What’s the best way to make your way through the turbulent ebbs and flows of life? With a great pop song blasting, of course, and Kate Stewart’s newest single, “The Game,” makes for the perfect choice.
Released on July 22, the London artist created the song with songwriter Jessica Agombar and songwriter-producer (and brother) David Stewart, whose credits both include BTS and the Jonas Brothers. “The Game” marks the third single for Stewart’s upcoming EP, You Had To Be There, and captures the feeling of taking control of your own truth. On the heels of releasing “The Game’s” bravado-fueled music video, Stewart spoke with LA Confidential about the new single, finding her sound and her love for performing.
This is your third single for your upcoming EP. Why did “The Game” feel like the right choice for your next release?
I just feel like every song I've released from this EP has just gone up a notch. So “Hate You” was quite chilled and super R&B vibes and then “Numb” was like super R&B, but a little bit more pop. And then “The Game” is just like a big, epic pop song, and it's just going up and up. Every single that I release just feels bigger and bigger. I wanted that to be the third one just because it feels like it goes really well together as a three, but it also just feels like the biggest one.
What was the songwriting process like for “The Game?”
We started with the title. I wrote it with my brother and a writer called Jessica Agombar and they came in. David, my brother, knows that I say [the game’s the game] a lot anyway, so when I said to him, I want to write a song called “The Game’s The Game,” he was like, “Yeah, I love that.”
We started off with melodies like we always do, but it was like it wrote itself because we had the title already. We came up with the lyrics after, but it was a quick session because it just flowed because we already had the story.
I think even when I'm trying to explain [“the game’s the game,”] I still don't even know what it means myself. I don't know my friend will call me and be like, “S***, I went out last night and stayed out till six in the morning,” and I'll be like, “well the game’s the game.” Or she'll be like, “Oh, I went on a date last night and I didn't really like him but I kissed him anyway.” It's like, “the game’s game!”
Tell us more about the video! Was it intentional for you to be alone throughout the entire thing?
That's just the vision that I saw for it. I didn't really feel the need to have extras in it or anything like that. I creative directed it with the help of Jack Bowden, who directed the video as well. I came to him with the idea. “The Game” lyrics, you can interpret it in so many different ways so I didn't want to make the treatment of the video confusing because it’s all relative, those lyrics. So I just wanted to make the video super simple, which is why I wanted it in black and white. And I don't really know why, I can't really explain it. That's just what I saw in my head when I listened to the song. And I always saw that androgynous styling with the suit and the tie.
The suit is my favorite look. That's the one that I came to my stylist with at first, and I was like, “I want to wear a full, big man suit. A big, baggy one with a shirt and I want big Marc Jacobs chunky boots.” I told him exactly what I wanted and he nailed it. Thomas Wulbern, he literally nailed it.
Your upcoming EP truly captures your sound and identity as an artist. What else do you want fans to take away from the project?
I just can't wait to put out all of this music. I've been sitting on some of it for so, so long. One of the songs on there I wrote like three years ago. And for me, if I don't get bored of a song for three years, that means it's a good song. And I just can't wait for people to hear it and I've worked so hard on it, so I just can't wait for people to hear it and hear the things that I say and hopefully relate to it and get a better understanding of Kate Stewart as an artist. I've been through a lot of ups and downs where I've had to find what I was doing. And then now I finally found it.
What’s next for your after the EP— any tour plans?
I would love to tour.That would be my ideal thing. My favorite thing ever is singing live. If I couldn't sing live, I probably would have to pick another profession because although I love the studio, singing live is my favorite thing ever. It just gives me so much adrenaline and makes me so happy. I feel at home when I'm on the stage.
I love connecting with people that are there for the reason of loving music, loving voices, loving real singers. And I grew up in the theater. I went to stage school and my dad is an actor on stage, so I always go to the theater with him. I just feel very comfortable under the lights and I love the feeling that I get when I hear my songs being played with the band. It just gives me goosebumps. I did a gig the other day where I was in a setting where it wasn't a music lovers’ setting. They weren't really listening to be fair, but I didn't care because I was singing to myself and that’s all that matters. My band were behind me; they were killing it. I was singing. I was killing it. I don't even care if people aren't listening as long as I know that I'm singing my face off and I can do a good job and someone can leave and be like, “Wow, that girl's voice was amazing.” That's all that matters.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Photography by: Daniel Mutton