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10 questions for Stephen

Producer Stephen Mcgregor at home in Big Ship studios - Krista Henry

The STAR sat down with Stephen McGregor, the 18-year-old son of veteran singer Freddie McGregor. Stephen is hailed as a musical genius, and is widely sought to produce rhythms for some of the hottest local and international acts.

These are his responses to some questions about his life and music.

STAR: Seeing that you are already making money is school important?

Stephen: "Yeah it is, but it's just the time factor and my working schedule why I haven't gone to university. That was the intention, in high school. I wanted to do marketing but in the latter part of high school I did the music thing seriously and it took off."

STAR: As a young person who grew up in the business producing violent songs, how has this affected you and are your parents concerned?

Stephen: "It doesn't affect me or my parents. We on the inside understand that its just a lyrical ting, a oral description of their past and them singing about it. People would be surprised to know that people like Bounty and Kartel they are not like violent, they like to chill and have fun."

STAR: What are your thoughts on the state of the music?

Stephen: "I mean its getting on a more international level, bigger and bigger. The artistes have to keep the music to the standard of people like Bob Marley, Shaggy, Sean Paul, who steer it in that direction and look at how they deal with the business."

STAR: If you could change anything about Jamaica, what would that be and why?

Stephen: "I've never thought about it. Apart from the obvious like violence, Jamaica is a unique place and I wouldn't change us. The stuff that happens here makes us unique."

STAR: With all the time dedicated to music, do you think you're denying yourself some of the pleasures of youth?

Stephen: "For me, my type of personality is not the going out sort. From I was like five I've loved being in the studio learning new stuff, that is me. That's what I love so I don't think I'm denying myself anything."

STAR: With artistes banging down your door, how do you deal with it? Do you work with all of them?

Stephen: "I try to work with as much people as I can, its different with a lot of people. Jamaica has a lot of talent, a lot of artistes. Sometimes we know some people are talented and keep them in mind for future projects. I try my best to work with new artistes, my riddims usually have one or two unknown persons."

STAR: Do you think your genius will run out?

Stephen: "I don't think so cause is not something I try to do or think hard on. I go to the studio and be me and it comes out."

STAR : Any international artistes have contacted you to work with them?

Stephen: "Yeah mainly companies, I'm now making negotiations. Recently I did three tracks for Matisyahu, I did most of the work on Sean Paul's new album."

STAR: Is there any song or rhythm produced by an international or local act that you've heard and wished you had produced?

Stephen: "Probably a Timbaland beat or one of those songs."

STAR: With you putting out most of the rhythms and songs out there, do you think you are monopolising the business and that there isn't enough variety?

Stephen: "Yeah I think there is enough variety. It kinda help the business, cause when one man put out a 90s vibe song then everyone start do it. I help to set the pace for other producers."

-Krista Henry


December 5, 2008

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