Grammy Award winner Steve Pageot never sits on his current success. He’s always working to reach another level of achievement in his field. His ultimate goal is to become the next big Mogul in the American Music Industry (AMI) and gain worldwide recognition.
Steve Pageot is a Producer, Musician, Composer and Engineer. Coming in the music business, he felt he had to master every important aspect of the industry. Therefore he read many books about publishing, copyright, managing artists and producer contracts.
On a beautiful Sunday afternoon, in his hometown of Montreal, I had the privilege to spend 2 hours with Steve Pageot to learn more about his path, the different stages of his musical career and his background basically learning more about the man behind the music. I was impressed with a few things from the start: his manners, he’s a true gentleman (the type that opens doors for ladies…); his confidence, he works in a cut throat industry which motivates him to stay dedicated to his craft and last but not least his sense of humor.
Steve Pageot comes from a musical family: his father Fritz Pageot (bass) and his uncle Guy Pageot (guitar) are two veterans in the music industry, his younger brothers Ric’key Pageot (keyboard) currently on tour with Madonna and Anthony Pageot (drums) working to get his name out there on the local scene in Montreal. Steve’s musical journey started at age 3; his father gave him guitar lessons and taught him how to read music. Growing up, he spent a lot of time with his father analyzing and studying different styles of music. Later at Pierre Laporte, the Performing Arts High School, he picked up the concert flute.
What are your musical Influences and who would you say is a model for you in the music Industry?
«Any music my father would play in the house: Jazz, Reggae, Samba, and Bossa Nova. Quincy Jones has been my blueprint, we have so much in common. Other models would be Teddy Riley, BabyFace, Sting, and Michael Jackson. »
After high school, because of the instability of the music business, Steve’s father Fritz recommended that he learned something to fall back on. Steve went to Vanier College and studied Computers and Electronics. While studying, it was hard to pursue his musical dream. However, quickly after graduating he found a job in his field and used every penny to buy musical instruments in order to build his own studio in his basement. He read every book and magazine possible on how to mix, record etc…
From there around 1992-1996, he started producing local artists such as Mizery, who opened for Nas and KRS-1, the group called Technical Sense who became very popular after opening for Black Moon, a few RnB acts also. The Producers of major events such as Gary T, Rickey D, Malik Shaheed and Montreal’s Hip Hop Radio show Masterz at Work (on CKUT 90.3 FM) gave Steve a platform to showcase his talent and build his confidence.
When did you move to New York City and how would you describe this period of your life?
«I moved to New York City in 1997. It was all very exciting and refreshing. I felt like I was in a different world. I quickly learned to always be prepared. »
What would you describe as your big break after moving to NYC?
«Being formally introduced to Ron Lawrence (Diddy, Brian Mcknight, LL Cool J, Notorious B.I.G. to name a few) by Awanda Booth (at the time she was an A&R Exec. at Relativity Records). Seven months later, in November 1997, I got a meeting with him and he heard some of my music. He told me he liked what he heard and that he wanted to hear more. I went back to Canada and worked on new material. In January of 1998, I was back with a DAT (Digital Audio Tape) that had 20 tracks. Working alongside him, I learned how to conduct myself as a businessman in the industry, how to step up my game and gain respect from others, therefore to me this was my big break. »
Steve Pageot worked with many artists along the years. In 1999, he produced ‘War Iz On’ for Krayzie Bone featuring Snoop Dogg, Kurrupt and Layzie Bone. The album went platinum. In 2003, he worked with the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, as an engineer. His work with Aretha Franklin was recognized in 2004 with a Grammy award. Other artists he worked with either as a producer, engineer, musician (or all at the same time) are Planet Asia (Grand Opening), Eight Ball & MJG (Living Legends), New Edition (One Love), Bone Thugs-N-Harmony (Thug Stories), Talib Kweli (Eardrum).
Steve Pageot signed a deal with MTV in 2004 to make music for shows such as Run’s House, Rob & Big, When I was 17 and Fantasy Factory just to name a few. He made music for other networks like VH1 and ABC. He appeared four times as a guest judge on BET’s 106 & Park on the Freestyle Friday Segment.
More recently he was featured on his uncle’s album: “Les Voix d’Or du Compas” playing the flute on the song “Je t’aime mon amour”. Steve is currently working on tracks for Eminem.
What is a typical day in the life of Steve Pageot?
«I wake up around 8 am, I pray and meditate, it is very important to maintain positive energy so I pray a lot. Around 9 am, I start networking on social medias, check my emails, Networking is essential in this business. In the early afternoon I go to meetings, then to the lab. At night, I party (laughs). Seriously, the night life is an important part of this industry, clubs are where you meet and greet. »
What are your favorite tools to work with?
«My Yamaha motif ES8, my AKG P820 Tube Microphone, Software synths from Arturia, my AKAI MPC 2000, as far as software for mixing: Lexicon’ s PCM Native Reverb Bundle, 6176 Pre Amp & Compressor by Universal Audio.»
What inspires you?
«It could basically be anything from a conversation, someone’s walk, my mood of the day. Most importantly I stay away from negative energy and surround myself with positivity. Creators have to create in a proper environment. »
What is your creative routine?
«I don’t have one per say but because my father’s bass playing influenced me I must have the right bass line to make people dance. Once the skeleton is created, I’ll add the other instruments.
Do you have any advice for someone wanting to come in the industry?
«My only advice would be to come prepared. In this era, there shouldn’t be a reason for anyone to sign a bad contract. Everything is on the internet, read about the business. There’s no place for naivety. »
Last thoughts about the current state of the music industry
«I feel like too many non musicians are involved in the business. People are lazy; it feels like people are pushing buttons instead of playing real music. There’s also a lack of originality.
You would think Steve Pageot would be content with the level he has reached in the industry but as you listen to the passion in his voice you can see that he is ready to go further, he does not get comfortable and always looks ahead.