In a lot of ways, the fusion of Justin Bieber into the dance scene has been a chemistry experiment. Except instead of messing around with substances that everyone understood and was on the same page with, it pretty much panned out like the epitome of a “yolo” moment for those involved; with each new single, came a new headline, and with each new headline, came mixed reactions from the fans. Much like the initial explosion from the beaker, all eyes have been on Skrillex and Diplo since the release of the whole album – and for good reason since they’ve arguably saved Justin’s wavering success – but look past the obvious and you’ll notice something even more impressive and beautiful: the effective kickstart to a new young producer’s career.
By now you’ve probably seen his name everywhere. Steve James has been poking his head into our headlines since late 2014, and he’s making waves across the blogosphere and even mainstream news. Of course, you would too if you were a 17-year-old credited with an impressive cut on Justin Bieber’s ‘Purpose‘, the album that skyrocketed to #1 in the world before it even went on official sale. He’s back in our spotlight again due to a recent article with LA Weekly, and it gives us further insights into the beginnings of the newly discovered wunderkind; there’s even a tid bit on what to expect from him going forward.
“My friends would go play sports after school and I’d go home and sit in front of this weird program they didn’t understand. It’s been like that for years.”
In the LA Weekly feature, Steve reveals quite a bit about the humble beginnings of living in Johnstown, PA, and how his brother’s return from work in Miami led him to world of progressive house.
“I heard songs like Alesso’s ‘Pressure,’ and I learned that DJs don’t just DJ — they produce…This is what I want to do. I’m doing this.”
From there he revisits the serendipitous unfolding of his official ZHU remix, and the difficulties in moving forward with a career in music given his home life working against the growing demands of fans and colleagues. Little stuff like pulling an all nighter wouldn’t be allowed; imagine waving your parents out the door on their way to work in morning, while you’re 25 hours in on a new tune.
“That’s not something I can do at home. If I’m still up when my parents get up they’re very disapproving.”
ZHU – Faded (Steve James Remix) | Beatport
Fast forward to his road trip westward, and after some antics sneaking into EDCLV, he found his way into the studio with guys like Jeremy Snyder and Poo Bear, and the rest is history.
“I was working with Jeremy Snyder just on my own music, and one night he invited over Poo Bear, who wrote a lot of stuff for Bieber’s album. Poo Bear liked what I was working on, and when we got together later that week we made ‘Purpose.”
So what does the success of a track like this mean for a young producer with the high aspirations that Steve James holds? It means more music. And a potential EP. And maybe even a tour. Yep, there’s a lot in the works for young ‘James, and honestly the scene is in for a treat. It’s not every day that a young gun comes along with the talent, the honest passion, and the sincerity he’s got. The last time a new kid on the block made this kind of stir, he became a festival headliner by the age 19…
The full interview is where all the good info is, so I implore you to pop on over to their site and checking it out. In the meantime, you can peep the “Purpose” music video below, and check out his debut single “Renaissance,” which went officially viral yesterday, globally and domestically!