Much like the quintessential Singaporean Rojak [Malay for ‘mixture’], local band The Steve McQueens is an eclectic union of young talents and industry veterans.


Besides keyboardist Joshua Wan as the oldest at 47 and drummer Aaron James Lee, 19, as the youngest, there are also vocalist Eugenia Yip, 25, bassist Jase Sng, 27, and saxophonist Fabian Lim, 41. The quintet shares an extensive array of influences. From – Amy Winehouse to,James Brown and Thelonious Monk to name just a few. But all differences aside, their individual uniqueness harmonise impeccably like a well-balanced platter of pineapple cubes, mango slices and Yu Tiao [Chinese crullers] chunks – a few crucial ingredients of the said dish.

Their compatibility is evident in the swift release of their debut album, Einstein Moments, within 5 months of their formation in Apr 2013 in Sept 2013. Now, barely 2 years old, they are bound for London in August 2014, driven to conquer more milestones.


“Common ground is aplenty. We share new music we are currently listening to so everyone is aware of our individual leanings,” says Wan, “but it really isn’t hard to come up with commonalities. I guess almost from the beginning, our ‘individual styles’ came together to form the Steve McQueens sound, and that new ‘group sound’ was immediately a cool sound in all our ears.”

This very “group sound” is what they call ‘NeoVintage’Soul, an original genre coined by the members. Wan describes, “It’s sort of jazz infused neo-soul, heavy on the improvisation of jazz and also the groove of good vintage soul.”

“We almost never play the same song the same way, but we always make sure the grooves feel good. So, Neo Vintage Soul, to us, is a sort of groovy melange of tight and loose feel-good jazz, funk and vintage soul or R&B.”

Eugenia at Sultan

It didn’t take long for the music scene to take notice of The Steve McQueens. In early 2014, they were invited to perform at the Singapore International Jazz Festival where artistes from around the globe popped by between Feb 27 and March 2. Luck was on their side on the day of their show as among the crowd lurked members of the British jazz funk group, Incognito. Considered legends in the jazz arena, they have been helmed by front man Jean-Paul “Bluey” Maunick throughout their longevity of 35 years.

“They really dug our music and invited us to go hang with them and check out the scene in London,” Lee shares, “Maunickis a producer we want to work with and maybe see where it goes from there.”

A recording session with Maunick above all else, their August trip to the capital of England will be dedicated to the development of their sophomore album.


Lee says, “We’ve recorded nine new songs at Beep City (Beep Studios). We’ll bring these tracks to London with us and maybe some will develop into material that we can collar on with Bluey…”

He continues, “It’s exciting to see what the scene is like overseas, get new influences in our ears, and be exposed to new creative communities.”


Expanding their horizons and adding new flavours to their music, The Steve McQueens is one “Rojak” of a band that’s bound to do more than please the aural palates of local listeners.

Here’s another article on The Steve McQueens from earlier this year on UrbanWire.

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