Artist: Jereme Stewart, 25

You've been in a band, a duo and now perform solo? What do you like the best? I really love working with a band, and that's funny because it's the exact opposite of what I'm doing right now. I'm doing the solo acoustic thing now, which is a great expression and can really tell the story how I want to tell it, but when you add so many people, you get so many more chapters or levels into the story of that song.

Last three albums you listened to? I'm really big on Nada Surf. "The Weight is a Gift" is really good. I'm big on Phantom Planet. They got their shot when the did "The OC" song ("California"), and, to be honest, that's what turned me on to them. They have a really indie sound. Robbers on High Street are awesome. They're really indie and coming out with a new album and on tour now.

Who is your biggest musical guilty pleasure? You know, poppy music, John Mayer, Kelly Clarkson, Ashlee Simpson. Poppy stuff that everyone's afraid to admit they like, but deep down, secretly, they like it. (Clarkson) is great. She's really talented.

What songs do you like to cover? Some of my favorites are by Willie Nelson. Being from Texas, Willie is kind of a hero of mine. They're simple songs, most of the songs are three chords and most everyone knows them. Another hero of mine is Neil Young. I really like to do his songs. "Rockin' in the Free World" is fun to play live. I do "(All Along the) Watchtower," but I do my own version. Hendrix has his own. Dylan has his own. Dave Matthews has his own. So I try to make my own. It's kind of a staple among the acoustic circuit.

Plug one other local band: The Jellybricks. They helped me record my full band EP and my own EP, "The Real EP." They came into the studio ready to work, and they blew me away."

Who would win in a fight: John Mayer or Dave Matthews? I don't know. Mayer is kind of a skinny guy, and Dave is putting on some weight lately. But Mayer looks like he's always upset and aggravated, and Dave is always so laid-back and cool. He seems like he'd be like, "No, man, let's talk it out." I'm going to have to go with Mayer on that one.

What do you need to work on as an artist? Practice, practice, practice. The more times you sit with your instrument and your voice - because your voice is an instrument unto its own- the more thoughts and ideas and creativity will come to you.

Shoutouts: I'd like to thank my fiancée, Allison, for sticking through it. It's a lot of pressure and a lot of work, and she's been there through thick and thin. . . . And my friends have always been there throughout. Everyone who enjoys the music. It's for them.


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