Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Montreux Switzerland

Three blogs in one week! I must be on a roll… (Just kidding) 
I looked in my digital camera and I found pictures from The Montreux Jazz Festival….. I thought… Why not show my folks who haven't seen it. It's pretty Beautiful there! 
Just so you know..Montreux is a small little town located in Switzerland outlined by the dope shores of Lake Geneva..You'll have to see it to believe it. It's one of the most prestigious Festivals in Europe and it's the second largest festival in the world after Canada's Montreal Jazz Fest. It's been going since 1967 with the likes of Marvin Gaye, Miles Davis, Ray Charles, Frank Zappa, BB King, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Prince, Return to Forever, Led Zeppelin, Radiohead, and much much more.

Ok… so growing up as a kid.. listening to all these wonderful artist, and knowing that they graced the stage their at the wonderful festival.. makes me proud as a musician to accomplish getting to that point of playing the same stage! Yeah.. Im pretty excited.. it gives you a great feeling as to who you are as a musician and a hell of measuring stick to your growth.
I never imagined playing in these exotic countries…. festivals. staying on mountain tops in hotels… going from room to room to see all those legendary performances…. no.. I never imagined that but I did know at a certain point in playing music that I have some special… little did i know that it was special enough to travel the world and play music.
I remember back in 2000, I would tour with Bilal, and a few other artist and I played this very same festival, (The Montreux) I remember being so young and stupid! I remember being there, just being a snob…. ungrateful about the sights that surrounded me…. They were amazing in every way possible… but being 19, maybe 20 yrs on the road… never been anywhere before.. it seemed very surreal… I wasn't open to a damn thing… I wore roca wear and sported braids….and played in a great Band.

Little did I know, I was beginning my little musical following? Yeah right, the begining of a brand….Around that time Robert Glasper played with us…He wasn't as famous as he is now,but you could tell the legacy was quickly being assembled within all of us in that band. (Tony Whitfield, Mike Severson, Laron Thomas, Rob Glasper, Lamont Caldwell, Candice Anderson, Finese, And Bilal)
I even developed my own sound while not even knowing it… I just thought that if i continued to play well and not mess up and get those guys to go.. "Whew" you killing boy" then I figured everything was cool.

To prove it.. I have a video of us playing in the summer of 2002…. At the time. we played almost every Jazz festival there was in Europe…. we did the Nice Jazz Fest, Summer Sonic in Japan…North Sea…..And Of course the famous Montreux. Right before we performed Montreux stage, We played in Holland.. where they hold or held the Famous North Sea Jazz fest… Below on the bottom of this blog I will include a full show of us in concert.. and back then we played a full show… It's the same show we played the very next night in Montreux Switzerland….It shows us being so young and full of music and fun and not one worry in the world.
You can see and hear the progression of the sound that we have and now play with today.
I feel totally blessed to grace the stage of the Montreux festival already four years now.

It's always a little corny when you arrive and have to play the same day, this time around, we had a day off before and we were able to see a little bit of what goes on at these festivals… surely, people just drink alot and party, but there's also the amazing sights and music to go along with it.....I'd even advise you to take a vacation there.. I'm sure you'd love it!
So check out my pictures and little video clips to give you a quick glimpse….
A view from outside of the jazz fest!
A cool Library In town....
Another view.....
Hotels Right across from The Festival
Then there are Phamacie's
Tony watched BB King In the Vip Room... For the folks who don't wanna stand. Instead sit on a plush couch and cool out!
A small view of Lake Geneva... it swirls the whole town...
There you have it.....
All I do is Point and shoot what I see..
Tony and Chris walking through the town...
Point and shoot folks.....
Walking through and we find a Music Shop
Folks enjoying the Sun and Music
From the Roof top of my hotel
Lounge/Hot tub on the rooftop?
More View from the roof....
Can't Beat that.. can you...
Band Fun Times
From the Roof Again
Ok.. So I enjoyed the roof!


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Thankful....That's All

What's up everybody… While I'm in a writing mode and promised to stay on up my blog…I had a few things that were on my mind and what better way to talk about it then write about it. Therapeutic would you say!

Ok.. So I'm sitting in my Studio and I'm in the middle of this interview from some really really good people from Japan… Who happens to follow my music since 2004… It was a humbling experience to know that my music is heard all over the world!!! I use to be that kid reading album credits to see if my favorite producer had anything to do with that record.. and behold… I'm in the album covers that people get to read worldwide!
God! God! God! I can't thank him enough!  Now people are checking for me and loves the work.. some even called it quality material and it gets better each time!
These amazing folks sat in my studio and reminded me of some work that wasn't even in the back of my mind.
It's like I produced a record or an album and then quickly on to the next thing smoking…. and little did I know that through all that time. I was building to what most would call a legacy….Again I"m humbled.. I Thank and Love each and everyone of you who support my music! Some of you…. I'm sure you know who you are.. You've really played a major role in where I am today! Giving me the chance when I was young and inexperienced….taking time out of your busy schedules to let me play around with your equipment.. Letting me blast music in your house…. You all know who you are! 
Hmmmmmmm…Now that I've gotten all the sentimental stuff out of me… one of the things I've had on my mind was that… during the Interview…it was pointed out that over in Japan, I'm fairly known in the R&B music scene heavy. Who would have known….. They also asked me a damn good question which was.. Do I consider myself an R&B producer that makes a lot of soul music… I responded with a sharp NO!
Well not that sharp… But I specifically informed them that I'm a music machine.. I love machine… I love to do all types of music..Hip Hop/Rock/Alternative/Electronic/Jazz….. whatever the music calls for!

When you look at my discography…. it will give you the feeling that I specialize in one type of Genre….But I promise you.. when it's my time…I"ll definitely put a end to statistic… I've been saying all along when I first started that… I could an whole Album with Jada Kiss or Nas.. two of my favorite rappers……And so on….. 
I just feel like I have a wide variety of music in my catalog and why shouldn't any person who's making music feel like they don't… at the end of the day. music is music.. and if your gonna do it.. just be sure to keep the authenticity of it  at it's very best.. Then they'll respect you and you can produce anybody's record you like!

That's my goal…. wanna hear what I'm saying then check it for yourselves……. Joy Denalane and artist from Berlin,Germany…. She just released her new album "Maureen" (Click on Maureen To Listen to songs) and guess who produced It ( If you read German great, if not just preview tracks 2,5,6,7,8,9,11,12……Not to forget my good brother Bilal…. Airtight's Revenge….. classic album and innovative in every way possible.
I wanted to make a note that when your in situations and I'm sure you've heard this a million times… but when people suggest something that you don't agree with and they often tell you that you can't do it and it's never been done before…. blow them off fast and strive for your dreams…. I'm still living out mines..and there are always gonna be speed bumps to slow you down…. Just keep pushing….Believing in yourself first is what makes everyone else believers….. I know… I know.. I sound like a preacher and all, but everything i said is true.. its pure.. and from the heart.
Congratulations to my Peoples.. Kindred The Family Soul….. They continue to make beautiful music while remaining humble and true to their fans worldwide… Today I seen them in concert and they reminded me that Their new album Love Has No Reccesion Will be out in a few weeks….Their first single was done by no other then Myself and my Amazing Partner Adam Blackstone.."You Got Love" Featuring Snoop Dog….. Great record!!!! It's always a joy working with them…Also check out the smash ballad I produced Called Sticking With You…I Hope you enjoy. 
Well… I don't wanna bore you guys anymore.. but thanks for reading and supporting me.. It means the world to me!
Thank You

Steve Mckie

Studio times, creating with Yuki,Dai,Tone,Rob,and my daughter Shey!
Glasses.. i never do this!
Sound Checking..
Mad at Kobe.. not sure why... he hates Philly??
Bilal and Myself
My City.. Philly..That's all folks

Friday, July 8, 2011

Four Day Road Trips....Comedy...

Summertime………… It's already July folks… I feel like I have so much to tell you guys.
Where should I Start? ………………………………………Got it!
Well…………..Wait!! Tank just came on Bet…I gotta turn it, Hurry, Hold on….LOL……
I'm sorry, not that I have anything against dude but when you hang around someone like Bilal for the last ten years, It's def  understandable to know how high your bar is raised for… well you get my point.
Ok… so back to where should I start. Traveling from one coast to another really starts to wear and tear down on you like the enormous amount of miles you put on your car. They don't call the term Frequent Flyer for no reason. I'm a Frequent Flyer! I have well over a hundred and twenty thousand miles to prove it. Yeah.. it's cool, I have yet to use those precious miles but I will soon enough. Italy is calling.

Just imagine how it feels to wake up in the morning and barely making the lobby call time! 
This past month or two, those calls have been an alarming 5am call. Why? Because we have to make it to the airport for an early flight to somewhere in Europe.
My Weekend started off by playing a show in our beloved D.C. town.
With unexpected Bus ride there from Philly(usually it's Amtrak),The Bus was completely empty to the point where the driver had to tell me and the rest of the crew aboard that we were too loud!!! 
Were the only ones on the freaking bus lady…… That was funny…… Fast forward to arriving in D.C. The adventure finally begins. I did name my blog the adventures of a musician and producer right. Ok…..
We're there at the venue with enough free time to take a nap, get some food, and oh a out of town haircut????? Somebody was tripping.
At the surprisingly Barber-gay Shop I found myself at, because there simply was no time to make a trip to my own barber….  With a Head full of hair… what was I really thinking.
(Thoughts to myself) All he has to do is trim my hear down a little and shape me up!
Instead he had to try and show off his best stuff, and ended up making me look like it was my first day of high school cut  I use to get from my dad!
Fast forward to me somehow getting sick from eating so much food before the gig to………… well I can't really get into that…. The second show turned back to normal, somehow. a few called me jesus for it. (Long Story)

Now we're back at the Hotel and there's only 5 hours to get yourself ready for the lobby call and then  nice four to five  hour bus ride to Ny.  That would be cool if we were posting up in Ny for a few days but no, were heading straight to JFK Airport…. Yes… fresh off the bus from D.C. To JFK!!!!
Once we're finally get to Nyc…. We were starving so much that we stopped into a no no mexican place in Times Square and ended up with a bunch of taco's and 3 dollar magerita's.
Finally we coasted to the airport only to fly to Holland, Amsterdam….. count it…… 7 hours of sitting in the death of what they call economy seating.
The same day we arrive. there's really only 2 hours to get yourself together and your basically a few moments away from stage time. Then the not so cool lobby call surfaces,  Next stop…… Stockholm-Sweden…….Yup… 5am lobby call because of our location… the airport is an hour drive away. At some point you have to wonder right… these miles and being in the air. It makes your body into a huge ball of pain.
Stockholm…Beautiful place, maybe I've been five times there already. We surprisingly got picked up at the airport in some dope old school ram1500 vans. Yes!! the old school van that your uncle charles have with a tv in it and 4 comfortable seats with a recliners!!!! There were so many of them, it looked like an old school transformer scene.
This time around, there's enough time to sleep a few hours before the show, thank goodness, I feel like since I been on the road and it's already three days now, I haven't gotten a full eight hours of sleep yet. 
Moving right along, the show was good, ran into a few people we knew playing before us, Oh not to mention the food was great! Delious I might add, but in europe, the catering is always top notch. I remember being on the road years ago and I would not have a clue on what it is to appreciate these venues hiring top notch chief to feed us. Instead I would opt out for Mcdonald's or send someone out to grab me a pizza.
Oh how I've matured, now days, its a great piece of steak or chicken, and the finest bottle of wine…. I mean glass. :)
The night ended with the fellas going to a jam session just a few blocks from our hotel. The guy who booked us on the festival owned the jazz club. It was fun, we jammed and played a few songs and the audience went nuts, that we would even get on stage and play in the first place. Once we were done, the bar is already raised, and no other then the Bobby Womack band shows up and they wanna play. Let's just say it ended up sounding like a huge ball of old school funk. It still was fun to watch, a little bad on the ears though. :)

Upon arriving to this club it was pitch black outside, I'd say we were only in the club for maybe three hours, and once we finally decided, hey, lets bounce and maybe get some food…. We walk outside, 3am and it's morning time! I couldn't believe my eyes, here it is light and almost sunny and we have but a few hours to sleep and get ready for our early lobby call! Great!
Back to Philly, or Nyc I might add….Another 8 hours on a plane… another hours getting from JFK airport.. then another 2 hours on the train… This time Amtrak… You do the math.. could your body endure that? That was the craziest Four days of my life I believe….It doesn't stop there though….. we got back home with only a week to recover and back out again to LA for some BET festivities….. Flying to LA feels like a mini flight to Europe!
With all that said… add the fact that I have a studio with a demanding schedule to keep up with… if you have any clue on what its like, then I'm sure you know the feeling… juggling and that will explain to you my absence from my beloved blog.
I've been trying to get it together, so I could eventually turn this site into my own personal web page….showcasing new music that I make and place.. and cool video scenes from these sessions.
Hopefully that should be together in a few weeks to a month… we'll shall see how that comes about.
In the meantime folks, remember to follow me on twitter… it's really funny there sometimes, you never know what your gonna get to read I'm SteveMckiebeats on there!
Shout out to Coleyondrumz from twitter…. you put me on front street to post another blog… here you go man….Imagine all of that with a cymbal bag on your back and a carry on bag with no wheels…. traveling crazy like that….Not cool!
Later folks…. stay tuned in.. I think I got my Blog flow back….:)
That's Tony Bass Player of Course and Amazing Producer Of Bilal Song Little One.
Mike Severson Guitar... Love that dude He's Amazing too!
Corey Bernhard Plays Piano In the Band....He's the cat!
Swag man himself...Chris Turner Check him out folks! Just google him!
Bilal Himself....
And thats me.. these photo's are shown because they were apart of my story, This was the
Stockholm Jazz Festival
My Set at the Bet Gig......
John Moffet Set of Cameo!
And last but not least, the air up there, we're friends..