Updated: Jun 14
Next up we welcome the amazing Steve Kelley. A passionate, dedicated and energetic talent, Steve began almost 20 years ago as a DJ having played for some of the largest and respected brands in dance music. Steve’s sound is very much about the groove and melody, accompanied with a deep, chunky house vibe.
The next natural step has been production and it hasn’t taken too long for Steve’s studio skills to be recognised with his tracks being picked up by the likes of Steve Bug (Poker Flat Recordings), Lost Desert (Souksonic), Nick Warren (The Sound Garden) and also Native Instruments as part of the Traktor Pro update. With a developing profile Steve decided to step into the forum of promoting his own events back in his
hometown. For the past 10 years Steve created the formidable monthly terrace party Tantalise presents Palava. The parties attracted roadblocks of people, with an atmosphere and reputation that have seen clubbers travel the length and breadth of the country to savor its unique vibe. As a result of the Tantalise’s notoriety Steve has seen himself travel the world to replicate his DJ performances internationally with gigs in the US, Germany, Ibiza, Sweden and holding a residency in Italy.
Steve as well as being an exceptional DJ talent, it is certainly true to say that he is one of the next generation of club land pioneers.
Hi Steve, how are you and what have you been up to this week?
Hi guys! Yes, not bad at all, nothing too exciting, just relaxing and finishing off
Any plans for the weekend?
I would love to go to the Brighton Music Conference, however I'm off to Morocco.
Your bio states that you used to play for one of club land's biggest
institutions - Godskitchen. Tell us more about that.
Godskitchen opened in Birmingham around 1996 at the Sanctuary and my brother
noticed in the local newspaper that they were asking for mixtapes in order to apply
to DJ. I sent a tape over to them and a few weeks after I played at the opening
night at the Sanctuary.
What are some of your best memories from Godskitchen?
I had many great memories there, from playing at their Birthday Ball through to
their New Year's Eve Party over a few years.
You used to run a monthly terrace party called Tantalise presents Palava.
Tell us more.
A friend of mine Jon Whelan from my local town Solihull reached out to me about
putting on an outdoor event. Jon had put a handful of parties on there called
Tantalise. At the time I was doing parties under the brand Palava which was about
the visuals, acts and performers, and by combining the two brands we believed it
would be something strong and special for the town. We held monthly parties
there from May through to October and it went on for around 6-7 years which was
an amazing success where each month was packed out. We felt we brought the
Ibiza vibe to our town with the quality of music, fire eaters, percussionists,
beatboxers and dancers.
You have released tracks on some of our favourite labels. Are there any releases that are your stand-out favourites or that have special memories or resonance with you?
My stand out has to be my first release on Steve Bug’s Sublease Music. This was
pretty special although at the time we thought it would flop as the month it was
released the world went into lockdown due to Covid. We felt the timing wasn’t
great as clubs were closed etc so no one would be playing the tracks, however
amazingly it was a huge success. With everyone at home many top DJs had
picked up the release supporting/playing the tracks especially ‘Bruneck’. This
appeared on DJ live streams from the likes of Nick Warren, John Digweed, Hernan
Catteneo and Anthony Pappa. Nick Warren reached out to me during lockdown as he absolutely loved the release and wanted to pass this onto Sasha which was
amazing too. Following that I had a release on Nick’s label The Soundgarden.
What else can you tell us about future releases, anything exciting in the pipeline? I’m super excited as I have a release out in June on Deepalma Records for their
10th Anniversary Ibiza compilation alongside Moby, CamelPhat, Kölsch, Maya Jane
Coles, Carl Cox & Fatboy Slim, Claptone, Purple Disco Machine and others. It’s on
all major streaming platforms and released physically too.
You run a record label Celestial Recordings, which will be 13 this year.
How have you found running a label and has it changed much from when
I’ve loved it. When it first started we had such an influx of demos and we were
releasing every week, along with quarterly compilations and touring too. A few
tracks were also signed to Roger Sanchez’s Release Yourself compilation back in
2010. Today things have definitely changed from when it first started as there are
a lot more labels and even more music out there now, however doing promos is a
little tough I find but it's all going really well still.
When producing music, do you have any favourite tools, programmes or
instruments that you just love to use?
I use Ableton to produce which I love as it’s great for my workflow which I feel is
pretty fast. I love to get sounds and ideas down quickly. Tools wise I love
Fabfilter, Sound Toys decapitator, The Push 2 and still love Ableton’s stock plugins
and enjoy sampling sounds from other records too.
Where was your first gig?
My first gig was in Solihull at Rileys American Pool Bar. My cousin at the time was
manager there and he knew I’d just started to DJ. He asked me to do a Student
Night on Tuesdays there in the bar area and I used to bring my turntables to play.
It was amazing and the perfect experience to start playing in front of people. After
a few weeks the support was amazing and I built a following up.
Have you ever visited Brighton?
Yes, I went to the Brighton Music Conference a few years or so ago which was
great. I met a lot of like minded people there.
Which other DJs or producers are you liking right now?
Mihai Popivicui, Steve Bug, Audiojack, Pornbugs and Gareth Cole to name a few.
What are your go-to labels?
8bit, Deepalma, Sublease Music, Poker Flat, Bondage, Knee Deep in Sound, Still
Hot, oh and Celestial Recordings, the list goes on :)
You have compiled our latest Berlin Mixtapes Series Episode 045 - Tell us more about your mix.
The mix itself has some of my favourite tracks to date along with some older tracks
that are always in my recordbox. There’s also a track of mine that's unreleased at
the moment on there, along with my two new tracks which are out now on
What else can we expect from you soon? What's next on the horizon for DJ gigs or productions? Where can people see you next?
Gig wise I'm in Bedford Saturday June 24th at a venue called RY, Friday July 28th
I’m in Worthing playing for an event called Eivissa which is 30mins away from
Brighton funnily enough, so not far away from you guys. After that the Italian Alps and Birmingham in August, at a festival called Together based in Bedfordshire in September and then London in October at the Tileyard.
Thanks for spending some time with us, is there anything else you'd like to share with our readers?
Thanks for having me guys and also just a quick thank you to anyone that’s been supporting my music and has also been listening to my weekly Radio show on Ibiza Global Radio. All my shows can be listened back to via the usual streaming platforms.
Exciting stuff! It's been an absolute pleasure talking with you Steve. Next up here's the Quickfire Round:
Genre: Deep Tech House
Favourite Colour: Purple
What do you put on your chips? Salt and vinegar
First record ever bought: Todd Terry “Something Goin On”
Apple or Android: Apple for computer, Android for Phone
Ableton or Logic: Ableton
Can you juggle?: No
Weirdest/Coolest item of clothing: Celestial T-Shirt :)
Do you collect anything? Only Music
Best club: So many to choose but love Amnesia Terrace and for UK it has to be
Best Beer: Neck Oil, Beavertown
Favourite place to eat: Five Guys
Favourite sausage: Cumberland
Weirdest food you have eaten? Horse and Crocodile
How do you like your eggs? Scrambled
Coffee or Tea: Coffee
Spring, summer, autumn or winter? Summer
Favourite Footy Team: Tottenham
Favourite Track right now: Pornbugs “Artica”
Favourite phrase: Told You So
3 words to describe your mix: Uplifting Chunky House.
01. Millok, Zigelli - Feel Me - NM2
02. Nuyorica - Unfulfilled Dreams - Starlight Unlimited
03. Dennis Cruz - Una Rumbita - CRZ
04. Jiggler - Calima - Still Hot
05. Cesar Del Rio, Tatsu - Ghosts in the Night (Zetbee Remix) - Cyanide
06. Nick Curly - Silom (Mihai Popoviciu Remix) - 8bit
07. Huxley - Box Clever - 20/20 Vision
08. Because of Art, Antony Szmierek - Circle of Light (feat. Antony Szmierek) - Stress Records
09. Steve Kelley - Picture In My Mind - Unreleased
10. Audiojack - Liberation - 8bit
11. Audiojack - Cosmonaut - 8bit
12. Steve Kelley - House Music - Sublease Music
13. Steve Kelley - Back To The Old School - Sublease Music