabron, who’s credits include Beyoncé and Shiny Toy Guns, and a podcast interview with Anthony Valadez, a radio DJ from Los Angeles’ hit radio station KCRW.

Originally from Lima, Peru the DSJR songwriter, vocalist, and bassist, David Stewart came to Berklee in the Fall of 2012 to work on mastering his craft as an artist and find like-minded musicians to form a band. Guitarist from Bath England, Ed Graves and drummer Chava Ilizaliturri from Mexico City were brought to David’s attention from mutual friends at Berklee. After a few jam sessions, the DSJR rock trio was born. Even though they have only been playing together for a year, the band has already released an EP titled ‘Multi-Colored Man’ and received notable recognition performing at the BMI Acoustic Brunch and the Berklee Stage during last year’s SXSW Music Festival (2013) in Austin, TX.

DSJR, student producer Nate Bridges, and a media team consisting of Berklee student Gabi Lamb and Emerson film student Danny Chamberlin loaded up two trucks and headed out to the Big Apple bright and early at 6am on Monday, March 17. The cross-collegiate team had already worked together on projects in the past, including a recent music video shoot in Boston South End district and numerous recording sessions at The Record Company.

Red Bull Studios NY is a two-story facility that is dedicated to giving both established and emerging artists the resources and tools necessary develop and showcase their work, allowing musical innovation to take place on a universal platform. The space includes an upstairs project space, (currently being used for a pop-up art exhibit) lecture hall, broadcast booth and state-of-the-art basement-recording studio. It is here that fashion, photography, film, art, music and culture have a space and community where artistic expression is both constructed and supported.

“I love the fact that Chris wouldn’t force us to do anything. He would let us create, and make sure we felt free to try out our ideas, as if we were producing as well…” — Chava Ilizaliturri

Record producer, engineer and mixer Chris Tabron, whose credits include Beyoncé, Shiny Toy Guns, Robin Thicke and MNDR was in the studio with DSJR while the band worked on recording two new singles, “Neon Love” and “Blackout In The Stadium”. While working in the studio, Chris lent his engineering expertise and brought forth a fresh perspective to each one of the songs’ productions, while still keeping true to the band’s original sound and vision. “I love the fact that Chris wouldn’t force us to do anything. He would let us create, and make sure we felt free to try out our ideas, as if we were producing as well,” says Ilizaliturri. While recording, David, Ed and Chava were completely in their element. During those two intense days in the studio, everything else outside of the studio walls was irrelevant and all that was left was musical bliss. Together, the collaborative dynamic between DSJR and Chris flowed seamlessly, as listeners will be able to hear in the final versions of the songs.

“What most moved me about this band was their sincere passion at such a young age and appreciation for rock music…” — Anthony Valadez

The second day at Red Bull NY, DSJR participated in a radio podcast conducted by Anthony Valadez, a radio DJ on LA’s music station, KCRW. Anthony first spent time getting to know David, Ed and Chava. The diversity and drive that the three musicians so cohesively demonstrate together stirred up an interesting conversation about how each person’s unique background, journey, and influences in music come together to form such a unified and powerful sound in DSJR. “What most moved me about this band was their sincere passion at such a young age and appreciation for rock music,” Valdez noted afterward. In between the discussion, DSJR played a couple live tracks including an unplugged version of the band’s original song, “These Days Are Faded” and a cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition.” David, Ed and Chava’s raw talent, along with their consistent driven nature, formed the backbone of the podcast.

The David Stewart Jr. rock trio exemplifies the possibilities that spring from the saturation of talented and driven musicians found at Berklee College of Music. Berklee is a truly unique place that brings together musicians from all over the world to fuse many unexpected musical styles and visions into exciting new collaborations. “It was really inspiring to hear Anthony tell us that we are ‘proof that rock music is alive and well.’ His comment stays with me as motivation to keep pursuing our dream” Stewart reflects. Undoubtedly, if the band can accomplish so much in two days of spring break, they have many more exciting opportunities awaiting them. The team wrapped up their time at the studio by blasting the final versions of “Neon Love” and “Blackout In The Stadium.” As the freshly recorded rock songs echoed through the studio, the band members felt inspired about the potential that collaborations like that of Red Bull Studios and Berklee could unlock for their professional careers in music. - Berklee Groove


David Stewart Jr is all about the 80s, all about the same searing guitar introductions to songs, all about sex in the lyrics, all about high-pitched male vocal harmonies, all about heavy percussion, all about that transitory phase metal goes through when attempting to reach a wider audience. He fronts a three-man crew that plays the rock basics: guitar, drums and bass. And he's originally from Lima, Peru. I knew a guy from Peru once but he was into house music and EDM.

DSJR is only four tracks long, which is a bummer because, despite being only 19 years old, Stewart's compositional skills are top notch. He constructs fun and usually frantic songs that will make you want to headbang, whether you're alone or in a crowd. The opener "Night In Town" is awesome and uses a tough riff to introduce a verse-chorus emulation of those sloppy drunk nights when the only thing louder than the music is the sex. "Multicolor Man" offers excellent drumming and a slightly psychedelic bridge courtesy of Daniel Clark and Ed Graves respectively (they play on all the tracks, I'm just now mentioning them) while Stewart proclaims, "And if you ever see me walking/smoking grass while on a stroll/just wait 'till night time hits the city/then I'm the god of rock and roll!" And his voice is so hyper-charged you can easily believe it.

"Concrete December" is the loneliest-sounding number here by far, what with its tough blues-type guitars, slow-tempo drumming and self-destructive solo toward the end, with Stewart shouting at December to leave so he can get his sex on. "These Days Are Faded" end the EP on a slightly bruised note, when Stewart tries to restrain his vocals and comes off like some weird mix of Eddie Vedder and Chris Cornell. This isn't hyperbole on my part.

Damn good EP, tough, sexy and sweaty. Graves KILLS it on guitar on every song and each cut sounds fully realized and confident. Not bad from a guy who can't legally drink. I'm way excited to hear his music once he discovers LSD. - The Equal Ground


March 19, 2013 — 'These Days are Faded' — Single release on Bandcamp
May 27, 2013 — 'DSJR EP' — Album release on Bandcamp
      1. "Night in Town"
      2. "Multicolor Man"
      3. "Concrete December"
      4. "These Days Are Faded"
April 2, 2014 — 'Neon Love' — Single release on Soundcloud
April 2, 2014 — 'Blackout in the Stadium' — Single release on Soundcloud
April 30, 2014 — 'Cells Divide' — Single release on Soundcloud
July 2, 2014 — 'This Is A Working Vinyl' EP — Album release on Bandcamp
      1. "23"
      2. "Oh My Sweet Virginia"
      3. "London"
      4. "Untouchable"



Vocalist, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, David Stewart Jr., is honored to be the first recipient of the premiere Berklee Lollapalooza Endowed Scholarship, a four-year, full tuition award. The selection committee chose Stewart based on his outstanding musicianship. In the spirit of Lollapalooza, the college aimed to find not only an exceptional talent, but also a musician with charisma, energy, and a strong interest in rock music who aspires to a performance career.

David Stewart Jr. is originally from Lima, Peru, but moved with his family to Pompano Beach, Florida when he was 6 years old. Now twenty, he is a National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts YoungArts program winner in pop vocal performance and theater, recipient of Floridas statewide Cappie Award for Musical Theater and was a finalist to enter televisions top-rated program, The Voice, an opportunity that David decided to forgo in order to find his own path and dedicate himself fully to his first year at Berklee.

 David is not only ambitious with his artistry, but is also focused on his career, aligning himself with experienced mentors and artist management. He has recently signed to BMI, whos team is supporting him fully, setting up co-writing and industry acoustic sessions, and he has formed his Boston-based David Stewart Jr. rock trio with fellow Berklee students, British guitarist and arranger, Ed Graves and Mexican rock drum phenomenon, Chava. David has recently worked with celebrities such as Josh Groban and Judith Hill, stages as big as SXSW and HBO, and is currently gigging, studying, and creating in Boston, MA.

Band Members