This month, Tom Phillips spoke online with singer-songwriter legend Steve Arrington, famous for the act Steve Arrington’s Hall of Fame and the singles “Dancin’ in the Key of Life” and “Feels so Real.”
When did you first start singing and making music?
I was a kid. As early as I can remember, I was beating on pots and pans and
singing to early Motown Music and early British invasion music. I got my 1st drum
set at 8 years old.
How did your big break come?
In 1976, when I moved out to the west coast and played with Coke Escovedo
and Pete and Sheila Escovedo.
What is your fondest musical memory?
There are so many, but maybe it’s the 1st time I heard “Just A Touch of Love” on
the radio. It was my 1st lead vocal and I played drums on that record, as well.
“Believe in what comes natural to you and sing from the depths of your heart.”
How does it feel being sampled by artists like Jay-Z and Mariah Carey?
It’s very cool, to know that a new generation of artists appreciates and respects
your work. It’s also cool to get new fans, who have discovered you through the
samples and wanted to know where those samples came from.
If you could experiment with a genre that you haven’t before, what would it be?
Electronic Experimental Music and Blues.
Where in the world would you most like to perform?
Paris and Cape Town, South Africa.
How did your religious conversion change your life and affect your music?
Getting a closer relationship with the Creator, became my primary pursuit and my
music reflected that interest.
Have you ever visited York or Yorkshire before and how did you find your time here?
No, but I look forward to coming and playing there.
Who is your favourite artist or band?
I don’t have a favorite, it depends on the mood that I am in. I do have
favorites…Miles Davis, Flying Lotus, Yes, Madlib, P-Funk, The Beatles,
Mahavishnu Orchestra, and Kanye West.
What are your plans for the future?
To continue to put out new music and tour. To do interesting collaborations with
musicians from different musical styles.
What would your one piece of advice be for an upcoming singer?
Believe in what comes natural to you and sing from the depths of your heart,
because that is what people connect to, as they can feel what you are singing.