Despite only being 18-years-old, Steve Gilek has not only started making a name for himself in his home town of Wiesbaden, but is also getting support across Europe for his infectious bootlegs. His mash-up style has seen him reach nearly 15,000 “plays” on Soundcloud and 20,000 YouTube views – not bad for an unsigned artist who’s only been producing for five months!
“I started making bootlegs about 5 months ago,” Steve said. “I just started with Native Instrument’s Traktor and I then focused more on using Ableton. I got so much positive feedback and support from people after my first one, it just motivated me to continue and create more.”
But unlike many artists, Steve, real name Steffen Kalig, didn’t run before he could walk. The talented youngster has been perfecting his style and skills since the tender age of fourteen.
“I was always fascinated about DJing – I loved to see them spin the turntables and mix different songs together. When I was 16 one of my friends, who had a reputation in my hometown for being a good DJ, showed me a little bit and I was well and truly hooked.
“I then bought myself a little Denon mixer and started making some short mixes and tried some little tricks,’ The German-born DJ and producer said. “After that it started to snowball quite quickly. I got some little gigs at private parties and was getting a lot of good feedback for my sets. A few months later, a friend of mine who has his own label, ‘Y&B Entertain’, asked me to come along to a party he was holding and warm-up and that’s when it started getting real.”
“Getting the support for something I love doing is unbelievable,” Steffen said. “It’s so great! When I hear people are supporting and liking my music it just motivates me so much more to keep doing what I’m doing because after all, that’s what I love to see. People enjoying my music.”Over the last five months, Steffen has had huge backing from respected players in the house music game, including Swanky Tunes, Gregory Trejo, Paul Ahi, Marco Zanfardino and many more. It’s this support and constant feedback that has kept him producing the music he is quickly becoming renowned for.
In recent years, the dubstep genre has taken over and exploded into a mainstream phenomenon. As it did, many believed House music would suffer and feel the full effect of this new genre. But Steffen is quick to reiterate House music hasn’t gone anywhere.
“There is all this hype about Dubstep and sure, it’s really at the forefront now but House is still very much there. The best example I can give is David Guetta. Everyone loves his music, when his tracks drop the clubs go wild because he brings House music inline with R&B and that’s why his music is so popular. It’ll be interesting to see how 2012 pans out and what 2013 has to offer.”
And as most 18-year-olds are deciding which University they’re going to study at or where they want to work, Steffen is living out his dream.
“At the moment people are aware of me and my music and that feels so good!” The young producer said. “I went back to my home town to do a gig and people were enjoying my bootlegs and loving my set, it was incredible and that just really highlighted how far I had come.”
In a world of ever evolving technology, music production is seen as getting easier and, more importantly, cheaper. With the latest hardware and software being widely available, it’s normal behaviour for those looking to get into production to start making tracks from their bedrooms on their laptops.
“Every day, more and more new technology is available that makes producing music that little bit easier,” Steffen said. “Whether it’s software or tutorial videos, the engineering side of things is being explained in greater detail and that’s why there has been an increase in producers and remixers.
“The difference is though that not everyone can make music, even if they think they can. There is a knack to it. You can learn the technique, you can read a book or watch a video on the ‘precise’ way to make a track but it’s about ‘feeling it’ and knowing from experience what will work and what won’t. That’s something technology can’t teach people.”
In terms of DJing as well, there is only so much technology can do, the Wiesbaden based DJ explained. “When I started to DJ I knew I also wanted to produce. One tip that I’ve learned and would tell anyone who wants to get into the industry is to do what you want and just keep pulling it through. The moment you start trying to change who you are the passion from your music slips and people can see that straight away.”
Like many other producers though, progression is as important as ever and Steffen has already got some exciting new projects in the pipeline for 2012.
“I’ve started with my first podcast epidsode called ‘Tracks of the month’ but without a guest mix. I want to change this in the next episode and then hopefully we will see if it’s successful. That’s another avenue I’ve gone down. I’ve also got collaborates in the pipeline and have had many requests for remixes and bootlegs, so it should be a very exciting year for me. I love to work with other people, it’s one part of the job that’s really exciting.”
And it doesn’t stop there. Steffen, is currently on course to win Prysm Radio’s Newcomer Contest, something that will take his career to yet another level. But despite his quick assault on the music scene the mature teenager still hasn’t forgotten where it all began.
“I’ve definitely been most influenced by the likes of Swedish House Mafia and Afrojack and that’s where I aspire to be. Not because I want to be famous or rich but because when I set out doing this I was willing to do everything and anything because I love the music and that’s still the case. It’s all about the music and that’s how it’ll always be with me.”