Of those, the guitar was the instrument he enjoyed the most. After taking some formal lessons on classical guitar Steve pursued my love of jazz and for a short time played locally in the Ottawa area. Other pursuits in his father's business and later his own business in the music field kept him away from playing for a number of years. However, about five years ago Steve’s interest in playing was rekindled and recently after being pushed by fellow musicians, he came out with his first album 'Bright Start'. It's a collection of musical ideas that he hopes you enjoy.
Websites or Social Media Pages:
What Musical Genre Do You Feel Best Describes Your Music And How Would You Describe Your Sound?
The musical genre I most connect with is jazz. Even if I have an idea for a new piece which may be of a different genre or co-write to someone's lyrics, there's always a hint of my jazz touch to it.
How Did You Get Your Name? Is There A Story?
My parents gave me my name and the story is I was born. LOL! I don't have any stage name. Although I do perform the odd time (not as much a I used to), my focus is in the writing and recording end of things which in my opinion, doesn't really require a stage name.
What Are or Have Been Your Musical Influences?
My goodness, there are so many over the course of time that as with anyone, help shaped my musical style. I started with the Royal Conservatory on piano at the age of 5 yrs. and at that age, one can be very easily influenced. Because I started on piano, pianists would have and still are ones I hear in which I will always get something out of whatever their doing. Oscar Peterson was one that totally blew my mind and you some of his concepts in my playing....on the guitar that is. My main instrument is guitar, but approach my music and music ideas from a piano players perspective which seems according to feedback from an assorted mix of artists and music critics, create a different approach in how I perform a tune. So that being said, I however do listening to guitarists for sure. Pat Metheny is one that sticks out for sure, Carlos Santana is another. In the past as a child, I listened to Chet Atkins, Lenny Breau, Joe Pass.....etc. The combination of all these and others helped shape my sound.
What Are You Working On Now? Any Future Collaborations We Can Look Forward To?
Several different projects are in the works. One I have to deal with after this interview, is a collaboration with Laurence Conway who's a lyricist from England. At the moment I have to get some material to a Nashville production studio in which they'll be doing a demo. It's always interesting to see what they come up with.
I had written a tune a couple of years ago called 'Hymn for a Rainy Day' in which Marco at Fallen Highway Studios in Brisbane Au., said it would make for a great Christmas song. Never even thought of that but to make a long story short, 'Sonnet' Simmons heard the final production called New York Christmas. She loved it and recorded it which was finally released late November '18. It now has been picked up by several publishers, the latest with InStyle music. More than likely it will be signed with a producer for film/TV next year. At least that's what I'm hoping.
What Is Your Ultimate Goal In The Music Industry? What Is Your Plan Of Action?
If you would have asked me that a couple of years ago, I would have given you an answer whatever that would have been to which in my surprise shortly afterward, was met. If someone had predicted to me a few years ago what I'd be doing now and what has happened in the recent past, I would have told them they ought to get their medication adjusted. Honest to god, I have no idea what my goal would be other than keep doing what I love to do which is write music. That I guess would be my plan of action. I have no idea what's going to happen which really is the exciting part of it.
What Is Your Favorite Track To Perform Live and Why?
There's another difficult one to answer. Probably a tune I wrote several years ago called 'I'll See You Again My Friend' which really never did well on my various music sites. This tune was very heavily influenced by a moment in which my life long friend and one I call my brother, was leaving to go back home. He now lives in Australia with his wonderful wife and 3 boys who've all grown up with lives of their own. He came back to visit his family and of course, myself up here in Canada. It's always a sad moment when he leaves to go back. Needless to say, we video chat often. Thank goodness for the internet.
What Has Been The Biggest Challenge In Your Career Thus Far?
I think collaborative projects are the biggest challenge I've faced so far. The challenge of being on the 'same page' in all aspects of song writing and producing. It's fun, it's rewarding but at the same time, occasionally frustrating.
What’s Your Typical Songwriting Process?
This could be fairly simple to answer.
All of a sudden, I have an idea and put that down on the guitar. As with anything one creates, the idea starts to develop and I in many cases, never know how it's going to end. That's the cool part. Typically I 'walk' away from the piece for a day or two, or at least that's the attempt. During that period of time, the tune is still mulling around in my noggin and all of a sudden, I have a fresh idea that could possibly work. In some cases the idea I had at the start, doesn't resemble what the final outcome is. Go figure.
How Has Social Media Influenced Your Career As An Artist?
Quite a bit simply because it encourages me to keep writing. As long as people enjoy what I'm doing, that's all I need for me to continue.
What Are Some Tracks and Artists Currently On Your Playlist?
I've released a few instrumentals in which I've had the good fortune in having Willow Brizio put his guitar magic to the tunes. He is arguably the best jazz guitarist in Mexico. We go down there during the winter months and over the course of time have had the pleasure of hang'n out with he and his wife Beverly who is an amazing singer. They've become good friends of ours and he's always eager to record 'stuff' with me. One particular tune we did together is called 'It Happens at Night' (session at Marbella) that I had written while down there is just he and I playing this fast paced tune. I had laid down a chord track previous to us taking this on. I personally thought it was slick.
As mentioned earlier, Sonnet Simmons performs New York Christmas. Also, Brett Watchorn and his band down in Australia had written lyrics to which he had me write music. It's called 'Lazy Days' and has more of a rock thing going to it. Sounds cool.
What Did You Do Before You Started Making Music?
I grew up in the music business. My father had several music stores so needless to say, I was exposed to all aspects of the music industry. How cool is that. Anyway, the heartbeat of his business started off as he being a piano technician. He started on his own rebuilding pianos and I as a little kid, helped out doing things he showed me how to do. Years go by and after working for my dad, I started my own piano service business. I'm now retired and devoting my time writing.
Any Advice For Young People (Men or Women) That Want To Succeed In The Music World?
Patience is everything. Keep doing what your doing because that passion will eventually be reflected in your music which will reach people out there. As well, show respect for other artists doing their thing. Their reaction and actions to your music will be directly related to your actions in recognizing their work. This is big time important.
What Would You Change In The Music Industry If You Were A Top Music Executive?
Get away from the 'cookie cutter' music which is apparent in many genres. A lot of producers have taken the short cut shall we say, in production costs going for looped sounds, weak and I mean, very weak melody lines in which these 'songs' have no passion in their writing. It seems you don't create a song, you build one. I prefer to call this assembly line or conveyor belt music. There are quite a few producers becoming sick and tired of this punch out stuff and the problem is, the general listener has been conditioned to except it. For a writer or artist such as myself, this is mind boggling and frustrating when you hear wonderful musical stuff released only to be shoved aside for an award win going to some computer generated sound. A head scratcher for sure.
How Do You Feel About Originality?
That's a weird question. I suspect you're referring to someone coming out with an original song as opposed to doing an arrangement and release of a previously written tune? If that's the case, I love originality because you always here fresh musical thoughts and ideas. Now in saying that, I've heard absolutely wonderful arrangements of songs that have taken on an originality of it's own giving that song a possible different meaning all together.
Is There Anything Else We Should Know About You Or That You Would Like to Add?
Not really. Anything you want to know about me is right there in my music. Listen in, that's what I'm all about.
Akademia awards for:
- Best Jazz Album (Oct.,14) 'Shadows of Light' with Laurel Moore (lyrics, vocals, sax)
- Best Instrumental Jazz Guitar Song (April'15) 'After All Those Years'
- Best Ambient Instrumental Song (April'15) 'Just Like an Angel'
- Best Latin Instrumental (Aug.'15) 'Smooth Move Samba'
- Best Jazz Song (April'16) 'As Time Passes'
Poze Production Awards (X-POZE-ING Awards) for:
- Best Jazz/Latin Song (Nov.'14) 'Our Second Home'
- Best Instrumental Contemporary Song (April'15) 'I'll See You Again My Friend'
- Best Jazz Listening Song (April'15) 'Night Life at El Patio'
- Best Country Instrumental (Aug.'15) 'Fish 'n Jig'
- Best Jazz Song (Aug.'15) 'Smooth Move Samba'
- Best Jazz Instrumental (Oct.'15) 'No Use Crying'
- Best Jazz Instrumental (Dec.'15) 'Courtyard Cafe'
- Best Latin Jazz Instrumental (Feb.'16) 'Sun to Sand'
- Best Jazz Instrumental (April'16) 'As Time Passes'
- Best Blues Instrumental (July'16) 'Don't Know When'
- Best Smooth Jazz (Oct.'16) 'You Call This Love'
- Best Easy Listening (Jan.'17) 'Easy Life'
- Best Jazz Song (Jan.'17) 'OverLoad'
- Best Contemporary Instrumental (May '17) 'Sweet Soul'
- Twice #1 Hit Song Awards for 'Another Gray Day' with KMIX Radio and affiliates (Jan.'15) & POWER FM
Global Networks (March'15)
- #1 Hit Song Awards for 'After All Those Years' with KXRL Radio & station affiliates (Sept.'15) and POWER
FM Global Networks (Jan.'16)
- #1 Hit Song Award for 'Smooth Move Samba' with KMIX Radio and affiliates (Jan.'16)
Winner of an Outstanding Achievement Award with Marquix Global Networks (June'15) for over
1,000,000 syndicated views for the story of the production of the 'Shadows of Light' album with Laurel
- #1 Hit Song Award for 'As Time Passes' with KMIX Radio (Aug.'16) (March ‘19 New York)
- 2019 Executive Award (April ‘19) for artistry, musicianship