Published on April 7th, 2023 | by Jimmy Star0
Stevie B Talks Freestyle Music and New Iconic Single ‘Take It All Back’ Feat Pitbull
One of the most recognized, respected, and celebrated Freestyle music superstars on the planet Stevie B has just unleashed his dazzling new single “Take It All Back” featuring the multi-platinum icon Pitbull and remixed by DJ Sama. “Take It All Back” sheds sparkling circuits of musical illumination and an orgasmic echo of the glittering tapestry of the crudely macadamized cemented asphalt streets of Miami where “Party Your Body” inaugurated the brilliant beginning of the freestyle dance era.
“Party Your Body” invaded the nation’s music scene selling over 200,000 records and allowing Stevie to storm the ramparts of success with an album of the same name. Further triumph followed with the single release of “Dreaming of Love” and “Spring Love” catapulted the album into platinum status. He remained victorious with global hits including: “I Wanna Be the One”, “Love Me For Life”, “Because I Love You” (The Postman Song), and a unicorn marathon of others.
With 3 platinum albums, 13 top 40 dance/pop singles, and one classic number one hit, Stevie B proved his remarkable talent over and over again. “Take It All Back” should certainly propel him back on the charts, will be killing it on the airwaves and will make a new history and in every club on the planet. I caught up with Stevie during his recent tour which is selling out arenas, for a fiery conversation……
So, let’s start with the new song. What inspired you to do it now?
Well, I will tell you. Take It All Back” has been a theme for me for quite some time. To try come up with an idea that’ll be useful, relevant and something cool. How do you do that? The idea was everyone misses the old school days. They miss all that stuff. So, I thought well what if I throw all of that in a pot. Just talking about it now and then slipping in a few little nostalgia clips like I did with “Party Your Body” and “Spring Love”. Then of course you’ve got to have a cool ass beat. You’ve got to have a cool melody. And then you’ve got to have somebody that knows how to sing a little bit and try to come up with something cool. I think that the fusion worked out pretty well. The idea had been on my mind for a long time. I just had to figure out how to execute it.
It has the power to bring back freestyle which I hope it does.
You know that’s a big basket to haul to try to bring back a genre. It would be great to see something like that happen. I would more so like to see it as hey it’s Stevie B and I’m not just a freestyle artist. I have ballads and all kinds of music. I can fit right in with Lizzo and anybody else. Rihanna is not looked at as old school, but she’s been around quite a while. But when she puts out a song, they don’t say oh let’s try to bring back Rihanna. Rihanna is just a continuation of what she was when she started. So hopefully they could start looking at Stevie B that way and say, look this is just a guy that’s continuing what you knew about him a long time ago. Making hit records.
Have you had your ultimate Stage fantasy yet?
Yeah, the first day I hit the stage and people liked it. That’s a loaded question because the first day this guy hit the stage and made people smile, I thought hey I might be on to something here. And it worked out well. People liked it and they’ve been liking it ever since. As long as they like it, I’m going to continue to do it.
People love you. They just do. You have that angelic voice, you are powerful. You are a powerful singer as well. What was it like the first time you ever heard one of your songs on the radio? Where were you?
Miami had already broke us. Power 96 made us and then made us unstoppable. It’s incredible when you make it in your hometown. But when you go to New York. I always say if you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere. I go to New York. And I think it was Hot 103°. I get to the hotel and all of a sudden “Party Your Body” comes on and I mean I was jumping around that hotel like oh man, you don’t even want to know. That’s a big deal. You’re in New York and the first record that came on was “Party Your Body.” It was an amazing feeling and it’s one of those feelings that you never, ever forget.
Now when this song starts to be all over the radio do you think you’re going to have the same feeling? Or is it old already?
No, it really is not old. Because I haven’t had anything new on the radio in many, many, years. Probably since “Dream About You” or “Waiting For Your Love” back in 1995 or 1996. When I dropped the Funky Melody album. We had a little top 40 record and it did very good. It’s been about 25 years since I’ve had anything relative on the radio. And I think I would get that feeling let me tell you.
Is there a moment that you can recall that changed the entire trajectory of your life?
I think that when I met Tolga. He was my producer at the time of “Party Your Body.” He was producing stuff already, but when I met him it changed the trajectory of how I recorded music. He taught me how to do it electronically when nobody else was doing it. He was doing stuff that was so amazing on the computer already. And all the analog boys thought it was just going to be a fad. I was like, no it’s not.
The moment that we met at this record pool there was magic. I went and showed him my studio. He had a little studio in his girlfriend’s apartment or something. I said I’ve got a nice Studio over in Fort Lauderdale, you need to come see it. He saw it and in hours everything was set up. Ever since then it was magic. And that’s where that album was created. I wrote the song, but the production was just next level. That changed the trajectory of how I was going to do music, and I have been doing it for the last 35 years.
My favorite song on the planet is “Spring Love.” I’ve got to tell you.
It has superseded everything. It didn’t fair very well at radio at the time. It wasn’t the one that did the most radio damage. “Because I Love You” is the one that did that. But as far as a cult classic globally, by far “Spring Love” is the winner. I almost didn’t get that record because I was trying to give it away. When I first wrote it, I was trying to write it as a duet and thank God that the manager of this girl that I was trying to get to record it hated it.
Now you are touring all over the world here in America with this new song which is beyond. It’s over the top. What has your response been so far?
Amongst family members and amongst those that already Love Freestyle they love it. People are like oh my God this brings me back plus and catapults me forward. Because it has a current edge on it. I haven’t heard anybody say they disliked it at all. The biggest hurdle is going to be getting the old school program directors to get out of that slump of thinking it was over after I did “Spring Love.”
We are facing a problem with program directors who say they will play the old Stevie B, but they won’t play anything new and current. So I helped build and sustain radio stations all over the world, and they won’t let their audiences know that I have a brand new record. I’m like, “I’m Not Dead”.
So somehow these program directors got this thing in their mind that artists from the 80s and the 90s can’t come up with new music anymore. Cher put all that s*** to sleep with “When You Believe in Life After Love.” She did a comeback and she was like 175 years old when she did that. It was a good point that Stevie B needs to be the new Cher. I have had to fight for everything that I’ve achieved, it never came easy. I don’t think we have to convince them that it’s a new record, we have to make them think differently on how they view the artist. The way they view us is out of sight, out of mind. They play us like we are dead. We will savor the Nostalgia. That’s what’s going to be our hurdle convincing a few and then letting it catch fire and then they’re going to say oh s*** we passed on the Stevie B record. Yeah, we’ve got to jump on it. I’ve had that happen many a times. “Spring Love” was one of those too. They didn’t attach to “Spring Love” immediately. Because they were so used to “Dreaming of Love” and “Party Your Body.” By the time I did “Spring Love,” that was the 3rd one in. They were a little bit resistant and then, oh my goodness.
I have a weird question but it’s going to help me. You know freestyle did not last all that long. I wish it was on the radio still. The music was so good and so dynamic and so fun. Why do you think it only lasted 3 years?
There were a lot of elements. And that’s a documentary within itself. Freestyle started with independent no name Puerto Ricans, Dominicans and no identity people. It was a way that we could get into the music business very cheaply. It started amongst Puerto Ricans and Dominicans people in New York and Miami. And it didn’t have very much money flowing with it and then all of a sudden it “went viral” if that’s a word that I could use for that time. Radio stations were astounded and then all of a sudden it gets on the mix shows. That’s where it started, mix shows, skating rinks, the little teenage clubs. Nobody was commanding that. Nobody and no corporations were dominating it. And then all of a sudden it gets in the mix shows with DJs who loved us and it started to get more requests than the stuff that they were playing.
Then you were talking about from a corporate level we started to interfere with Meatloaf, Bette Midler, Elton John and Poison. All those Rock groups who were dominating top 100. We were interfering with people’s money. Major record companies and major independents had a lot of money invested in those projects.
So, all the sudden here comes these little whippersnappers and it happens every generation. They started to attract the teenagers and when we attracted the teenagers it was over. Then it was up to the major independents to either sign us or they have to buy us and show us, and a little bit of both happened. It wouldn’t take very much. If I’m costing you a hundred, maybe 200 million a year, I can go spend 10 or 20 million just to put it to sleep. All those rock groups at the time never made a comeback like that. After we had our heyday, which was like 87, 88 maybe by 91 it was over. No more money was being spent. Then s***** freestyle started to come out. Nobody wanted to do any more of this type of music because producers couldn’t get money, couldn’t get paid. Artist couldn’t get money. So, a lot of the cheesy freestyle started to come out in droves. A lot of it. And it wasn’t radio worthy. And then a new thing came in and remember we had our heyday, we had our day in the Sun.
All of the sudden MC Hammer and all of that in 92, hip hop, Will Smith and all of them came along and at that time I was a little bit too dark for the pop radio stations. VH1, MTV they wouldn’t play me. Even when I had the number one record on Billboard for 4 weeks in a row. They weren’t letting that in just yet. And then all of a sudden MTV and MTV Raps came. They started playing the Hammers and then what happened was we weren’t black enough. We weren’t hardcore enough. We were a little bit too soft. So, Freestyle got put to sleep. And then you saw the new stuff come in around 1992-93. And it was pretty much over for us at that time. So that’s pretty much what happened to us and it never caught on again.
If you could have me ask you any question on the planet what would it be?
It wouldn’t just be one thing I think you’ve asked all the relative relevant questions. I don’t think I really have one particular question that you could ask me. Maybe just how am I doing?
Okay, how are you doing?
I am maintaining. It gets a little tougher out here every year. To try to prove to people that you’re still an item to be dealt with. Musically, creatively. Going live and to try to survive as an entrepreneur. The revenue streams are completely different now. These kids they’re not just millionaires now they’re hundreds of millions and billionaires that’s the new focus. So, what I would want to do is try to get into that Viral flow that is catapulting some of these youngsters into mega successes. I didn’t ever reach the mega success and before I leave this planet, I’m going to get it.
Watch the “Take It All Back” (DJ Sama Remix) lyric video produced by Tolga Katas here:
Follow Stevie B on the web:
Interview by Eileen Shapiro