Stephen Murphy is a Jamaican Reggae artist, Music Producer and CEO of Murphy Productions. His musical journey started with the love for percussion drums which he started playing at the age of 5 and later went ahead and opened up a recording studio at the age of 15 with the help of his father. He has shared the stage with celebrated Jamaican artists like Papasan, DJ Nicholas, Prodigan son among others. He has also done production for Jamaican icons like Ryan Mark, St. Matthew, Kristine Alicia and many more. We caught up with him for a chat about his life and musical journey and this is what he had to say!
Who is Stephen Murphy?
I am a gospel reggae artist and producer. I love the Lord dearly and my passion is to spread the good news of Jesus Christ through the medium of music.
Oh wow! Why did you choose reggae of all genres?
Well, I am a Jamaican and those are my roots. I don’t think I personally connect to any other genre like I do with reggae, even in terms of delivery. If I did any other genre, it would definitely sound okay but reggae is what runs in my blood.
Interesting… So how did you get into this whole music thing?
I grew up pretty much around music. My dad is a musician and we were heavy with music in church. I was a young drummer back then with creative ideas which my dad saw and decided to invest a full studio for me. I knew nothing about productions at that time.. Lol! But injustice worked hard day in and day out and learnt whatever came my way.
Your dad is sweet. Every boy needs a dad like yours! What would you consider as good music?
Yes… He is such an adorable dad. Well, to me, good music should make you feel uplifted and refreshed. If it can also touch emotions and make people cry or happier, then you got it! And oh, great production is also a must.
Okay! Do you only only listen to and produce Reggae music or you also break out and extend an ear and efforts to other genres like for example hip-hop?
Hahaha… Not really! I do appreciate every genre and yes! I do listen to some hip-hop. What stands out for me in a hip-hop record is the chorus because it is the core message of the song and it’s usually what I learn to sing along to first. After this, the instrumentation takes the next place.
What are the qualities of a good reggae song?
Reggae is a genre so it has to have a signature piano bang with one drop rhythm with a nice round Basie catchy baseline with the guitar strekeh.
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You have literally broken down the entire reggae song! Thank you. So, do you produce only gospel music or you do both gospel and secular?
Yo welcome… Uhm… I run a studio and I do more of mixing than producing for the secular songs. However, I am very selective with my secular work though not all secular songs are bad. So, to be more clear, I won’t take any work that has swearing or cursing in it. Also, there are some secular songs that we as Christians can relate with because of the message in it.
Amazing! Would you say you are more of a producer than singer?
Not really. When I had just started, I used to do more of production but now I am more of a performing artist than a producer.
Dope! Do you get your lyrics from dreams or it’s another creativity spark in you?
Lol… I must admit I get lyrics in different ways but I’ve never got them through dreams 😂😂 I’ve gotten music inspiration from sleep though.. A lot of times I get my lyrics from the instrumentals. The piece speaks to me and and the lyrics flow. Sometimes they are birthed from how am feeling or what I am experiencing. Sometimes it also comes from what the people around me are experiencing.
Hehehe.. I almost expected a line like “they descend from heaven” Lol. Who is your biggest artist or probably that one artist that you’ve dreamt to collaborate with, if any?
I actually don’t have the term “biggest artist” in my vocabulary because I don’t place value over each others ‘ success. Yes, one might be or have more success than the other but I believe that our goal is the same, which is to bring many souls into the kingdom of God.
I actually don’t have the term “biggest artist” in my vocabulary
That was a beautiful twist to what I thought. What drives you in life?
My car 😂😂😂 , The love of God and my family does. My grandma never lived to see my success but she encouraged me before she passed away and I hold that dearly to my heart. It actually has me tearing up speaking about it but yeah, that’s what drives me. I want to make her proud and also do God’s work.
May her soul rest in power. If you were to re-live or live a certain year, which one would it be and why?
This question… Lol. I would love to re-live the year I was 18 because I made some bad mistakes and would love to correct them or even undo them if the opportunity avails.
I see… So you Being a singer and producer at the same time, How does your busy or lousy day look like?
On a busy day I am always studio whether it’s me working on a record or working with an artist, mixing or tracking drums. On the other hand, my lousy days are characterized by cooking because I really love cooking thanks to my mom who taught me. I cook real food and not snacks 😂😂 I also chill home with family.
I should apply for some cooking lessons one of these days.. Hehehe. What would be your advice to anyone who has been inspired by you and wants to take your direction?
Be the best you. Be as creative as you can and work hard at it.