Kevin McWha Steele
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Kevin McWha Steele

New York City, NY | Established. Jan 01, 2007 | SELF

New York City, NY | SELF
Established on Jan, 2007
Band Alternative Singer/Songwriter




"When an artist like Kevin McWha Steele emerges..."

Brooklyn is unquestionably one of the United States’ music meccas. The pipeline of talent coming out of one of the Big Apple’s five boroughs is endless. It also means that the competition just to get noticed is fierce. But when an artist like Kevin McWha Steele emerges and is able to create meaningful songs that sound great, it only becomes a matter of time before tastemasters gravitate to him...  The song 'Front Page News' is in our queue... Loved the '70s vibe in the song (also reminiscent of White Denim and Woods), and the lyrics are really good (mucho thanks for that).
- The Revue, Saturday Sampler - The Revue, Saturday Sampler, Feb 2017

"Rock n' Roll well done"

"I'm a huge fan of rock n'roll and I think you do it well..."
- Lost in the Manor - Lost in the Manor, Feb 2017

"Reminds me of my favorite record… Jeff Buckley's "Live at Sin-é…""

“This reminds me of my favorite record of all time Jeff Buckley's "Live at Sin-é." It's minimalistic, the voice is gorgeous and soaring. It's almost like a chanteuse. This is very seductive and talented music...Kevin mixes the dreamy and the spooky with spectacular results. "Les Choses Sont Pas Si Simples" only begins to describe his depth… the swirling guitars and voices..."
 - Reverb Nation, Feb 2017

"Beautiful voice"

"Kevin has a beautiful voice…" - Phillip Glass, December 2016


"The music is cool in a hippie kind of way..."
- Zero Music Magazine - Zero Music Magazine 2017


"Nice bluesy vibe to the guitar..."
- Sodwee - Sodwee 2017

"MONDO NYC Music Festival 2016"

“Part poet, part musician, all around creative guy, Kevin McWha Steele has lived in numerous places all over the world, written things under various pen names, and has worked with a slew of artists, including The Thunderbirds, The Nightly Howl (his band), and his brother actor/director Kameron Steele…” - WNYU - Rachel AG Gilman, Oct 2016


"Vocals are nice..."
- Indie Shuffle - Indie Shuffle 2017

"Montauk Music Festival 2015"

"We look forward to Kevin's appearance every year. His band can really bring it and pack 'm in!... Kevin's band could go from sounding lyrical like Jeff Buckley, to something fierce and rockin' on a dime,... like Credence or John Lennon" - Montauk Music Festival

"NXNE Festival Pick of the Week, June 2013"

"Bilingual Troubadour Glam as it should be..." - Ryan Ayukawa - The Toronto Examiner, June 2013

"Gary Lucas Review, May 2012"

"Kevin Steele is a brilliantly versatile modern singer/songwriter who can rock furiously as well as deliver languid french chansons in a smooth as silk crooner's voice. There is always something arresting going on in his extremely well-crafted and catchy songs. He deserves to be alot better known."

- May 2012 - Personal Email, 2012

"Veglam Digs It!"

"Kevin's songwriting falls somewhere between (Bowie's) Ziggy Stardust and Serge Gainsbourg" - Veglam Magazine, 2011

"Lyricist - Poet"

"Kevin's text reminds me of Marc Bolan's lyrics from T-Rex -- a sort of magical/pop/folk." - Elaine Equi, NYC poet

"Radio Crystal Blue Radio Play, May 2012"

"Kevin's got that McCartney, Bowie vibe that I really dig..." - Radio Crystal Blue - Radio Crystal Blue, 2012

"Song Revelation Interview, UK, January 2012"

"Kevin McWha Steele is a prolific and very talented singer, songwriter and performer whose music has both catchy and enduring appeal."

To see full interview, click on link! - Song Revelation, 2012

"Acuvi Praise"

"It's utterly brilliant, diverse and highly innovative." - Acuvi Magazine, 2011

"Taxi Magazine Reviews"

"Funky, edgy and full of attitude....vocal delivery during the verses reminds me of "Young Americans" era David Bowie. These compositions infectious beats and well framed melodic design accentuate thematic intent and further magnify it's late seventies aesthetic... further enhanced by the "sassy" female backing vocals and the steady accuracy of the rhythm section."

"...Eclectic and unique. This songwriter is just loaded with artistic creativity and experienced musicianship. The vocals are executed with a fierce commitment to character and tonality..." - Taxi Magazine, 2007

"Watermill Residency - 2013"

"Kevin McWha Steele plays a mean lute. He's also an amazing singer and did some great back up vocals too." - Reuben Butchart, songwriter

"Veglam Magazine Interview, 2011"

Veglam Magazine interviews Kevin about his recent release, "Ki & The Arrowtooth Waltz" - Veglam Magazine, 2011

"About the Lyrics"

"Kevin McWha Steele's writing is a Whitmanesque litany with the soul of a Wendell Berry rhapsody to nature and a Lucie Brock-Brodio's rococo vocabulary... the poet that goes anywhere and is anything." - Verse Magazine, 2007

"Acuvi Interview, 2011"

Acuvi interview Kevin about music past, recent releases and upcoming releases - Acuvi Magazine, 2011

"#1 on American Idol Underground"

Kevin McWha Steele's song for piano "Love in June," was ranked #1 in the Jazz category of American Idol Underground in January 2008. Musicians on the recording include drummer Brian Willson, bass player, Bim Claytox, and was recorded live at Brooklyn College. - American Idol Underground, January 2008

"Music for Baudelaire's Belly"

"Steele's 2007 collaboration with Stefano Zazzera and Moody Mammoth, Tusk 1, is a sick, trip-hop infused blend of storytelling and strings. His noir-pop laced debut solo album, The Arrowtooth Waltz, also created at MM Studios, is slated for release in September. Steele plays a wicked lute and has shared set lists with Bjork, Coldplay and Jeff Buckley. Like the ineffable late crooner, Steele has an endearing falsetto, a mastery of French and a killer set of live skills. His allegorical and introspective lyrics are shaped by years of studying and writing poetry. Steele and his infectiously jazzy band don't look or sound like anyone today. Live, he is a haunted and handsome Peter Pan. His music deserves to be savored." - Secret Sauna Sirens, August 2008


Brooklyn songwriting team, “Moody Mammoth” (Italian native, Stefano Zazzerra and Brooklyn local, Kevin McWha Steele), recently received the honor of being named Finalist by the Song of the Year ( ) songwriting contest. Song of the Year is an international songwriting contest supporting VH-1’s Save the Music Foundation. The Song of the Year judges are some of the biggest names in music including many Grammy Award winners.

Song of the Year is excited to recognize Moody Mammoth for their exceptional songwriting ability for the song “St. Germain des Pres.” Moody Mammoth competed against songwriters from all over the world for this honor. When asked what inspired the song Mr. Zazzerra commented that the song was a middle-eastern lament of sorts. Mr. Steele picked up on this theme and wrote the lyrics, inspired by a romantic relationship he had in Paris, France.

Currently Moody Mammoth is concentrating on releasing their debut album, “Tusk 1,” in October 2007, on which “St. Germain des Pres” appears. They are actively seeking publishing and distribution deals.

You can find more information about Moody Mammoth by visiting
- Song of the Year, July 2007

"Swaggering Alt. Rock Single off new album"

"Based in New York City, songwriter, poet and musician Kevin McWha Steele has won praise for his songwriting skills from iconic artists like Sting, Elvis Costello, Pink and Philip Glass.

Interestingly, Steele’s songs are floating around the web in both French and English using both his real name and a number of pseudonyms.

Steele is also known for his silky, crooner voice. But on other songs, like his swaggering alt. rock single, “Front Page News,” Steele is just as comfortable switching up his vocals and letting his rock and roll persona fly, recalling his musical heroes like John Lennon, David Bowie, Prince and Patti Smith.

The genres that Steele weaves so effortlessly include indie rock, indie pop, psych rock, alternative rock, acoustic/folk, and international (French) music. His new album, The Nightly Howl, is out now. - Indie Rock Café, March 2017

"5 Mellow Singles for Your Monday"

"Kevin McWha Steele’s new single, “Les Choses Sont Pas Si Simples”, might sound like it’s coming to you straight from a Parisian cafe, but channels Serge Gainsbourg straight into Brooklyn. Don’t worry if French isn’t your native tongue; the emotional appeal of Kevin McWha Steele’s croon transcends the limitations of language..."
- YabYum West, November 2017 - YabYum West, November 2017

"Kevin McWha Steele - 'Front Page News'"

"... Heavy on the retro-rock vibe ‘Front Page News’ is the first single lifted from forthcoming album The Nightly Howl (#2 album in three album series The Ariel Trilogy). Taking its influence from late-’60s/early-’70s stalwarts, ‘Front Page News’ bears comparison with stellar names from those eras – The Kinks, Small Faces, T. Rex and Faces; not bad company at all. Fitted with sweet licks, addicting riffs, ballsy swagger and a stomping beat and groove, this is a sumptuous slice of retro rock ‘n roll cool. The confidence and ambition of both the arrangement and song, makes for an irresistible three-minutes of stellar songwriting and rock and roll."
- BARRYGRUFF (Dublin, Ireland), October 2017 - BARRYGRUFF, October 2017

"Kevin McWha Steele"

"... Kevin's vocals are smooth as steel and just as the gentle strumming in "Les Choses Sont Pas Si Simples" lulls one to sleep, the percussion bursts onto the stage making for an arousing work of art..."
- Santa Rosa Records, September 2017 - Santa Rosa Records, September 2017

"ASÍ SUENAN: agosto 2017 (y 4), Kevin McWha Steele"

"(Front Page News)... Te gustará si te gusta: David Bowie, T-Rex"
- Velvety (Madrid, Spain), August 2017 - Velvety (Madrid, Spain), August 2017


  • "Lumiere Violette" (2011) EP - French/English folk, jazz and rock originals, recorded at 4th Street Studios with Chris Mullins in Santa Monica, CA
  • "Ki & The Arrowtooth Waltz" (2011) LP - Glam rock concept album. Rock, blues, folk originals - each song a different traditional dance tune. Recorded in Brooklyn, NY, mixed in Barcelona, Spain, mastered in Brooklyn, NY. Participating engineers: Godfrey Diamond, Stefano Zazerra, flezaDoza
  • "Kevin McWha Steele, The Ariel Trilogy - Part 1" (2012) LP - 21 track folk-pop-experimental sound concept album recorded with flezaDoza in Brooklyn and Binghamton, NY. Part one set in 2036
  • "Sweet Lime" (2013) EP - 4-song experimental EP, recorded at four different studios and at four different moments in time. Electro-psychedelic pop and downbeat 
  • "Kalu, the Mechanic" (2014) LP - Psychedelic rock, world and experimental album, cut with Michael Tudor at Defiant Studios in Woodstock, NY
  • "The Nightly Howl, The Ariel Trilogy - Part 2" EP (2017) "Front Page News" and "Les Choses Sont Pas Si Simples" - Originally recorded at Blackbird Studios in Nashville, TN. Set in 2026. 




Kevin McWha Steele was born in St. Cloud, MN and raised in Baltimore, MD. As a child in Baltimore, Kevin pursued music and dance formally at Kinetics Dance Theater and Peabody School of Music and Dance, in addition to private piano pedagogy. At university and conservatory, he expanded his formal studies in both music and poetry in Virginia, New York and France, most notably on scholarship through Hamilton College at the prestigious Sorbonne (Paris III, Paris VII) in Paris, France...

Kevin’s desire for a deeper understanding of poetic lineage through song led him to the Aquitaine region of France, where he enrolled at the La Rochelle Conservatory. He studied the songs of Baroque and Medieval writers, specializing in Lute, Harpsichord and Counter-tenor under the tutelage of instructor Hervé Carasmel. While in La Rochelle, Kevin taught poetry, English and American literature at Lycée Fenelon.

Upon completing his studies, Kevin moved back to the United States, relocating to New York City. He continued formal studies in poetry, enrolling in a master’s curriculum at City College and on fellowship in the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts (MFA writer’s program) at Bard College. In addition, Kevin privately pursued music pedagogy in Guitar and 8-course Lute with Brooklyn-based musician, Frank Galante, and in music theory with Ann Ruckert, founder of the Jazz Foundation of America.

For the next twenty years, Kevin’s journey with music, writing and teaching has led to a life of travel, scholarship, and artistic collaboration with several companies in New York City, Los Angeles, Atlanta, New Orleans and Paris. These have been most notably with Louis Mofsie and The Thunderbird Native American Indian Dancers, The Southwing Theater Company, Rachel Rosenthal Theater Company, Ariane Mnouchkine at La Cartoucherie, Robert Wilson's Watermill Center, BRIC, Oddfellows Playhouse, Magnetic Laboritorium, Empire of Teeth, Puma Pearl’s Pandemonium, Glassworks, ArtKlub, Bellyqueen, Dha Fuzion, Atlanta Country Day School, and with many individually talented musicians.

Kevin has received accolades for his work in poetry and songwriting from several artists, including Sting, Pink, Elvis Costello, Diana Krall, Bob Bielecki, Laurie Anderson, Louis Mofsie, Rachel Rosenthal, Philip Glass, Robert Wilson, Nasser and Maryam Ovissi, Gary Lucas, Katie Down, Reuben Butchart, Maria Bacardi, Marisela LaGrave, Elaine Equi, Charles Bernstein, Jennifer Pilch, Lynne Tillmen, Rebecca Wolfe, and Daniel Handler.

Though predominantly a writer, Kevin does periodically perform with a preference for intimate cabarets or clubs, and touring on the summer music festival circuit. He has made appearances at Northside Music Festival, NXNE, SXSW, Governor’s Island, Montauk Music Festival, Cape May Songwriter's, and at the World Fairgrounds in Queens, opening for Bruce Springsteen. His favorite music venues are NYC-based Mercury Lounge and Café Wha?

Kevin is an active member of ASCAP, a C.F. Advocate, and a supporter of Musicians Without Borders. He is the brother of director/actor Kameron Steele and lives in New York City.

Band Members