Californian polymath Steve Nalepa is known for his vast and eclectic array of artistic collaborators. He’s a founding member of the esteemed beat collective TeamSupreme and 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. Nalepa has published award-winning art books through the self-launched Dilettante Press, scored several feature-length documentary films, and set up touring Ableton rigs for artists including Drake and The Weeknd. He produces solo and collaborative work under the moniker Nalepa, creates audiovisual works with the project Airspace, and releases music and tours with his bandmates The Acid (Infectious/Mute).
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 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.
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 a number of 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 twelve years, to newcomers and experts alike.
As art book publisher, Nalepa and his partners started the company 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