MusicDish e-Journal - January 26, 2020
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Steven Ventura
By Lady Zimma & Miss Mention, Dainty Crew
(more articles from this author)
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Start getting familiar with the name Steven Ventura as you're going to be hearing his name called a lot regarding rhythms, artists and production. Founder of M-phatic Music, Steven has worked with many big names, but how did he get into the whole music thing?

Born in Miami, Florida, Steven was raised in Jamaica and his catchy name is his given name and he likens it to Ace Ventura (of Pet Detective fame), "I'm his idol J" he jokes. Steven based M-phatic Music out of Jamaica and also has a studio called Celestial Sounds. Presently entering his 30's, he has come far after "starting producing when I was in school… in the US." He used to do remixes and found production to be "an expansion of remixing."

His idols include such greats as Sly & Robbie, Jermaine Dupree and Dallas Austin. He states, "I love Dallas' sound." To Steven being a producer is all "to do with the making of the sound" and as such "that's what inspires me." His other inspiration is his mother as she is an artist.

Prior to getting his music venture off the ground, Steven worked as a tour manager for the Mighty Diamonds during one summer and adds "every now and then I'll hide my voice in my productions."

M-phatic was a venture that Steven aimed to encompass "production… distributions and soon a full fledged record label." On his arrival back in Jamaica after attending schools in various US States and in Jamaica, Steven built Celestial Sounds, a technologically advanced recording studio.

Artist management is part of Steven's repertoire and he is developing artists like Saba, Nadz (a female rapper) and Cutty Ranks. He says they will "take on some other well known acts" pretty soon.

Juggling music production and artist management must prove hectic, but Steven takes it all in his stride by following his own sure-fire recipe, "don't sleep and eat junk." This must work wonders for him as he has worked with a plethora of big name artists including Beenie Man, Capleton, Buju Banton, Tanya Stephens, Lady Saw, Madd Anju, Harry Toddler & Elephant Man (formerly of the Scare Dem Crew), Red Rat and foreign artists Teddy Bears (Swedish pop band) and Tolga & Flame (German artists).

So far he has released 3 projects under M-phatic. He has recently teamed up with King of Kings through which most of his productions will be released. He hasn't named all of the rhythms he has created, but the names of some are Resurrection, Moesha, Latino, Boasy Gal and Hic Up. He released an album of the Moesha rhythm in 1998 and the Latino rhythm has an album due for release this Summer with tracks by Buju, Beenie, Capleton, Lady Saw, Red Rat, Saba, Ce'cile and many more. The latter rhythm was inspired by his love for anything Latin and so he thought, "why not Latino Dancehall?" The latest rhythm he releases is the Boasy Gal and as he put it, "Boasy Gal a gwan Boasy in JA" and he has voiced a number of big names on this rhythm too.

Ideas for some might be hard to come by when creating a new sound, but Steven gets ideas even when sitting in traffic! He says "most of the time it just comes to me. I don't really have a formula. It's just the vibe and I love doin' it." He collaborated on the Hic Up rhythm with Computer Paul.

Dancehall Reggae is not the only genre Steven creates music for. He tries to be eclectic and has done House, Hip-Hop, Dance, R&B and even Rock, but he states "that's alternative Rock and stuff with a bit of everything in it."

Keeping up with the amounts of Dancehall rhythms being released at present can be quite hard, but Steven believes that "the quality of productions could be higher… the ideas seem to get more interesting" and the fact that there are so many being released will mean people need to put more thought and imagination into their creations. The rhythms created impact a lot on Dancehall culture and at present he feels, "it is a phenomenon. It is behaving like early Hip-Hop, so I guess it's going to follow the same path as far as it's popularity. We the producers just need to be a little more open with the styles. As a music I enjoy it." He feels the future for Dancehall is bright because "it is already a well recognized genre. It is going to be… one of the most popular underground formats."

When he was "an avid Dancehall attendee", Steven loved listening to the sounds of Stone Love and Killamanjaro. He was "impressed by the likes of Ninja Man and Coco Tea as far as performances and spontaneous reactions on stage." He favours rhythms by the likes of the Kelly brothers, Dave & Tony, and Danny Brownie as they "got me skanking."

Before he ventured into the music business, Steven had been attending medical school and would no doubt have been in the medical profession now if his life hadn't taken this particular path.

The future of M-phatic includes expansion and "building a stronger work force." No doubt Steven Ventura will achieve this and we'll be hearing his name on a regular basis as well as that of M-phatic Music.

To contact M-phatic Music, email, call Jamaica 876-937-1770 or 876-937-1765. Their address is 5A Molynes Plaza, Kingston 10, Jamaica, WI.

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