Jonathan Stewart (July 2009) | Interview By:
Chad Kiser and Jonathan Hay|
Dubcnn caught up with lighting-fast, All-Star Running Back, Jonathan Stewart of the Carolina Panther’s.
This multi-millionaire professional athlete is also an aspiring music producer who has his sights set on
becoming a beast in the studio – as well as in the NFL.
Don’t get it confused though, Stewart isn’t in it for the money. This young and gifted star is genuinely
in it for the love of the game – this game being music. However, don’t worry football fans, although
Stewart’s passion for music abounds, it will never get in the way of his focus on the Pigskin (After all,
let’s be honest, not too much can get in the way of #28).
It’s with great honor that we bring you this exclusive interview with Jonathan Stewart.
Interview was done in July 2009
Interview Assistance By: Sabrina
Dubcnn Exclusive – Jonathan Stewart
By: Chad Kiser And Jonathan Hay
Dubcnn: What's good with ya?
Oh, just chillin at the crib here in Charlotte…
Dubcnn: : I know your coming off the season just losing to Arizona in the playoffs,
what's going through your mind right now?
You don't lose that bitter taste out of your mouth for a while, but you have to keep
in mind that every year, there is only one team that makes it out of the playoffs and we
had a good year, but we need to work harder for next year. We are just getting in the
right mindset for training camp.
Dubcnn: The [Carolina] Panthers have never had consecutive winning seasons, are we going
to see that this year?
I don't know the statistics on that, but I'm optimistic… I’d put my money on us.
Dubcnn: I'm going to switch gears on you a little bit… I know in college you were pursuing
a degree in political science, what exactly does that entail?
It is the study of history, politics and government and how different laws and problems
are solved and debated. There are different classes that refer to our country and political system.
Dubcnn: Another thing we are just learning about you, other than the fact that you’re a
phenomenal athlete, is that you are also an aspiring [music] producer. Who are some of your
influences that you admire in the hip-hop game, or just music in general?
Timbaland, [Dr] Dre, Kanye, and Pharrell [Williams].
Dubcnn: You named a few different sounding producers, so how would you describe your own musical sound?
I think I have an in-between style. I'm inspired by different people in many different ways. All
the producers I mentioned, went out on the edge a little bit and it was either hit or miss with them.
Most of the things they did, did hit - - and at times, they went away from what was popular at the moment
and they still did real well. Right now, I'm trying to find exactly what kind of music I'm doing.
Personally, I fit in with the South as far as I have those 808's [drum sounds] but I wouldn't say it's
totally South or anything else… My music is something all to its own.
Dubcnn: What kind of music equipment do you use and what kind of gear is in your personal studio?
I have a Roland Fantom G8--which has many features, such as thousands of great natural sounds and
synths that can be manipulated in many different ways. It also has the option to record sounds,
voice and sample; that's the keyboard itself. However, most of my work comes from a regular keyboard
that's hooked to my computer. I have the programs Reason and Logic Pro and that's what I mainly work
with. I prefer these programs for the convenience of being able to add plug-ins and redrum kits.
Dubcnn: So as a producer who listens to different sounds and songs, etc. Who is in your current
rotation in your iPod, or CD changer right now…
Right now, I've been listening to The-Dream CD [Love vs. Money] … His own style of music is cool
- - some stuff he does is trendy and then, not so trendy. I like people who have their own individual
style… you know that signature sound. When you hear a Timbaland, [Dr] Dre, Pharrell [Williams] or
Kanye [West], you know it is their production as soon as you hear it.
Dubcnn: Who are some of the artists that you would like to work with?
There are a lot of people I’d like to work with…Keri Hilson--she is a banger and she is doing her
thing right now. I like her music and her whole style. Trey Songz is dope.Let me think, Akon is another
artist I'd like to work with. There are many…Tyrese, Jay-Z, Drake, Ne-Yo, Anthony Hamilton and many more.
Dubcnn: you see yourself following a trend, or setting that new trend or sound?
I want to set that trend. I want to be the one that people follow for doing my own thing.
It's all about switching it up and coming up with something new. If not, music would be boring, so
finding my own style and signature sound is very important. I think I'm on point with it right now…
and I’m working towards setting my own trend in music.
Dubcnn: With the music industry being where it’s at right now, with the whole downloading problem
and the economy, what is your motivation to get in the music industry right now?
Music isn't a business for me. I'm not trying to supplement my lifestyle with music. I love
music and I play music everyday, whether it's my piano, or making a song. It's the same with Football,
I get paid well to play Football, because I'm blessed to have a lot of skill, but I could never be this
good without loving the game… I love to play Football as much as I did when I was a kid and played for
nothing but love. Music is the same way. God blessed me with gifts for both and I love both, but I don't
do music to make money at all. I love music, so why not let people listen to it…
Dubcnn: Being as creative as you are, when you are playing Football, or out on the field, do you ever
think of music… Like does a music idea, or some random melody ever hit you in the game or anything… Not
to say that you're not always focused, but does music ever just hit you like that?
There have been a few times, like in the off-season, when some sounds in practice or some other
little things like that hit me, but not so much during the game. It’s like, if I'm sitting down just
chilling, I’ll have some [musical] ideas going through my head all of the time…. However, when I am
on the field, it’s all Football.
Dubcnn: Let me switch back to Football… On Draft Day, what went through your mind? More specifically,
what's it like to be an athlete waiting to get drafted and what kinds of things are you thinking about?
The number one thing was where I was going to go… I was also thinking about what pick, what
round and are all the things my Agent telling me legit? Do the announcers really know what they are
talking about? One thing that I did on draft day was… I walked outside and kind of sat by myself, so
that I could get away from all of the distractions and just dwell with God about what is happening to
me and how fortunate I was. I went in and out of the house, because I had guests there and whatnot,
but before I knew it, The Carolina Panthers were picking me at #13 and I got that phone call… Thank
God I didn't have to wait that long! Because I mean, I had toe surgery and there was a lot of talk
about me being drafted in the second round or whatever, so I was thinking about all of that too… That
is why I had to find a way to calm myself down.
Dubcnn: Even before that, what does a college athlete like yourself have to go through in the decision
process of should I stay and play another year or should I go pro? What kind of decisions do you weigh,
and what was the deciding factor for you?
For me, going into my Junior year, I made it a point that if someone wanted to talk to me about
it or whatever, I didn't talk about it at all. I dealt with it the whole season as if I wasn't coming
out and I would just deal with it after the season. I had a successful Junior season - - good stats,
and all that, but I knew I was ready with my abilities as a professional Running Back. Nevertheless,
what really weighed into my decision was how high I would go. For me, it was First Round and I knew
I was going to be a First Round pick. I also had to ask myself some questions like, am I mentally as
well as physically ready for the NFL? I also thought, what about finishing college, I mean I have 36
credits left… I am still going to get my degree, because it's the right way to handle things and it’s
important to me. I can go back and finish with actual classes, as well as some online courses.
Nevertheless, that's what I went through, but ultimately, I felt that it was God's plan that I go… so I went.
Dubcnn: Awesome! Give me your top five all-time running backs, in any order…
Walter Payton, Barry Sanders… Wow, I've never been asked my top five, so bear with me
(laughing) Walter Payton, Barry Sanders, Jim Brown, Earl Campbell, and Emmitt Smith.
Dubcnn: Of those five, who do you think that you most resemble in the way you play your game?
Probably Earl Campbell… He is big like me, fast and a little bit nasty. However, when I run,
I always try to portray Walter Payton in my effort as a Running Back. It looked effortless, but
he displayed a dedication to not get tackled, and that's how I think every Running Back should play.
Dubcnn: With the current Michael Vick situation, is there any room for him in Carolina?
Nope, none at all. We have Jake Delhomme and Josh McCown, and with those guys, we have a lot
of talent. Last year, our offense was really productive and we use the adage, if it ain't broke,
don't fix it. So we really like where we are at with our Quarterback situation… I think we have
a really good thing going on with the Offensive end for the upcoming year. We just need to capitalize
in the playoffs. Hopefully, we will make it that far again…
Dubcnn: Well I really appreciate you taking the time to sit down and talk with me. I know with the
season coming up, you have a lot on your plate, so I thank you for doing the interview and chatting
with me for a little bit.
No, thank you and check me out at www.myspace.com/heartgrabmusic
If you want to contact me about any legitimate opportunities, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org