Fred Stewart was born on December 14th to a teenage mother in Canton, Mississippi. As a result, his grandmother and great-grandmother were very influential in raising him. They had a piano in their house, and he remembered hearing his mother play it. After he didn’t see anyone else playing it, he would get on it and “bang around on the keys.” Those early days may have provided a musical foundation. When he was 12-years-old, he learned how to play the drums. He began traveling with a quartet named, The Canton Southernaires.
The group let him grow and develop his talent until he was called upon to play for his church’s male choir at New Bethel Missionary Baptist Church. At 17-years-old, Fred learned how to play the keyboard and began to play for several churches/groups. Although he is an entrepreneur, he currently plays for The Word Full Gospel Baptist Church in Jackson, Mississippi. He said, “I love playing! God blessed me; so, I will bless Him by giving back to Him.” He added that his early upbringing had a lot to do with the path that he has chosen because it introduced him to the world of music.
He also attributes his success to the important role that his coaches played. He said, “My coaches gave me structure at a time that I began to rebel against authority. I grew up without a father; so, it was very important for me to have strong male influences.” He added that he was very strong and very aggressive as a kid. Football was a great sport for him to express that aggression in a structured and legal manner. His coaches cared about his grades and his behavior (on and off the field). In addition, his coaches taught him the importance of building a firm foundation.
That firm foundation prepared him for a bright future. In 2003, Fred graduated from Northwest Rankin High School. Upon graduation, he enrolled at Mississippi State University and majored in political science. He began working at Grey Matter Music Studio during his sophomore year at MSU. After gaining experience as an audio engineer and session musician, he left Grey Matter in the summer of 2005. Fred worked on various projects for the remainder of 2005 under the name of “Smash Hit Productions.” Next week, you will learn more about Fred Stewart’s different business endeavors.
What do you think about the positive effects that his relatives, the quartet, his coaches, and/or his churches have had on Mr. Fred Stewart’s career? Please comment.