Steven Geller knew what he wanted to be at the early age of 8. While the rest of us were playing in the schoolyard, he was making mix tapes. This lead him to start his own mobile disco company at age 11 and then go on to become the youngest ever DJ to secure full time residency at superclubs FIRE and AREA in London. He has a fresh approach to remixing the songs he works on and has a unique respect for music in general. While researching him for this article, I came across many reviews that said he is a DJ that you have to see to believe. Not such a bad thing, once you see him, he’s quite a looker as well.
Steven is an award winning House DJ, Remixer, Producer, and promoter but when you get to talk to him, he is just as down to earth as he can be. I found his story to be quite interesting, he has done so much so early on and he even met the King of Pop, Michael Jackson! Color me impressed but not only by that, I was equally impressed with the man Steven is both in what he does and how he handles himself. He likes to have fun with his work but is always mindful of his audience. He aims to bring you along on his musical journey each and every time he takes to the DJ booth or stage. To me, this is what any artist is supposed to do, no matter what his or her chosen form of expression is.
Please take some time to get to know Steven Geller and check out his website for his music. Do tell him that I sent you If you are lucky enough to live in an area where you can see him live, run out to see him and tell him I said Hi! Although, I have a feeling I will be able to do that in person soon enough.
Q: At 8 years old, you made your first mix tape and not in a simple way. You used 2 tape players, combined beat-boxing and singing too. How did you already know what to do at such a young age?
A: I have been performing since a very early age. I was a child actor and got my first agent when I as 8 years old. Singing and acting brought me to life. Music has always been such an integral part since I can remember. I was always into technology, and loved making mix tapes on my 2 deck karaoke machine! It was my pride and joy!
Q: To continue your accomplishments and not let too many years go by, you only waited until you were 11 years old to start a mobile disco company. Why did you wait so long? haha… But really, how did that come about?
A: Haha. Weirdly in those days it was more about the lighting and the visual effects than mixing. I turned up to play at kids parties/weddings/bar mitzvahs with equipment that took 4 hours to set up. More lights/pyrotechnics and smoke than a Pink Floyd concert. A bit ridiculous but I loved putting on a show! The serious passion for house music came later when I made DJing a full time career and got into the club circuit. But to this day, the performance element of what I do is just as important.
Q: Your professional resume is very impressive. Awards, acknowledgments, and praise. What has been the best one for you so far?
A: That’s a tough question. Awards and praise are good for your career and great fun. I was lucky enough in my acting days to collect 2 BAFTAs for projects I was in plus my video company has won several short corporate film awards. The best has to have been in 2009 when I won Best New DJ in the BOYZ London Scene Awards. As well as boosting my career it was also an amazing feeling because it was voted for by the public. To be honest though, I get the same great feeling any time someone comes up and says they liked my set and even more so if I get compliments on my remixes or production.
Q: Speaking of impressive, you actually met the King of Pop, Michael Jackson. What was that like for you?
A: Meeting Michael Jackson was such a surreal experience. I have been fortunate enough in my professional career to meet some big stars such as Nicole Kidman and Simon Cowell. I am not easily starstruck, but Jackson was such a legend and inspiration, I feel very lucky.
Q: Remixes have become as popular, if not more popular (especially in clubs) than original versions of songs. How do you retain the integrity of a song when remixing it?
A: I always start a remix by re-playing every part I can hear on the piano. I re-create everything as close as I can get to the original track so that I have it all in a MIDI digital format. I can then use the parts as inspiration to build on and add my own flare. I then always have the essence of the original track in whatever I’m doing. I don’t know how other people work, but that’s the joy of teaching yourself. You can make up the rules.
Q: The Internet and social media have become a huge factor in the success of anyone in entertainment. How do you think that has changed the playing field for your craft?
A: Wow. It has completely turned it on it’s head. Within a click or a Tweet you are communicating with the world. Mix CDs heard by close fans are now Podcasts heard by thousand across the globe. People no longer have to walk into a music store to buy your track. Now it’s just a click away from people you would never before have access to.
Q: Has it become easier to connect with artists about projects through tools like Twitter, Facebook, etc?
A: Absolutely. I get lost in it. You can just send a blind message out and see what comes back. I love hooking up with singers and songwriters to collaborate or bounce ideas off of. It makes it so simple to send a track to other djs and get their response or better still if they play it out, the response of the crowd in whatever nightclub and country they are in. I love getting musicians and performers (however quirky) to come and accompany my sets or perform at my nights.
Q: Speaking of Facebook and Twitter, where can we find you and your music online?
A: The simplest way is to log on to my website: www.stevengeller.com All my links, music and info are on there.
Q: Who are some artists you would like to work with in the future?
A: There are so many amazing artists I love, admire and take inspiration from. There are too many to name. I like artists who create drama in their music. Big voices, big chords…goose bumps!
Q: What songs (past and present) are you most interested in remixing? What attracts you to a song?
A: Music that evokes an emotion appeals to me. I’m a huge Queen fan. Would love to tackle a track like One Vision. But I would have to find an amazing lead guitarist…synthesizers wouldn’t do it justice. I’m guilty of loving the anthems. HOWEVER some tracks are better left alone!
Q: What’s up next for Steven Geller? Any plans to come to the US?
A: Big plans in the pipeline. I’m really excited about the upcoming release of STARFIRE by Kris Searle. My remix is getting a really good response so far in the UK. As for America…who knows?! Make me an offer!
Thank you, Steven for taking the time to work with me on this refreshing interview! I wish you all the luck in the world and hope to see you in the US soon.