posted by Mike
January 2021

We give our respect to versatile creators out there. Bringing visions to life from a vast number of creative inputs is no easy feat, but it is awesome. And last year, we discovered one creator in particular: Canadian producer mr. stee.

He showed us some of his diverse work in his 2019 release See You Tomorrow... where chill instrumentals, soulful RnB, serene retro beats, and more brought us on his journey. This year, he followed up with a collaborative smash-out entitled Lemons featuring more of his diverse styles and some very impressive vocal work.

Based out of the western province British Columbia, mr. stee is one of our favorite undiscovered gems right now. While he brings heavy components of hip hop, and r&b, he keeps his pocket always packin' that Funk, so make sure you check it!

For now, we get some of his own selections on the Stereofox mix series with a rich line-up of chilled out tunes, including some unreleased, but he'll tell you more in our interview together below. So, press that play button and get to know a bit about mr. stee.


0:00 Augustus Pablo - Addis-A-Baba
2:18 Soothsayer Franklin - Soothsayers Intro [Instrumental (prod. by Marleau)]
3:03 INJA - Don’t You Know
3:55 Flying Lotus - Raw Cartoons Track 2
5:20 Khruangbin - Summer Madness
7:36 TRS - 8am (prod by mr. stee)
9:13 mr. stee - Ashley Schaeffer BMW
11:14 LAKIM - whendoe shoppa
13:38 mr. stee - breaking the sound barrier (unreleased)
15:16 Frankenstein - UV
17:35 DACEY - Sidewalks
18:56 Wayne Valentine - u should be here
21:30 el. - Charmer
22:58 OPAQUE - Water Sports
24:20 Teon Gibbs - 2 Hard (prod. by jubriiel & INJA)
26:30 J Dilla - Another Batch Track 12
27:31 Kendra Dias - Can’t Look Back [prod. by mr. stee & jubriiel (unreleased)]
29:18 Keni Burke - Risin’ to the Top

Hey Stefan, great to have you on our mix. First, how’s life going?

Thanks Mike! Life’s good, this year has definitely been hectic but I’m happy to have a moment to relax and regroup right now. 

So, tell us about this mix you put together.... What’s in it and what inspired the selection?

I decided to keep this mix pretty eclectic. I love a variety of styles of music and I wanted this mix to reflect that while still feeling coherent. I added some of my favourites from dub, hip hop and r&b, featuring some exclusive unreleased tracks as well. I also added a couple little vocal samples / skits to give the vibe of hanging out late night with the TV on in the background.  

Your 2020 release Lemons includes some fresh instrumental compositions. What does your creative process look like? What gear are you working with? 

My creative process varies, it depends on my mood that day and what I’ve been listening to, if I’m at home or at the studio etc. Sometime I start with a sample, sometimes I’ll start with drum programming, sometimes I’ll start with creating a chord progression on the guitar and build the song around that. 

I do my best not to force things too much and allow myself to explore whatever direction I feel myself being pulled in that particular moment. Because of this, my process inevitably takes some level of curation. Once it’s in a tangible and understandable form of a demo or song, I then can listen with a new set of ears and decide where it should go and if it should be further pursued and developed. I want all my projects to feel cohesive and a soundscape that someone can get lost in for the length of the project. 

Gear wise, I do all my production in Ableton. I do some work at home but some at Eastblvd Studios where more selection of gear is available and I can make more noise haha. Most of the sounds of Lemons were created with Fender Telecaster, DX7, Moog Sub 37, Korg Minilogue and Rhodes Piano. I try to find a balance of live organic instrumentation and samples / programming. 

Lemons also includes some inspiring vocals. Tell me a bit about some of the featured vocalists and how you got to working together.

There’s so much talent in Vancouver right now and I’m honored to work with so many dope vocalists. I wanted to build upon the ethos of Vancouver centric collaborations established on my first album, and expand to working with some new artists. 

Kendra Dias and TRS are both artists that I’m super inspired by and will be working with more in the future. Jubriiel and I are working closely doing co-production with both those artists and will have more music dropping with them in 2021. 

In Sept 2019 I was able to have a studio session in NY with T’nah. I had reached out and sent her a bunch of beats and then happened to be in NY visiting my sister so I set up a session. 

She recorded most of what would become "The Smoke" during that session. I’m glad I got to work on it in person, really happy with how that track turned out! 

If you could collaborate musically with anyone alive or dead, who would be in your top 3 and why? 

Wow that’s a really hard one to answer! Might have to narrow it down to vocalists to make it a little bit easier. Will go with: Andre 3000, Erykah Badu, Larry June.

Andre 3000 and Erykah Badu are artists I’ve listened to for a long time, both with proclivities for unique production. I feel like they would push me to expand the bounds of my creativity. 

Larry June is one my favourites right now, he has a great ear for beats, good flows and entertaining punchlines. Honourable mentions- Brent Faiyaz & Jorja Smith, a couple more of my favourites right now. 

Your music spans anything from citrusy funk vibes to earthy chillhop to candlelit RnB. Who and/or what inspires your creativity?

Sonically I’m inspired by jazz, funk, r&b, hip hop, & house, but I also draw inspiration from my life and experiences to create music that can accompany moments in time. I love digging for records, finding new music to sample and pull inspiration from. I also enjoy going for bike rides or walks while listening to albums, simultaneously analyzing it from a production perspective, and letting the music wash over me while I get lost in thought. 

Lately I’ve been into watching old movies and I’m really inspired by the soundtracks and imagining scenes where my music could accompany visual images. 

I try to create every day if I can, so inevitably different processes will result each time. I just live my life and making music happens to be an integral part of that. It’s the lens through which I view and understand my life, I couldn’t imagine not doing it. Once I make something and share it, I feel like the creative cycle is complete and I can move on to the next thing. After some time has passed I can listen back and relive that time and experience. 

My brother actually just read me a poem by Nayyirah Waheed from her collection Salt and I think it sums up this idea perfectly: 

“Writing is the way your being speaks to you” 

I would just substitute writing with music, and that’s generally the relationship I have with my music / creativity 

You’re based out of Western Canada rollin’ with Eastblvd Records. I keep hearing special things about this part of the world. What’s the scene like out your way?

It’s in a really cool place right now! The scene is very collaborative based rather than competition based, and there’s a lot of artists / producers really pushing the level. 

The producer community is growing and we have events like Loop Sessions Vancouver which is a monthly meet-up (online now) where we all make beats from the same sample and share them. 

The laid back vibe and beautiful scenery definitely make me want to create music that goes with the feeling of biking around the seawall during a summer sunset. 

Despite humanity’s current blindness to the future, what’s in the works for 2021 on your end?

I’m extremely motivated going into 2021. I have a beat tape planned for release, and a bunch of collaborations. I plan to continue experimenting as well, I will likely have some more house based stuff like what Phil Austrom and I did with “On My Mind.” 

Eastblvd will be continuing to put out tons of music so stay tuned! 

There will also potentially be our first vinyl releases! 

Any last words of wisdom, shout outs, and anything on your mind? Lay it down here. 

I want to say a big thank you to the Eastblvd team: Nick Bielski, Marleau, and Jubriiel

They helped me immensely in putting together my 2020 run of releases from co-production, mixing, artwork, album sequencing and promotional materials.

Thanks to my family for always being super supportive and encouraging of my music.

Thanks to everyone that has listened to my music, it still blows me away that stuff I create resonates with people and is integrated into their lives. That’s such an intimate thing and I’m always grateful for that.

Stream mr. stee's Lemons on Spotify here.

Stream Restless by TRS & Mr. Stee on Spotify here.

Learn more about Eastblvd Records through their website here.