UK: The distinguished producer intends to highlight the "phenomenal" skills and expertise of Music Producers Guild (UK) members, writes David Davies. Steve Levine (pictured) replaces long-serving chairman Mike Howlett, who has resigned to take up the position of Associate Professor and Head of Music and Sound at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia.
As a producer and engineer, Levine's credits include acts as diverse as Culture Club, The Beach Boys, Gary Moore and The Creatures. In recent years, he has also become an increasingly prominent broadcaster and speaker on issues relating to record production, and has taken an involvement in industry organisations including the PRS, MCPS, BASCA and the Musicians' Union.
Levine tells PSN-e that he feels "honoured" to have been asked to take on the role and that he is hoping to further develop the profile of the MPG and the Music Producers Guild (UK) Awards, the first edition of which was staged to considerable acclaim in February (read more here).
"The producer's role is more important today than it's ever been in terms of mentoring," he says. "Personally speaking, it's more exciting than it's ever been out there, and that's why it's so great to be in the role."
The changing model of remuneration for producers is among the many issues that Levine will have to grapple with as MPG chairman. "The question now is how do we monetarise our creative industry in a way that is fair and equitable," he says. "We also need to bear in mind that, while we might not necessarily be making [great amounts of] money producing records, there is a whole other industry out there that requires that intellectual property we all possess. That has a value as well, and we need to make sure that we are involved."
Despite this and other challenges, Levine sounds extremely optimistic about the prospects for the production community and the ongoing demand for its skills and expertise. "It's very important that we try to engage the younger producers, but there is a tremendous knowledge bank amongst the producers that are already members, across every conceivable genre. It's really quite phenomenal," he marvels.
"We are absolutely delighted that Steve has agreed to take on the mantle of MPG chairman," commented Mike Howlett. "As well as being a highly respected music producer, Steve is well-placed in the music industry and I know he will be a capable and articulate voice to carry forward the Music Producers Guild mission of speaking for the interests of recording professionals."
PHOTO CREDIT: Rosie Levine