OK = Here is the real story
Worked at Sony Music Canada for 10 years – from 24 to 35 – I loved it at first – dream job – worked my way to up making 6 figures a year – had a crazy expense account – got to travel – was the guy who first picked up John Legend in my acura 2000 when I had to drag 100 people to a bar to watch him play. I was the guy who used to take Destiny Child to Canda’s wonderland to play Kis 92 summer jam and beyonce would call me “UNCLE Steve”. I worked with Oasis, Ricky Martin, Jamiroquai, Mariah Carey, Beyonce, Tony Bennett, Ghostface Killah, Wyclef, Lauryn Hill, Nas,
About 9 years into the job I got depressed at work – I watched as we sat in marketing meetings and ruined artists lives – we didn’t care about art – we cared about what sold – I was having sparring fights in marketing meetings about the value of K’naan, and Zaki, not to mention Jamiroquai and Franz Ferdinand and black music general (remember this was before rap was pop)– I had to fight for anything of artistic substance – it drove me off the wall – I hated my bosses (who are all still there to this day) and I hated that we were not taking chances….it was stifling…I sat at my desk and I knew I was the best at what I did but I couldn’t be around such darkness
Deep down I wanted to be an artist – So I quit – and the first guy I called up was my head of the street team Sway Clarke – and we formed a group called FREEDOM OR DEATH – the name says it all –
The wall street Journal talked about us (that story tells the tale of two guys leaving comfy corporate jobs to become artists
We started writing all kinds of music for ourselves and for others – one of those songs caught the ear of BILLY MANN (P!NK) who got it to John Legend – low and behold – JOHN LEGEND cuts our song – and we start getting calls – BMG publishing wanted to sign me – I sat with SONY ATV in NY and turned down a 50K advance – I didn’t want to go back into corporate chains.
Our music gets to Beyonce’s manager – who decides to leave Beyonce at the time to start his own management team – and takes us on – He tells us kick steve out of freedom or death – change the name and make it about sway and steve just be a songwriter –
We toil at our craft for 3 years – 2012-2015 – we get signed to a million dollar deal with Island UK and Captiol US – jount venture –
We do the LA thing – we work with Max Martin’s team (in Marylyn Munroe’s old home now studio with Carley Rae Jepson in the studio next to us)
We work with SIA’s Producer Jesse Shatkin
We work with Childish Gambino’s producer Ludwig Goraanson
We cut out teeth learning how to make better music –
We decide all the LA pop talk isn’t what we want – but our demos are good enough – we need to polish them and head to LONDON UK
We make a record with my idol NELLEE HOOPER (Bjork, Sinead, Massive Attack) that costs 300K and is beautiful – this is 2015 –
Label sits on the record – they are 600K already paid out on a record that hasn’t seen the light of day – A&R gets fired – nothing is happening – we are sitting doing nothing
Sway then decides to leave the label on his own accord – we had been sitting on music for over 18 months and no one seemed to care.
All at the same time my marriage is crumbling – I had my first child in 2010 and my second in 2011 – I left my 6 figure job at the same time as having kids – it was a chance I wanted to take but it also caused stresses in the relationship
2015 – we decide to leave the label and I also get a divorce –
JESUS CMPLXX is the regaining of my control – I lost 40 babies (or songs) in the break up with the label. They own the masters that will never see the light of day
Regaining my control was looking at all the different artists that I played with, wrote for and was working with and having them sing and collaborate with me
Regaining control is about having the confidence to say I am good enough – ive put my time in and this music is great. Fuck what the world thinks.
Ascott Royals, Sway Clarke, Chloe Charles are the first three artists I put on this record – on the next it will be just as diverse
The name Jesus Cmplxx comes from my own narcissim and also the flip side of being terribly insecure. When people hear the term it causes a reaction ususally – sometimes positive sometimes negative – usually the reaction is a barometer of how someone feels about themselves.
Plus I think JESUSCMPLXX will look cool on a t shirt if I ever make any…
FYI…I’ve changed as a person since leaving my wife and also leaving the label and leaving the major label deal. This album is the result of that change….and a 40 something Dad taking a shot at his dream. May not be cool, but its my shot
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