On the outskirts of DC, a small studio is cluttered with advanced electronics, soundboards, keyboards, cables and microphones. It may not look like much, but inside this studio sits a master producer, who is known throughout professional music world, but almost forgotten in the DC area. Steven Lewis, otherwise known as ‘Grey Fox’ is considered one of the country’s leading music tracking writers and sound producers. He is highly sought after by Disney, Dreamworks and Pixar Animation, working non-stop on endless projects. We caught up with Steve during one of him coffee breaks.
When did you first become involved with music?
I think I officially got into music in the 4th grade when my oldest brother got me a set of Timbales. I was really big into Funk Music and the Bar-Kays. Playing the solo in the song "Holy Ghost" live has always been something I've wanted to do. My big brother gets the credit for sending me on this path.
What instruments to you play?
I'm trained on Trombone but I play saxophone, trumpet, and flute by ear. I can play drums but I'm not a drummer and I also play piano/keyboards by ear.
How was your experience working with Disney?
I've actually worked with Disney, Dreamworks and Pixar Animation Studios doing sound generation and some music tracking. That experience was great it taught me how to fuse sounds together to make totally unique sounds that can be used in multiple settings. Some of the sounds I've created are used in music workstations such as Yamaha, Korg, Reason. Honestly, the list goes on and on. Many sound samples I, and my team created, have been used in various movies and music programs.
You are working on an original show project. What motivated you to start that project?
Every project I work on has to take on some element of a true creative vision. I'm really motivated by the idea that something needs to be new innovative and unique. Right now I'm working on some Christmas projects as well as, a Las Vegas Style show to take to Atlantic City. I'm getting ready to score part of a movie. So, I guess to answer the question in short, my love of the creative process motivates me to do what I do.
Where have we heard your music placed in films and TV?
As far as artist are concerned: Intro, MC Breed, The Mac Band, All Saints. I have had multiple commercials on the West coast playing my music from clothing stores to restaurants. Right now, I have commercials playing in 12 countries, mostly wine commercials, from Caves Jean Schlink-Hoffeld winery in Luxembourg Germany. My sound generation work is used over and over in Disney animations, as well as, Dreamworks and Pixar projects. I do quite a bit in music licensing. Dove, Famous Dave's, Horton hears a Who, pretty much any Disney Animation after 1995.
How many songs have to written at this point?
Wow I have written probably 350 + songs to include instrumentals that I do consider to be songs. You don't necessarily need words to have a song. Lets not count the ones I've started and not finished.
Do you find the DMV a place that inspires you to write?
For me the DMV serves more as a creative vacuum. The DMV isn't as progressive musically as other places in the world. I take my inspiration from my travels to Germany, Japan, Russia, Indonesia, Saudi- Arabia, Turkey, Portugal, Spain, Morocco. There is great music all over the world but the DMV seems to only want to hear a few specific genres. But that's just my opinion.