From the Bedroom to Big Stages: Low Steppa's Origin Story

Aug 29, 2022

Alicia Baron

4 min read

Low Steppa (real name Will Bailey) is undoubtedly one of the most essential and significant house music artists of the present day. Since the early ‘00s, he has produced some of the finest house and bass music under various guises.

Hailing from Birmingham, United Kingdom, Bailey grew up loving artists such as Steeley Dan, Thin Lizzy, and Prince. His discovery of house music can be traced back to the rave tapes that first came into his possession at age 14. He regularly traded them among his schoolmates, learning his way around electronic music's continuous, flowing sound.

As there were few DJs at the time, it wasn't until Bailey attended art school that he was exposed to a DJ mixing live. The ability of a singular person to command the music and movement of the room was fascinating and piqued his interest. He quickly purchased his first pair of decks and practiced DJing by mixing the Daft Punk album Homework in his bedroom.

After graduating from primary school, Bailey moved to Bristol for college, a pivotal change from the small town where he grew up. Having brought his decks with him, he continued bedroom DJing and was offered his first gig while crate digging at a local record store shortly thereafter. This spun into steady bar gigs, which helped him fine-tune his skills and share some of his finest records during extended, five-hour sets.

Post-college was where things started coming together for Bailey. He started dabbling in production alongside his friend George Kafetzis. Passionate about diving into the craft more deeply, they formed an amateur and highly experimental hobby label called Red Leather, which sold online and at local record stores.

Bailey worked temporary office jobs to supplement his income while DJing and producing on the side. He moved deftly between projects throughout the mid 00's into the turn of the decade, reinventing himself with precision.

First, there was Twocker, a project with producer Alex Calver that helped introduce the world sound of fidget house—an early precursor to electro house. Although the duo was short-lived, it represented a moment in dance music when the spirit of the underground bubbled up and created a sound that still permeates the electronic soundscape.

Then, there was his work under his given name Will Bailey. His influence on dance music truly began to blossom. It was a period of genre fluidity for the producer as he experimented with the vast array of emerging dance music sounds. He was an early collaborator of now well-known names across the spectrum, including Valentino Khan and Chris Lorenzo. His notable remix of the dance classic "Magic Carpet Ride" by Mighty Dub Katz (a Fatboy Slim alias) was an early example of his ability to inject modern-day sensibilities into quintessential works. This skill would carry him forward into his most impactful work as a musician.

It wasn't until he hit a slump after moving to Los Angeles for a short stint that the side project Low Steppa was born. Soon after being laid off from a job he hated, he decided it was time to pursue his passions and pursue the Low Steppa project full--time.

In 2013 Bailey picked up proper management and released an epic bootleg of Route 94's legendary track “My Love,” starting a fire year that ignited his career. He released a run of singles that were nothing short of the highest quality. They included massive reworks of Hardrive’s, “Deep Inside,” and Roger Sanchez' “This Feeling,” as well as a sweep of original, heavy-hitting productions and collaborations like “You're My Life.”

His rise hasn't stopped since. There is no mistaking the infectious, feel-good rhythms, bass drops, and piano stabs that have become hallmarks of his trademark sound. He is touring the globe playing the hottest parties, running his Defected Radio Show, and operating the esteemed label Simma Black — the latter of which delivers strong releases from some of the most alluring names in the game. Low Steppa undoubtedly is one of the industry's hottest and most consistent artists.

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