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Jazz Shapers

Shaper: Steve Levine

Steve Levine is Founder and Owner of Manmade Soul and Co-founder and Director of radio production company, Magnum Opus Broadcasting.

Starting his recording career as a trainee tape-op at CBS studios in 1975, Steve soon progressed to an “in house” recording engineer. He produced all of Culture Club’s classic hits and the bands’ three multi-platinum albums, and has since worked with a wide spectrum of artists and composed a number of film scores. Artists collaborations include Honeyz, China Crisis, Gary Moore, Ziggy Marley,Louise, The Creatures, Lemmy & Motorhead and David Grant.

His radio production company Magnum Opus Broadcasting Ltd produces radio and podcasts, including The Record Producers, a radio documentary series for BBC Radio 2 and BBC 6 Music – for which Steve received a Sony Radio Award.

Steve has also received a number of other awards including BPI Producer of the Year, Musicweek Top Singles Producer and a Grammy for his work with Deniece Williams.

Follow Steve on Twitter @mrstevelevine.

Interview highlights

I always knew I wanted to be a record producer.

I started to listen to music and think why does a ska record sound like that, or why does or a jazz record sound like that?

The way Culture Club sessions took place was one of a journey.

When something is slightly better than average, it really jumps out.

I love being in a studio.

I spend an enormous amount of time making sure my edits are good.

It’s all about creating the right ambience with musicians.

To be a great record producer you also have to be a great people person.

You always go into the studio with the idea that you are going to make the best record ever.

I can honestly say that everyone I have worked with, we’re friends for life.

My words of advice for young and upcoming record producers or engineers – go to the library and read some great books, steer clear of YouTube a little bit.

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