Stephen McGregor...reggae's youthful veteran


By: Joseph Cunningham

steven.jpgHe has been heralded as "the genius," but for what? That was the popular question two years ago when this kind of adoration was bestowed on a Jamaican teenager, who was new to the fraternity of music producers.

Many had reservations, but YardFlex interviewed Steven McGregor on Friday morning and cleared up all the misgivings. For starters, there is an obvious self-confidence that has propelled Steven McGregor ahead of his fellows in the new generation of Jamaican music producers.

He is also currently the most popular producer in the reggae industry,
delivering the kind of rhythms that make music students think of the
peculiar sounds of the likes of Swizz Beats. I asked the youth, age 17, turns 18 on Sunday; if he were to handpick artistes for a special rhythm, what would be his thought process?

Steven said, "While I take into consideration the type of artiste it is, no matter how famous the artiste, I always reserve the right to input my creativity in a significant way."

What is his source of confidence? He is a son of Freddie McGregor, and was exposed to music as a much younger boy. He virtually lives in the Big Ship studio, the McGregor's home studio where he has built over 500 rhythms.

At age 5, Stephen wrote his first song "School Done Rule," a song about the importance of staying in school, and it enjoyed airplay, locally as well as abroad in 1995. By age 10 he could play five instruments, the piano, violin, drums, bass and guitar, which provided him with the basis for much of his work. In addition he also gained the experience of traveling and performing all over the globe with his family. Stephen has performed in the USA, Canada, Asia, Europe and the Caribbean and knows the different tastes and preferences of music that people have.

As a past student of the Ardenne High School, where he played in the school band, Stephen has the steering wheel of the Big Ship in his grip.

He works hard alongside his brother Daniel aka Chino to manifest their visions and to ensure that the Ship is sailing with full blown sails into the future.

His latest efforts are the Chiny K and the Bee Hive rhythms, which both feature the Likes of Vybz Kartel, Lady Saw and many more. He told YardFlex, "There are big things on the horizon for 2008...just keep listening keenly."