Stuart Woolfenden - singer, songwriter, performer... and former mathematics student!
At age 11, Stuart was immersing himself in music from the likes of Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga when he decided to try his hand at songwriting and playing the guitar. He taught himself how to play through YouTube videos, and recalls the first time he tried to tune his guitar, holding it the wrong way round and assuming the lowest string must actually be the highest string. This of course resulted in his first of many broken guitar strings.
Not letting daft misjudgment get him down, Stuart fixed the string, learned how to tune a guitar properly, and got to work on honing his craft. He took the plunge when he was 13 and played one of his original songs at his school talent show. His song ‘Ain’t Love’ received great praise by his peers and teachers, which was swiftly followed with him being asked to play it at the end of year assembly, the school awards evening, and in front of individual classes. 'Ain't Love' ended up topping the Strummerville download chart when he was 14, overtaking Bastille. It was at this time that he realized music was the career he wanted to pursue.
Over just a few years, Stuart has managed to secure national radio play on BBC Radio 6, and was invited by the BBC Introducing to do a live session when he was 17. He has performed at numerous venues and festivals across the UK, such as when he represented Worcestershire at the National Rock And Pop Festival held at the Birmingham NEC in 2016. He has been recognized by his hometown of Redditch; his local MP put him forward to represent his constituency at the Rock The House event taking place at renowned music venue The Bedford in London. He was even invited by the Redditch mayor to perform a couple of songs at the Mayor's Civic Dinner in 2016.
Stuart has been recognized by industry professionals. At 16, Stuart was shortlisted by the Birmingham Mail to support James Blunt on the main stage of the Barclaycard Arena. When he was 18, he released a music video for his song 'I've Seen It All'. Set in the 1960s, it tells the story of a guy with a guitar who constantly faces rejection from record companies. He realizes after consulting a fortune teller that he is better off doing things his own way, so he decides to host his own gig and invite all his friends (you should watch the video if you want to know the ending). Stuart submitted this video as part of a competition to perform on the Bestival main stage in 2016, and managed to make the shortlist after being chosen by Jamal Edwards (founder of SB.TV), Maisie Williams (of Game Of Thrones fame), and Rob Da Bank (founder of Bestival).
After finishing his A Levels, Stuart made the bold decision to study mathematics at the University Of Manchester, an experience he has very fond memories of. However, it wasn't long before he realized that his heart was gravitating towards something else – his music. Stuart made an even bolder decision to drop out after one year to pursue his dream career.
Shortly after leaving the University Of Manchester, Stuart was invited to perform with a full band at Lakefest by BBC Introducing, and he has now had 16 different songs aired on BBC Introducing. He performed at Ed Sheeran's sold out concert at the Barclaycard Arena (now Arena Birmingham) on the Firestone Stage in 2017. He was also invited by the Redditch Mayor to perform a couple of songs at the final Redditch council meeting before Christmas 2017, performing songs to fit the theme of mental health and well-being. The Redditch Council asked Stuart to perform on stage at the Tour Series held in Redditch after the winners collected their trophies. In June 2019, he was nominated for three Black Country Music Awards - Best Singer/Songwriter, Best Single, and Best Video.
His new single 'I Am Not A Trend' has been described as 'hard-hitting and blunt' lyrically. It is socially aware - covering multiple topics such as the brutal treatment of LGBTQ+ people in other countries, parents who disown their children, double standards, knife and gun crime, and more. He has been performing it since 2018 and says that it is his favourite to perform live.
'I Am Not A Trend' will be on an upcoming EP, due for release in early 2020.