Born and raised in the Bay Area, StevieBoy Muziq is a man of many talents. A self-made DJ, hip-hop artist, and producer, Stevie can legitimately do it all when it comes to making music. For several years, StevieBoy has been touring with Andre Nickatina as his official DJ.
During this time, he has been multitasking the responsibilities of touring and the creation of his own work. Despite taking on such a busy role, StevieBoy has been releasing music consistently over the years.
In this exclusive interview, StevieBoy discusses the grind that went into his come-up, the complexity of his sound, and his everyday life.
The Origin of StevieBoy’s Career
What about your life ultimately led you into the music industry?
StevieBoy: “Well, I was born in the bay area, in Hayward California. I actually grew up in the 209, the central valley, near Modesto, Manteca, in a small town called Ripon. It’s a real different place, man. I think it’s more indicative of like Wichita, Kansas than it is the Bay Area. It’s very homogenous there and not much opportunity for young adults. It’s a trip to see how juxtapose it was to the very liberal Bay Area when they’re so close to each other, less than 60 miles apart.
I started DJing when I was 11 or 12. My dad got me duel CD players, some real simple DJ shit, and some radio shack speakers. I just made it happen, man. I was from a small town so I was really the only DJ in the area, I really thought I knew what I was doing, moving around the game.
After high school, I moved out to San Francisco for college and graduated from SF State. Some of my really close friends that I met when I got to San Francisco were actual DJs. They were turntablists and some of the best DJs out here which made me realize that I didn’t know shit. So, I knew I had to take a step back. While I was in college, I took a break from DJing and picked up songwriting. I learned how to create music, write lyrics, and rap.
I made a bunch of music back then and right after I graduated, one of those DJs that I had met before became a really good friend of mine. He ended up moving in with me. Honestly, that’s what reinvigorated my DJ ear. I would just wake up, cruise into his room, and we’d jump on the turntables. I kinda just picked up where I left off, plus picking up little tidbits here and there of knowledge from those homies. That really allowed me to excel in my DJ career because I got a boost of knowledge and info.
I started working with the right people that got me into my next opportunity around 2013. Right around that time, I started doing radio. I did a radio show called Da MaddHouze for like 3 or 4 years. We started off at San Francisco City College, we had an FM station there, and we moved up to KPOO. KPOO is a legendary radio station back here in San Francisco. All the big artists would try to get their music played on there before iHeartRadio was a thing. With this transition, we were able to take our radio show from a local platform to the whole Bay Area where we were able to reach out to everyone.
From there, I was able to really connect with all the local artists to build relationships. It opened a lot of opportunities and that’s really how I met everyone in the Bay Area. Everybody who was somebody just ran through the radio show. We would do interviews, do shows together, put on shows with artists, we did it all. One of my first tours was with that radio show.
Then, I left the radio show and kind of pursued my own thing. I was also DJing around 3 or 4 bars and nightclubs for a while before I got into doing hip-hop shows. It began when artists from the radio show would ask me to DJ their sets. I started there. Some of the artists I’d interviewed started getting bigger, doing bigger shows, and opening for bigger artists.
I just ended up building strong relationships with different artists through that Radio Show and that allowed me to reach much bigger platforms in the Bay Area hip-hop game. Like with J.Lately; he’s like my brother man. That’s my mijo right there. He got an opportunity to open up for the legendary artist Locksmith on a nation-wide tour. I was blessed and hired on to be the Tour DJ for one of the best lyrical artists In the World! Locksmith is a super dope dude! Hilarious and very intellectual at the same time! I was able to go on tour with him and J for a few months which was a crazy experience. I connected with my boy Stinje as well. He is like Berner’s right-hand man, producer, and all that shit. We haven’t had the opportunity to tour together yet, but That’s my family right there.
Soon after that, an opportunity arose for me and J.Lately to start opening up for Andre Nickatina. That’s where we started building that relationship, which was about 2 years ago. We opened the first 3 or 4 shows and then Andre Nickatina’s DJ got sick or something, so an opportunity came up for me.
I went to Oregon and Seattle with him, but before this, he’d never heard me play. Since we were on the road though, he would show up early. That was when he heard me for the first time. I think he was in the back and said ‘who the fuck is playing this shit right now?’ to J and asked him to get me after the show. He said he was fuckin with me so he added me onto his next upcoming shows, including a poetry slam on his birthday. After that, it was a wrap. Our relationship took off from there. Djing for Kahn & working on some Edits and remixes for him on the side.”
What differentiates the Bay Area music scene from other cities and how has that influenced you within your music?
StevieBoy: “It’s simple, we’re the originators of everything. You can look at almost every rap culture in every corner of the country and you will find remnants of the Bay Area. Whether it’s in the lingo, the slang, the flavor, even the fucking weed they’re smoking, it all comes from right here in Cali.
We have originated the style and I feel like you can’t really argue with that in any way. Wherever I go around the country, people always know I’m from the Bay. You can hear those influences in my music as well.”
You have diversity in your craft, you are not just a DJ, but also a rapper and producer, how does your music set yourself apart from other artists who focus on one area specifically?
StevieBoy: “That’s right, I got flows, man. I got bars! I have versatility and that really differentiates my sound from others. Like you said, I am not just a DJ and I’m not just a one-dimensional DJ in the DJ scene itself. I’m a Latin DJ, House Music DJ, Open Format DJ, Hip-Hop DJ, I can really be anything in any environment. I’ve done whole Reggae sets for a Reggae festival before.
Another thing that’s really huge for DJs that many people don’t understand, is that the really dope and notable DJs make their own DJ edits. That’s another form of production that I am into. It’s basically producing a song within a hit song and adding your own flip to it to make the song more playable for other DJs. That’s what really sets me apart from other DJs and one reason why I get booked around the country.
As an artist in general, I feel the main difference in my music is the content. I make music that I feel is timeless and can be released at any time period. A lot of the new artists are trying to find a trend and searching for the next new hot thing when in the end you should just stay true to your craft, develop your own sound, and build from there.
Since I am a DJ, I definitely have an ear for what sounds good and what doesn’t. I have heard tens of thousands of songs that have gone through the radio and nightclubs, so I know what makes it and what doesn’t. I think that having that background just gives me that leg up, in comparison to other artists.”
The Life On Tour for StevieBoy
Working as a DJ can be a difficult position. I can imagine that the long nights are often draining. How do you achieve a work-life balance within such an energetic work environment?
StevieBoy: “You know, I had a whole different life. I never was a nine to five, conventional person. I’ve been a DJ since I was young, so I learned how to get money from a really young age. Growing up, I never had that normal set routine in life. When I was in college, I was doing a lot of extracurricular things to make money.
The transition after graduation was a struggle because I had to do a lot of leg work. A lot of free shows, just showing up places to show face, a lot of opportunities missed, and other things like that.
It’s hard because a lot of people who DJ aren’t just a DJ, they’re also like a manager at Best Buy or something. That’s just not me. I go to bed, I wake up in the morning, and it’s just music. It’s always music. This is just my life. When I’m not touring or doing something else, all of my downtime is focused on writing songs, producing music, or thinking of ways to make my business bigger. I constantly just got music going on in my head. It’s not super hard for me to adjust to this lifestyle because it’s always been my life.”
Living the touring life can be pretty demanding, however, it is also hella dope! Can you share one of your craziest touring stories with us?
StevieBoy: “The thing is, when you’re on the road you’re busy. People think that when you’re on tour it’s just like a super fun huge party, but the reality of a tour is driving, playing, and sleeping. That’s why I fucked with Dre so much. He only likes to do three or four shows and then he’ll come back home to chill for a week.
The funniest story I have with Dre is when we played in Portland. We literally went to seven strip clubs in one day, it was hilarious. Before we got to Portland we stopped at a strip club and then when we got into Portland we dropped Dre off at a strip club. Our team had to set up and when we were done with that, J.Lately picked up Dre and dropped him off at another strip club before the show. After killing it at the show, we just went strip club hopping all night.
Of course, every strip club we went into, everyone knew Dre right away. It was a really funny experience. You would think that being at a strip club you would be at the front-row throwing out money on the stage, but Dre was actually very lowkey. He’d just go off into the corner, very nonchalant and discreet as he could be. We all just get drinks and post up. Also, Dre loves steak dinners, so if that’s available, he’ll order himself one. We would literally just be watching TV in a strip club while eating a steak dinner, which is funny as fuck. Meanwhile, all the dancers are coming up to him.”
Stevie’s Current & Upcoming Projects
We are all living in a pretty weird time right now and that’s, unfortunately, put touring to a halt. How have you been advancing your music career, despite the restrictions of being in the middle of a pandemic?
StevieBoy: “Thankfully, I just got blessed recently and played a show in Rosarito, Mexico and that was really fun. Before that, I did the Cookies Grand Opening in Hayward and that was also really dope. Before that, I hadn’t played since March and it killed me because this was mapped out to be the biggest year of my career. I was just so excited about everything. That shit kills me. I just had to make a pivot from focusing on live shows and performances to going back to my original craft.
Before, I was so strapped with time between making money and playing shows. I never really had an opportunity to get back into the studio to focus on my own music that I’ve had for so long.
I have so much music that no one’s heard before, literally like a hundred songs, it’s crazy. This gave me the opportunity to step back and re-focus on my own production and my own music. I was then able to release my own album, I have a new album out called Stevie Jobs, starting with my new single called Straight Through California, and really just encompassing the whole LLC. This is Stevie Entertainment and I have to bring everything out through that.
When you’re a DJ, you always are hyping someone else up without reinforcing your own. This shutdown has helped me bring out my own brand and focus on that. I really took this hard stance and I’m starting to release all of my own original music that people have never heard before. I’m about to come in and try to take this whole game over and hit them with a whole different angle that they’ve never seen from Stevie.
Like I said, I do a lot of the DJ edits and production, but when it comes to producing beats, I leave it to the real strong team of producers that surround me. With all this downtime, I have the chance to be more hands-on now. I’m completely transforming my sound and evolving it to a new level.
Andre Nickatina – Smoke Dope and Rap Prod. Stevie Locs
Dre recently dropped an album that I produced, it’s a house remix album. We took his famous songs and remixed them into ghetto house versions.
I don’t think a lot of his fans liked it, because they’re too old school, but there are a lot of people right now that really love EDM music and those people ate it up. They loved it.
It was actually on that Oregon trip, that we got the idea. It was a whole angle that nobody’s done yet. We just started working from there. That allowed me to branch out and now I’m coming out with a second album with all ghetto house remixes of famous Bay Area songs. No one has really heard that side of me so it’s gonna be a big surprise when I hit them with this shit.”
You’ve spent the last few years working on your company, Stevie Entertainment, what inspired you to develop this project and what would you like to achieve?
StevieBoy: “I’ve always had my small business license with Stevie Entertainment. I’m just ready to take everything to the next level. I started my own media group which is called Stevie Entertainment LLC or SENT LLC. It’s a media group which is going to be all-encompassing. It’s a hybrid of artist development, a record label, DJ services, and the general functions of a media company.
So what I’m kind of doing, is bringing all of my team members together under one umbrella. I’m bringing everyone to this company so when I do run these transactions and push these artists, it’s more organized and legitimate.”
Do you have any other projects coming out that we should be keeping an eye out for?
StevieBoy: “Once again, my new single Straight Through California featuring B. Wash and produced by my cousin, Rezn Sound Labs. My cousin made a majority of the beats on this album. That was one of my favorite songs that I made with my partner. It’s just a super vibey, wavy ass song. It’s the vibe that someone gets when they first come to the Bay Area.
I got 3 or 4 singles coming out soon here. The next one is gonna be As Good As It Gets with my brother J.Lately, featuring my friends, the French Cassettes. The French Cassettes are a really dope Indie-Rock band from San Francisco and they’re blowing up. My brother Thom Genius made the beat on that one, it was a great collaboration.
You’re going to see my new album, Spielberg, coming out early next year and my second volume of ghetto house, the one that includes all the great artists from the bay area. The ghetto house album is gonna be the one, I swear. I got two full albums that no one has even heard before and I am playing it like chess, lining everything up and getting ready to execute; Checkmate!”