With experience and maturity well beyond his years, DJ Steppa boasts an impressive CV across the drum and bass movement and shows no signs of letting up, busily working, DJing and producing within the scene he so adamantly pledges his passions to. Headhunted for his enthusiastic and efficient manner at just 16 years of age, Steppa worked for L Double’s Flex Records for over two years, absorbing a wealth of knowledge, knowhow and contacts in the process. Today, the highly charged 21 year old is drum and bass manager at the respected Tribe Records in Leeds, a focal point of his local scene, with budding d’n’b DJs, upfront promos and the latest releases all flying energetically in, and then out, of this intimate dance music outlet.

As he watches this flourishing Leeds scene grow from the inside out, Steppa persists in pushing it forward, DJing extensively throughout the city, a guest at almost every d’n’b night that has surfaced and the sole main resident at the biggest night, Event Horizon, a promotion that has showcased skills from Marky, Craze, Grooverider and Roni Size. An adept deck technician and a keenly energetic showman, far from providing merely the warm up for such established artists, Steppa has built a strong local following through his solid, dancefloor orientated sets, even finding further Yorkshire recognition through the emergent Huddersfield scene, where budding promotion Beatz Central recently installed him as resident.

No stranger to the big stage, the self proclaimed “dubplate hunter” has also taken his upfront sound across the country, with guest spots at Bryan Gee’s long running Movement, and an up n coming residency at the legendary One Nation, a promotion that entrusted him with main room duties at the colossal Brixton Academy last February, the only up n coming to achieve such an accolade. While more high profile sets beckon on home turf, the determined DJ continues to secure a steady stream of worldwide bookings, spreading the drum and bass sound into countries such as Germany, U.S.A., France and even Estonia.

In keeping with his infectious energy and determined ambitions, the Leeds based DJ also finds time to channel significant efforts into his fledgling production career, having already completed a Music and Technology Degree at Leeds College of Music. Sure enough Steppa cut his production teeth in sharp style, debuting with an impressive two track E.P. on Rizing Records, the dancefloor orientated “Voodoo Magic” rocking the A side with the jump up roller “Breaking Down” tearing up the flip. As the former appeared on Ministry Of Sound compilation “Bass In Yer Face”, and the latter on a promotion for cable/digital channel Trouble TV, the release certainly represented an encouraging first foray into the production field. Never one to hold back Steppa continues to build on past success, and his current dubplate, “All Ganja Man”, receives a great deal of support from the likes Simon “Bassline” Smith, with plans even in the offing for his own label. Now with his home production set-up installed and fully functional, the future promises some strong releases from Steppa’s studio as the rising star progresses with characteristic dedication, cultivating, developing and refining his budding production talents.

As this flurry of all activity extends out in all directions, it will be very much a case of watch this space with DJ Steppa, but with an unshaken love for the scene and a 24/7 work ethic one thing, at least, is quite clear; he’s going to be around for a long while yet.

Words: Allan McGrath