Stephen “The Genius” McGregor
Teen-age Son of Reggae Pioneer Freddie McGregor Hailed as The Riddim Prince!
by M. Peggy Quattro
January 7, 2008 – Los Angeles, CA – The latest in a series of McGregor-produced creations to have artists lining up is McGregor’s hot new Bee Hive rhythm. Already adding their voices to his latest production are Busy Signal, his brother Chino McGregor, Elephant Man, Anthony B, Beenie Man, Singing Sweet, and Lady Saw.
At 18 years old, Stephen McGregor has taken a firm grip on handling the state of Reggae today. From the age of five, when he released his first song, the self-penned “School Done Rule,” which stressed the importance of staying in school, the young McGregor was on his way to stardom. By age 10, he was playing guitar, bass, piano, drums, and violin. At age 12, he moved from in front of the mic to behind the board, and began churning out rhythms (aka riddims) professionally.
From the safe confines of his father’s Big Ship Studio in Kingston, Jamaica, Stephen managed his school work, (a graduate of Ardenne High School) while also operating as the studio’s chief engineer. He states his legendary father is behind him 100 per cent, adding that the senior McGregor’s long history in the business has aided him in understanding the legalities, given him credibility, and has offered solid advice on how to manage his career. Stephen currently works with manager Jeremy Harding, who also represents superstar Sean Paul.
The popularity of the songs and rhythms produced by “The Genius” drew the attention of EMI Publishing, who promptly signed the young McGregor in September 2007. The humble creator looks forward to the international reach that EMI will offer; happy to be joining other world-class EMI artists, such as the Beatles, Alicia Keyes, Beyonce, and Kanye West, amongst others. Vibe magazine recently included him on its list of “New Power Generation,” dubbing him “The Riddim Prince.”
Riddims that McGregor has produced over the past five years have become massive Dancehall hits. Some of these include: Tremor, Red Bull & Guinness, Ghetto Whiskey, 12 Gauge, Area Leader, Breaking News, and the wildly popular Cartoon riddim. McGregor is pleased with the reaction to Cartoon, adding that it has a certain playfulness to it, using voice samples from the Looney Tunes cartoon characters. Artists who have recorded successfully on Cartoon include Elephant Man, Delly Ranks, Mr. Lex, and Predator.
Songs produced by The Genius include “Sweep the Floor” featured on Elephant Man’s new CD Let’s Get Physical, “Watch Them Roll” for Sean Paul that features the Tremor riddim and will introduce McGregor to American audiences, “On My Mind” by Da’Ville, and “My Scheme” which will appear on Addi Di Teacher’s CD due out in 2008. Additionally, he has produced for Vybez Kartel, Aidonia, Assassin, and contributed five songs to his father, Freddie McGregor’s 2005 album, Coming in Tough.
Currently Stephen McGregor is charging through his “dark” phase, producing the Dark Shadow and Dark Again riddims. Aware that he is part of Reggae’s royal line, the young producer stated that it will be the type of music that he produces that differentiates him from the McGregor history. Accepting his role as a leader in the new power generation, Stephen McGregor is happy producing beats and songs for an age group that craves this new sound.
He is looking forward to the future, to creating more music, and to expanding Dancehall to include more genres, including Hip-Hop. The artists look forward to this, as well, while fans will await more great hits from this teen-age producing genius.