“Steve Nalepa is something of an anomaly in the music industry. The seeds of his success stem from a genuine selfless dedication to helping others achieve their personal best. He’s tutored thousands on the fine points of production in his Dubspot tutorials and his courses at the prestigious Chapman University Conservatory of Music have incubated a hotbed of West Coast talent, helping artists such as Djemba Djemba and members of LA-based TeamSupreme develop into internationally recognized exports. Steve has also been a behind-the-scenes gun for hire, running the complex back-end systems that help some of the world’s biggest artists perform supersized live sets across the globe.” –Ableton

Californian polymath Steve Nalepa is known for his vast and eclectic array of artistic collaborators. He releases music with his bands The Acid, Airspace, and Sunfeels, and is a founding member of esteemed beat collective TeamSupreme. Nalepa is a key node in the electronic music scene, cultivated through years of creating music, producing events and mentoring many of today’s top artists in Ableton Live. He has published award-­winning art books through the self-­launched Dilettante Press, scored several feature-length documentary films, and devised/engineered Ableton Live rigs for acts such as Blood Orange, MGMT, Chet Faker, Drake, and The Weeknd. 


Since graduating Yale with a degree in Mathematics and a spot on the Academic All-Ivy Football Team, Nalepa has produced tracks with such legends as Bill Laswell and Pharoah Sanders, performed with the LA Philharmonic at Walt Disney Concert Hall, and shared the stage with some of the most revered electronic musicians and video artists in the world.

As DJ, Nalepa has provided the soundtrack for a wide range of events from film premieres to dance parties, from art openings to celebrity charity lunches, from Ivy League reunions to dinner parties for Nobel Prize winners. As a film composer, he scored Robert Adanto’s celebrated feature-length documentaries “The Rising Tide” and “Pearls On The Ocean Floor” which have screened in prestigious festivals and museums around the world.

His band The Acid scored The Bomb, an immersive film, music, and art installation that puts viewers in the center of the story of nuclear weapons. The Bomb explores the immense power of nuclear weapons, the perverse appeal they have, and the profound death wish at the very heart of them. The 61-minute film takes viewers through the strange, compelling, and unsettling reality of nuclear weapons today Conceived as a 360-degree live show, museum installation, and film in cinemas and on streaming platforms, the bomb combines archival footage, animation, music, and text. It immerses the audience in the cultural and technological realm of nuclear weapons. It is big, visceral, non-linear, and seemingly inescapable. It has been performed at the Tribeca Film Festival, Berlinale Film Festival, Glastonbury, Sydney Festival, and the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony.

Working at M-Audio and Ableton, Nalepa provided VIP support and software training for a multitude of high-profile artists. He is the Ableton Live telephone lifeline for notable tech gurus. His music technology classes at Chapman University Conservatory of Music became a breeding ground for new talent, helping launch the careers of a host of rising stars. Nalepa also designed the Ableton Live curriculum for Dubspot’s online music production and DJ school where he taught for several years. Adept in ProTools, Logic, and Reason as well, he’s been teaching Ableton Live for over twenty years, to newcomers and experts alike.

As an art book publisher, Nalepa and his partners started Dilettante Press and created three award-winning books, earning Artforum Magazine’s “Best of 2000” accolades for Starstruck and the accompanying exhibition at Deitch Projects in NYC. The debut book The End Is Near! Visions of Apocalypse, Millennium and Utopia, won the Benjamin Franklin Award for Best First Book featuring the artwork of 60 artists including Paul Laffoley, Joe Coleman, and Howard Finster along with essays from Roger Manley, Stephen Jay Gould, and The Dalai Lama among others. Their third book Extreme Canvas: Hand-Painted Movie Posters from Ghana featured Ernie Wolfe’s extraordinary collection of cinematic paintings alongside essays from Clive Barker, LeVar Burton, Angelica Huston, Gus Van Sant, and more.

“Nalepa’s own compositions reveal a strong ear for melody and structure, but his most significant contribution might be the wisdom he’s imparted to his pupils. Within Southern California, Steve Nalepa may be the closest approximation to Richard Dreyfuss’ famed music teacher in the Academy Award-nominated 1995 film Mr. Holland’s Opus.” – Jeff Weiss