Steve Rumizen produced one of my most popular songs, “Million Dollars” Featuring Mr. Fritz, as well as “Train Tracks” Featuring Mike Sebor and “Windows Down” (on which he raps the second verse). I also have some unheard material that is going to be released in the near future featuring his production, as well as mixing and mastering. But now that you have a reference, let me explain why I am writing this article.
I remember the first Facebook message I received from Steve. I never would have guessed the impact he would play in my life.
Steve and I grew up in the same hometown and played on a little league baseball team together. But beyond that, we didn’t have much of a relationship. Until he reached out to me about collaborating on a song.
I remember being pleasantly surprised by the beat he sent me. I put a verse and hook on it, which we never finished or released. But it served as the door to our friendship.
Steve sent me several more instrumentals, some including his own singing or rapping. All of which progressively got better. But as the songs kept flooding my email, I started falling deeper into my addiction and isolation, and farther away from my aspirations of being an artists. Eventually, I stopped responding, or returning verses, and the beats stopped coming.
But in nothing short of an act of God, almost exactly the same time I started my journey drug and alcohol free, I received a Facebook message from Steve. He told me how he was going to school for Technical Engineering, and for his final project, he needed to mix and master a complete project, and that he wanted the project to be our songs. For the first time, Steve and I met in person to work on music. His home studio became a second home to me.
Everything was new, I was sober, I was learning how to live life with out being under the influence. But more specifically, learning how to make music again.
Week in and week out, we met and worked on something new. Steve started to become one of the most talented producers I had ever heard. As we worked out the kinks, we started to vibe and connect. We started becoming comfortable around each other. As the music started getting personal, we started getting to know each other.
Like most artists, I am my biggest critic. I always struggled with my confidence. Especially when it came to my singing. I loved to come up with melodies, but when I had the nerve to deliver them on a song, I usually hid behind the sound of auto-tune. Steve told me that I had a good voice, and just needed to practice. He pushed me to get better at it, and now, singing is often times a huge part of my creative process. He constantly reassured me that I was talented and believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself.
Those early days of sobriety were like a rebirth for me. I discovered who I really was. I discovered what was important to me. I found out what kind of music I wanted to make, and what I wanted to say in it. And Steve was there and an active part of all of it. So it is hard for me to put into words what my musical, as well as personal, relationship with Steve means to me. But the best way I can put it is, the music you hear from me, the style I have, is all heavily influenced by him. I would not be where I am with out him.
Credit must be given where it is due. So, this is dedicated to you Steve, or as I like to call you, Stevey the Genius. I will be eternally grateful for the time, incredible production, and friendship you gave me.