Meet Joel Stewart: Marathon Man!


Joel is seen from below, he wears a long jacket and has his hair tied backMeet Joel, our Marathon Man! Drake Music is a charity. For us to do our work to make music accessible we need to raise funds. It’s an ongoing challenge (for us and every other charity!), so when someone offers to lend a hand we are absolutely delighted.

So, today we are tipping our hat to Joel Stewart, who is not only taking up the marathon challenge to raise money for Drake Music, but also holding an awesome fundraising gig!


Q1 – What’s your name?

Joel Stewart

Q2 – Why are you running a marathon?

I have always wanted to run a marathon, and this year felt like a perfect opportunity.

Running has helped me in so many ways, no more so than when I have a period of time where a lot is going on and anxiety may be present. I find it can give me time to clear my head and relax, in a way.

I think as I began to run more, I realised I wanted to run a Marathon so I could use this thing that has helped me so much to raise money for an amazing cause. Drake Music is that amazing cause and I’m so excited to be running in their honour.

I have spent the last few years developing as a singer songwriter and music is such a massive part of my life. The work Drake Music does therefore, feels very close to my heart. I am enjoying the training, as much as you can, and the fundraising, and I’m so excited for the big day!

Q3 – So why are you running for Drake Music?

Well, I happened to be lucky and received a ballot spot for the race, and so I was able to choose any charity I wanted. Music has been such a big part of my life that I was keen to find a charity that held music at its heart.

After searching the internet for a while, I came across Drake Music, a charity I had not heard of prior to the search. I was completely taken aback by what I read about the work the charity does. Of course, it is so inspiring to read of the way technology can be used to allow disabled people the opportunity to play music, and also the artist development programme supporting disabled musicians to progress their work.

It is hard for me to imagine not being able to create and perform music, and the fact that this is a reality to so many felt heartbreaking to me. It was so clear that this was a charity I would be honoured to run for, and whose inspirational work would help me to finish off those last miles.

I know how much writing and performing music has helped me throughout my life, and I believe it is only right for everyone to have the opportunity to express themselves and create and play music.

The fact that this is Drake Music’s ethos, makes me excited and motivated to raise as much money as possible!

Q4 – What’s your favourite running route?

I live out in Hertfordshire, just outside a town called Wheathampstead, and there are some lovely trails through the countryside to run along. A bit muddy whilst the wet weather is around, but if you can catch a sunrise or sunset it’s pretty stunning.

Q5 – What’s on your running playlist?

To be honest, I often run with no music playing, but if I do, Dermot Kennedy, Bon Iver, Ben Howard, and Alt J are never far away. Recently, for the longer runs I have been listening to some podcasts which help the time go a little quicker. I love following golf, so I like to listen to a few Golf Podcasts. Can never go wrong with a good old Desert Island Disc either.

Q6 – What do you do when you’re not running?

I am currently doing my best at being a musician, so a lot of my time is spent writing, recording and playing music live. I LOVE sports though, and enjoy playing golf and cricket in the summer. Travelling, like most people, is something I love to do when I can. I think I may treat myself a little trip somewhere after the Marathon.

Q7 – Can you tell us about your event that you are putting on?

Over the past few years I have met some incredible musicians and I’m so excited to be putting on a fundraising evening showcasing some of that talent, to aim to raise as much money as possible for Drake Music.

The event is on 28th March at 640East in Bethnal Green, at 6.00pm. The acts have been booked and it should be a fantastic celebration of music.

It would be amazing if anyone reading this would like to join us!

Tickets are a £15 donation and can be purchased through this link. 100% of the total is going straight into the marathon fundraising pot.

You can sign up to the event on Facebook too to spread the word!

Our enormous thanks to Joel for talking to us, and for pounding those streets to raise money for our work!

If you’d like to see what the Artistic Development work he mentions involves then check out this short video from our showcase event at the Barbican: