Widely recognized within the genre as a Smooth Jazz highlight of 2017, ‘New Beginnings’ by multi-instrumentalist Valeriy Stepanov not only blasted a path to #1 on the Amazon US chart of best-selling Jazz albums but also proved to be a project that is entirely radio ready. Indeed having already delivered the captivating single ‘Tonight’, the next track headed to the airwaves is the high octane ‘Happy People’. It finds Stepanov really tearing it up on keys (& drums) while the addition of cello from Vsevolod Guzov, coupled with a delicious splash of synth horns, are production masterstrokes that serve as the icing on a very tasty cake.
Prior to ‘New Beginnings’ Stepanov was best known as a YouTube sensation who, to date, can boast over three and a half million Internet views. He enjoys such an online profile that musicians around the world are clamoring to both cover and rework his music. Not only that, he has been recognized as having the ability to traverse the entire spectrum of Jazz, from his Smooth Jazz sensibilities, that are very much the province of ‘New Beginnings’, through to his own brand of fusion that can accurately be described as Chick Corea meets Jeff Lorber.
The story of Valeriy Stepanov, who grew up in Irkutsk, Siberia, close to the Mongolian border, is very much a story of today. He is living proof that in today’s connected world an Internet presence combined with an abundance of talent can propel a performer from the most unlikely of locations into the global spotlight. In fact the original ‘Russian’ title of ‘Happy People’ is Irkutskrasnoyarsk’, the blending of the names of the two cities where Valeriy and Vsevolod grew up as childhood friends.
What makes Valeriy stand out from the crowd is the superb formula he has for rhythm and melody, his unbounded energy and a technique that is solidly grounded in music theory. ‘New Beginnings’ is a magnificent showcase for his artistry, writing skills, and production know-how, an inspired body of work and an important step on his journey to musical stardom. ‘Happy People’ will be Going for Adds on 01/29/2018