Pro Member Interview – Steve Smith

Steve Smith - SM

As a partner in the SA TrackWorks and Brkthbeat teams, Steve has co-written, produced and mixed songs for acts signed to the world’s leading labels, including J Records, Universal, Sony, Atlantic, Warner, Jive, Capitol/EMI, and Avex. 

With albums sales over 17 million world wide, he has had songs that have been recorded by such international artists as: Loverboy (Canada), Stacie Orrico (USA), Rouge (Brasil), Tohoshinki (Japan) and Namie Amuro (Asia) as well as having multiple top 10 hits in Canada. 

Their award winning #1 song “Surrender” by Altantic Recording Artist, Laura Pausini was at the time the most radio played song written by Canadians and performed by a foreign artist and reached U.S. Billboard Number One. They have had their songs featured in films and TV including: YTV – The Next Star, Disney’s – Austin And Ally, and American Idol. SA Trackworks also wrote and produced a single for the mega U.S. group Smash Mouth of “All Star” fame and most recently; Meghan Patrick recorded their co-written song, “Forever Ain’t Enough Time”, with guest vocals by the legend Vince Gill. 

This year, Steve, known as Steve In The Mix on his social networks, has started a YouTube channel to guide up and coming songwriters, singers, rappers, and producers on the come up. We have created our very own Youtube playlist featuring all of Steve’s videos. Go check it out!

 

  • Do you write for other recording/performing artists?

Writing and producing for other recording artist is mostly what I do. You wouldn’t want to hear me sing. I do know what an excellent performance sounds like and I feel like I can recognize when a song is unique and compelling. Working with an artist who is able to make a song come alive is a privilege. 

  • How did you learn your craft – was it “formal” or “informal” music education?

It was a mix of both. I started as a musician, went to college to study music performance and had my eyes opened to the high level of musicianship that makes a world-class performer. My informal training, but perhaps higher level training, happened as I found myself in the room when master producers and songwriters were at work. The recording studio always fascinated me, and I was lucky enough to learn the craft of songwriting from people who were professionals. I learned about the apparent things like structure, chord changes, approach to lyric writing, but the magic happened when great songwriters used the tools to create emotion. I’m still a student of songwriting, producing and mixing. I love that aspect of it. 

  • Do you have any advice for upcoming songwriters and creators who are looking to break further into the creative scene?

Collaboration is key. Learning to collaborate is a skill in itself. It’s a great recipe for staying fresh. So many times a crazy idea is just one adjustment away from being a brilliant idea. Be brave enough to throw all ideas into the room. Sometimes they bounce back in ways that are incredible.

 

#thePROSofSAC #CreatorsCount #MusicCreatorsUnite 

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Pro Member Interview – Treasa Levasseur

Treasa Levasseur - SM.png

Treasa trained in both classical piano and musical theatre before finding her calling as a singer songwriter.  Her songs are witty, heartfelt and often sassy, just like Treasa.  She has released 3 full length albums and 2 EPS, with her rhythm and blues influenced Low Fidelity garnering her a Juno nomination.  She is also a successful community arts facilitator, Canadian Representative for Folk Alliance International, pop up choir leader, and proudly writes songs with kids every week as part of her Jam 101 program for An Instrument For Every Child in Hamilton.  Her favourite side hustle is a tie between playing accordion in Corin Raymond’s band and being a columnist on CBC’s flagship book show, The Next Chapter.

Below is our interview with Treasa, enjoy!

 

  • What inspires you to create music?

The world around me, the connection I can make with other people, and the high of making something from nothing.

  • How did you get your start as a creator in the industry?

I started out as a backing musician, but once I got out on the road I realized I wanted to share my own perspective with audiences.

  • If you could collaborate with any other music creator, who would that be?

I could list so many folks, but a short list of amazing Canadian Women includes Erin Costello, Amelia Curran, Tanika Charles, Rose Cousins, Irish Mythen, Shakura S’Aida, Hill Kourkoutis, Lydia Persaud…

  • What is the most important “tool” you need when creating, eg. GarageBand, google docs, your cell phone, Pro Tools, or a pad of paper?

88 keys and a journal.

 

#thePROSofSAC #CreatorsCount #MusicCreatorsUnite