Q&A with Stephen Ellis aka Sur Jazz

M / L


Stephen Ellis, also known as Sur Jazz is one of the NYC core Laners. Now living and working in LA, Stephen is busy producing music. Inspired by his Father, Stephen grew up in a musical household. He now fills his days in the studio “creating soundscapes and telling stories through music.” We got the opportunity to sit down to Stephen to discuss his successful music career.

What inspired you to start?

What inspired me to start DJing was my Father. He’s probably the best DJ I know. I grew up watching him play these Reggae/ Dancehall parties and that played a huge role in my music career.  Musically I used to rap, I now focus on the production side. I fell in love with the music making process over being the center of attention. I would much rather make amazing music without being limited to a specific genre.

Where do you see yourself/ your business in 2 years?

In the next 2 years, I see my imprint label moving with a full head of steam!  It's a project I've been quietly working on for the last few years.

How do you market your business?

Mostly word of mouth, with a splash of social media.

What do you love about it?

Everything! The ups, the downs, the learning curves. Everything!  But more importantly, just flat out being able to create music and share ideas.

How does Mustard Lane support your outside endeavors?

Mustard Lane is amazing because it allows me to be an adult and pay bills on time haha. But ML is really dope because it gets me out of the studio and in front of people. You never know where you can pull inspiration from.  Plus the ladies behind the scenes are super supportive, always understanding, it goes a long way.

Who do you look up to for music inspirations?

Skateboard P aka Pharrell Williams (hyperlink: http://pharrellwilliams.com/). He is hands down the person to pave the way for what I want to do. Being involved in music, design, technology and culture as a whole is something I strive to achieve.

Do you work with anyone you've met on the Lane? If so, who and what do you guys do together?

I've worked with a couple folks at The Lane. Mainly just bouncing some ideas to see what may stick, nothing finite at the moment, though.

What's your best advice for someone who wants to start a business?

JUST DO IT (There's a great Shia LaBeouf meme/ gif that works well for this)

(I’ll insert the Shia LeBeouf pic here)

Anything else that you'd like to add

Sometimes there really isn't enough hours in a day….

To check out his music you can go to:

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/surjazz

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/surjazz/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/callmeJvzz