Some of dance music fans out there might not be in tune with who Steven Lee is, and how much he influenced the scene they’re so heavily ensconced in, but we’re hoping to change that today.

At just 20 years old, Steven Lee had recently moved to NYC for business school, but as we often hear with so many talented musicians, life had other plans in store for this then unknown producer. Working at the #1 dance label in the world, Strictly Rhythm, he partnered up with the legendary producer Albert Cabrera, forming the iconic duo that so many came to know and love. What came out of this newly developed partnership? Only one of the most highly-touted records of all time – “Shake It (Move A Little Closer.” It quickly rose to the #1 dance record on the planet, garnering two Essential New Tune nods from Pete Tong, and a World Music Award nomination.

Since those early days, Lee has continued to produce music on his own, touring the world and playing for highly regarded clubs in the industry. As you’ll soon see, the future holds quite a bit of intrigue, as Lee is continually developing new tunes, as well as helping launch FaderPro, a new platform that should excite every aspiring producer out there.

TMN: Hey Steven. Thanks for taking some time to sit down with us. First up, let’s talk about this new project, FaderPro. Can you give our readers a quick elevator pitch on what it is?

Likewise and thanks for taking the time to hang with me, you guys have supported all my new Steven Lee music, appreciated.

FaderPro goes into the recording studios of the top names and films the production of a record from start to finish with the actual producer/DJ, then provides the same files used to make that record to the purchaser, so they too can follow along and re-create the same record that of their favorite DJ/Producer. We aren’t a tips & tricks company and we trim the fat by giving you the inside track of how the best in the world make their music.

TMN: As someone who has been producing for a long time, what initially sparked your involvement in a product like this? Are you aiming to make the dance world a little more communal, or hoping to inspire kids who are just loading up their first DAW? Or, both?

I would have loved something like this when I first began making music, but I did learn how to DJ and most every skill in life this way, and that is by watching, learning, and then becoming. As a teenageer while working for Strictly Rhythm I use to sit in the DJ booth and watch Erick Morillo & Roger Sanchez DJ and then go home and emulate how they did what they did even though technically I didn’t have what they had, just being in that space and seeing everything in full HD blew my mind and gave me the desire, the aspiration & the drive to do what they were doing. I had an older brother that was better than me at every sport but I still got to see first hand how he achieved things I couldn’t just by watching, then taking those things I learned and applying them to my skill set. Just being in the environment of the best, gives you such an incredible insight that no one else has. By doing what we do at FaderPro, yes, we give kids out there a real shot at learning from the best and then becoming the best. Even the experienced producers that are needing that ‘next level’ kick, this applies as well. The work & the drive we can’t provide you but if you’re going to learn, you might as well learn from your favorite artist. That is what we want to provide!

TMN: Speaking of DAWs, what can people expect? Will the program change from artist to artist, or are you guys setting a site-wide standard?

Whatever the artist uses, is what we teach you. Some are proficient in numerous DAW’s, some are hard core Ableton users. We just shot Roger Sanchez last week and he uses both Logic & Ableton to make his records and that is what we shot. What may be unorthodox for some, may end up being ‘the’ way to work for others. We live in an artist driven world so we want to shoot our DJ-Producers making music the way THEY make their music with no exceptions. We don’t chase an artist on what DAW they’re using, but more, how they’re using it to achieve incredible success in the studio.

TMN: Aside from being a founding member, you’ll also be running some of the courses. You currently have a course where you walk through an edit of your legendary tune, “Shake It.” What can fans/aspiring producers expect from your lesson plan?

Yeah well, “Shake It” was made when I was a teenager but with the help of it being a Hit record and with CR2’s Mark Brown doing annual remixes on the record, it continues to breathe new life into the record. It’s a classic house tune with a lot of knowledge behind it which we know will be helpful to our users. The parts to the record are legendary so we are now about to give them all away so that others can learn the secrets to how the record was made. It’s quite simple honestly but the proper blocks to building any record are in there and with the notion that another Gold record like, “Shake It” may be made from one of our members as a result makes me even more inspired to share these secrets.

TMN: Talk about some of the other instructors you’ve brought on board. How did you go about selecting them?

We don’t call them instructors really, they’re doing nothing different then being themselves in their studio environment re-making a Hit record that they made and with us shooting the entire process. I say that because at FaderPro we’re all artists too and we all have things to offer and we package up that inspiration and provide it to our users. Names on board are Roger Sanchez, Sander Kleinenberg, ILL Factor, Sandy Rivera, we’ve just made our partnership with Toolroom and their artists official which includes, Mark Knight, Rene Amesz, Harry Romero, Weiss, Marco Alys, Funkagenda and more. Mark Brown’s CR2 artists will be on board as well and my co-founder, producer-remixer, Vincent di Pasquale will be teaching numerous courses as well. The phone is ringing all day at the moment and we can’t wait to shoot courses with all the names our users are requesting.

TMN: Alright, stepping away from FaderPro for a moment, let’s talk about your other work. Even though Lee Cabrera is on hiatus, you’re still churning out tunes and playing shows. What tracks do you have coming up that you can fill us in on?

Yeah with the emerging of FaderPro it definitely meant some time off from the studio with our investment dollars coming in and our big launch at ADE but I stay very active and am just finishing my, “TeamWork” album and have collaborations with, Macy Gray, Goldie, ILL Factor and remixes for Jeremih, Oliver Heldens, Miguel and more. Touring a ton and about to launch a new project with best friend, Carl Kennedy as, Lee & Kennedy. We have a ton of new proper house tunes that will be out very soon and already touring a ton together.

TMN: Speaking of shows, we can’t get enough of your mix with Carl Kennedy from your Marquee Residency. Is that monthly slot going to continue into 2016?

’Steven Lee & Carl Kennedy Live @ Marquee NYC’

Thank You, glad you dig it. Yes, that is exactly where my head is at musically and what you can expect to hear from the Lee & Kennedy team. We are doing regular dates with Marquee and will be heading to all the Marquee venues around the world as well. We’ve known the guys at Marquee for years and there isn’t a better brand out there at the moment. We tour all over the world but reside in NYC so having a home for our friends & fam to come hang has always been the goal.

TMN: Looking ahead into 2016 – aside from a focus on FaderPro,what else is on deck for you? Can fans expect some touring?

Yeah, touring is what keeps me alive and keeps me sane. I start my Asia tour at the end of the month which will include NYE in Asia as well, then head to South America and summer 2016 will be overseas for Europe & Ibiza.

TMN: Before we wrap up, we have to ask a few random personal questions, just to give people a little glimpse past the industry side of things. Let’s kick it off with one of our favs – what was your very first job?

My first job was back home in Oregon where I was born and at 15 I worked for the pizza joint Little Caesars. I think I was 15. I ran the register and didn’t have to get my hands too dirty in the kitchen, but certainly indulged in the free food and always had my boys come in for free pizza.

TMN: Name three things you’ll always find on Steven Lee’s fridge.

Funny, there is only (3) things on my fridge, I’m a bit of a minimal dude 😉 I have 3 black & white photos on my fridge, one is of Marilyn Monroe & Joe Dimaggio looking elegant & dapper, the other is of Andy Warhol and the other is of my father.

TMN: If you could take a class from any musician, past or present, who would you want to learn from?

To be honest, it would be from my mom, my aunt & their brother, my uncle. There wasn’t much TV watching with these guys in the room. They can play every instrument out there; Brass, keys, strings, you name it, they do it and with voices for days. I learned it all from the fam so if I could do it all over again, I’d pay a bit more attention.

TMN: Favorite spots in NYC for bagels, pizzas, and streetside hot dog?

I’m not a big bagel guy but Katz’s deli is where they go in NYC. Pizza is definitely Lomardi’s in SoHo. Streetside hot dogs are only when entering or leaving Madison Square Garden after a Knicks game!

TMN: Last, but not least, if your music were an animal, what would it be?

A black mamba for my boy and the best basketball player on the planet, Kobe Bryant aka The Black Mamba. I make music and DJ like he plays basketball: Fearless, confident & passionate!

Thanks for the time guys!

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