03/15/2013 01:08 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Dave Stewart on Being a Renaissance Man


Courtesy of Weapons of Mass Entertainment. Photo Credit: Frank Ockenfels

Right when you think you know an icon, they turn around and do something else to show you their versatility.

You will know Dave Stewart for his iconic work with Annie Lennox that became the duo we all know and love as the Eurythmics. Outside of the duo, Dave has produced multiple solo albums in a career that spans over three decades and more than 100 million album sales. His career extends to the production aspect of the music industry as well. Dave's writing and producing credits include work for Bono, Gwen Stefani and Mick Jagger.

Dave continues to be an innovator in the world of music in recording, writing and producing. You can look forward to hearing even more of Dave's solo recordings. A new album called Lucky Numbers will be hitting the scene in September.

However, the buck doesn't stop there.

Today, Dave is also a multimedia entrepreneur -- with his hands in writing, directing, photography, filmmaking and even philanthropy -- you could say Dave Stewart is a modern renaissance man, or as he would refer to himself -- a "polymath."

Whether you say it or not, it's true, Dave is indeed a renaissance man.

A recently released book by Scott Griffiths and Eric Elfman called Beyond Genius: The 12 Essential Traits of Today's Renaissance Men features Dave alongside such legendary renaissance men as Quincy Jones, Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Leonardo da Vinci, and many others.

"Dave Stewart is a true example of an artist whose reach extends far beyond that of what he is known for." Scott Griffiths stated when discussing the book.

Dave conversed about being in this book, being an artist as well as the art of versatility.

It's an honor to be able to converse with you. What have you been up to?

Nice to talk to you as well, Bryan. Right now, I'm in the studio recording some stuff.

It seems as though you've hit this creative second wind. You're doing a lot of different things right now.

I've made three new albums in a row over the last four years. I've just been doing so many things over the years. I learned how to be a photographer. I've decided to make documentaries. After 30 years of just making music, I decided that I wanted to explore what else is out there -- just to sort of feed my senses. Then, I always go back and say -- oh, f***, yeah I love music still too. So, I've never lost sight of that.

I understand that you also have a company now too. Tell us a little bit more about that.

Yes, indeed. It's called Weapons of Mass Entertainment. That's become a bit overwhelming, so I go back and forth between that and making new music. We've done documentaries, feature films, and music videos. I also created a television series. Malibu Country on ABC starring Reba McEntire and Lily Tomlin.

Your status has even gotten you placed in this wonderful book that talks about modern renaissance men. You are in this book with the likes Benjamin Franklin.

What the book is talking about are certain traits of thinking when it comes to certain renaissance men and renaissance women. They talked about certain people who are sort of polymaths in a way. The same way in which you can see certain artistic people, do you know what I mean?

Certainly. When you're an artist, you have that need deep from within you to dabble in all that life has to offer.

The book covers quite a bit of what I've done with my company, all the different people that I've worked with and all the different projects -- that sort of thing.

After a legendary career, both solo and with the Eurythmics, what was that first indicator that you had that inspired you to branch out of music?

After writing all the songs with Annie Lennox and producing them and so on and so forth, I was quite moved by the filmed vignettes that we were doing which weren't very common at the time. It was pre MTV. It was in the planning of all the things that we were doing, like the "Sweet Dreams" video. We never really had much of a budget for that kind of thing, but then MTV came along and they needed this sort of material. We ended up being one of the very earliest ones on MTV. I started to get involved in the visual aspect of things at that time. When Annie and I were doing all of this, I was a manager of sorts. I was trying to understand the whole thing because Annie and I had been in a band before, we didn't write our own music at that point. We always felt that things could be handled differently. I learned the managing, publishing, and the marketing.

Essentially you've come full circle with the types of projects that you are doing via Weapons of ME. Tell us a little more about those.

Well, I'm doing a motion picture with Paramount -- Hole in the Fence. I'm directing a documentary featuring Stevie Nicks. I think that's why I was approached to be in the book and I was approached not just as a musician.

I can totally see that.

A person may be known for doing one thing, but when you delve into the realm of personality you'll see that can easily juggle different paths.