Velvet Echo is the production duo of Mike McClellan and Stephen Newman. Longtime friends and collaborators, they formed their own studio while finishing college. They played and performed with multiple bands, all the while honing their skills as producers and engineers. Their friends would ask them to record and produce them, which would lead to meeting new musicians meeting talent they wanted to work with. During this time their love and appreciation for multiple styles of music deepened, which encourage them to branch out in their own writing. This created a snowball effect which lead to them moving away from running a recording studio and focusing on producing. Mike and Steve enjoy talking about music, movies, and spending time playing old video games.
Velvet Echo has produced music for ESPN, The NBA, MTV, the Today Show, as well as created promotional music for Major League Baseball, the NFL, The Olympic Games, Amazon.com. They produced releases for Amy Whitcomb of NBC's "The Voice" and "The Sing Off."
The first instrument that Augusta, Georgia native Chizzy picked up was the trumpet. However, it didn’t take long for the sounds of Dr. Dre and No Limit Records to lure him into learning how to play the piano. By the time he entered high school, Chizzy’s ability to produce solid hip-hop and R&B music, which he posted on Soundclick, earned him notice from Grammy Award-winning producers, such as Luis Resto (“Lose Yourself” and “Without Me” by Eminem), Urban Kris (8 Mile soundtrack), and DJ Head (Devil's Night by D12, The Eminem Show by Eminem).
After attending Full Sail University in Florida and earning an associate’s degree in Recording Arts and a bachelor’s degree in Entertainment Business, Chizzy moved to Atlanta in 2007 where he started working for Apple, Inc. as a Creative at the Apple Store, teaching customers how to use beginner and professional software. While working nine-hour days, he would spend his nights producing for local budding artists such as Travis Porter, Jarren Benton, Nycole Valentina, and others.
While in Atlanta, Chizzy began traveling back and forth to Los Angeles to network within the music industry while maintaining his job with Apple. Eventually, this became too much and he realized he needed to make a change. Creating music full-time and starting his own business had always been a dream of his, and in October 2012, after much thinking and hesitation, he decided to quit his job and move to L.A. to pursue his dreams.
It didn’t take long for him to realize he’d made the right decision. In a few months’ time, he’d written and composed the theme song for Lifetime’s hit show Bring It!, landed a major production credit with Chris Brown (for “I Can’t Win”), and began working with Grammy Award-winning songwriters The Jackie Boyz and American Idol winner Candice Glover.
Since then, Chizzy has produced and co-written additional songs for Chris Brown, as well as Jennifer Lopez, Justin Bieber, Isac Elliot, K-Pop sensation Got7, and others. He has also spoken at a number of industry panels including The NoHo Cinefest, ASCAP’s 2014 and 2016 Expos, Three Cities Film/TV conference, and more.
In addition to working with a variety of artists, he has also composed a range of pop and urban tracks for over 100 different TV shows, such as VH1's Black Ink Crew, A&E's Beyond Scared Straight, BET’s Being Mary Jane, and FX’s Golden Globe-winning show, Atlanta. He’s also worked with major brands, including Coors Light's Search For The Coldest Emcee Campaign, Make-A-Wish