Mackey was born in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. In his early years he attended Hucklow First and Middle Schools with friend Richard Hawley. They would later play together as members of Pulp. He schooled at Hinde House Comprehensive in Sheffield before undertaking further studies at Richmond College of Further Education. Before joining Pulp, he played bass for another Sheffield band called Trolley Dog Shag, who were featured alongside Pulp on a Dolebusters compilation album in 1987. He moved to London in 1988 to pursue an interest in film-making and graduated from London's Royal College of Art, in 1992, MA Film.
Joining Pulp in 1989, he played on Separations, released on Fire Records. He continued to write, record and tour with the band as they found success in the 1990s. Subsequent albums recorded included Intro – The Gift Recordings, His 'n' Hers, Different Class, This Is Hardcore and We Love Life. After an 8-year hiatus Mackey returned to activity with Pulp in 2010 and their subsequent world tours in 2011 and 2012 and the release of their single "After You", working with producer James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem.
Forming a songwriting/production partnership with Ross Orton (known as Cavemen), he met Maya Arulpragasam (M.I.A.) and co-wrote and produced "Galang" and "Sunshowers" which led to MIA securing a deal with Interscope Records and releasing "Arular". They worked together again on "Bird Flu" from her subsequent album Kala. Mackey and Orton continued to produce and remix for artists including Kelis, Cornershop, The Kills and The Horrors. Mackey also produced and co-wrote songs for Florence and the Machine's debut album "Lungs", including "Kiss With a Fist", "Girl With One Eye" and " Swimming" and also The Long Blondes debut album Someone to Drive you Home. During this period he continued to record and tour with Jarvis Cocker, in 2006 for his debut solo album for Rough Trade Records (Jarvis) and again in 2008 recording the album Further Complications at Electrical Studios, Chicago with Steve Albini.
In 2011 Mackey produced Summer Camp's "Welcome to Condale" album and in 2012 he again worked as producer for Palma Violets debut album on Rough Trade Records, "180", released in February 2013. Also in 2012 he was produced "Railroad Track" by Willy Moon released on Jack White's Third Man Records.
In 2014 he recorded and mixed for Dean Blunts "Black Metal" album and in 2015 began working with Yak, recording their single "No" released on Third Man. He mixed Danny Goffey of Supergrass "Take Your Jacket Off and Get into It " LP. Yaks "Alas Salvation " LP was recorded with him during the rest of 2015 and released in early 2016
In 2017 he was awarded a Ivor Novello Award along with the other members of Pulp for Outstanding Song Collection presented by Peter Saville, graphic designer of record sleeves for Joy Division, New Order and Pulp
Mackey has also worked with John Gosling (formerly of Psychic TV) as a music director and sound designer creating mixes and original compositions for films, museums and other commercial projects including the Museum of Modern Art New York, the Louvre Paris, and the Minsheng Art Museum Shanghai
In 2005 Mackey played a cameo role as one of The Weird Sisters, rock band in the film of Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire. The fictitious group also featured Jonny Greenwood and Phil Selway of Radiohead and Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker.
In 2006, Mackey and Cocker curated an acclaimed 2 CD Compilation called The Trip featuring music from various eras including Moondog, Carl Orff, The Birthday Party, The Fall and the theme to Radio 4's Shipping Forecast.
From 2003 to 2008 Mackey co-curated the music program of London's annual Frieze International Art Fair which included performances from Karlheinz Stockhausen, Sunn O))), Glenn Branca, and Rodney Graham.
In 2012 he played with drummer Seb Rochford as rhythm section for tracks on Serafina Steers "The Moths are Real" LP.
In 2016 he began the Call This Number guerilla tv project with Jeannette Lee formerly of P.I.L and Douglas Hart of Jesus and Mary Chain making erratic film broadcasts from a North London garage. Artists he recorded for this included Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Dennis Bovell, Sleaford Mods, Primal Scream, Gruff Rhys
In 2009, Mackey married his longtime girlfriend, stylist and fashion journalist, Katie Grand. He lives in North London with his wife, and son, Marley (born 1996).Separations (1991)
His 'n' Hers (1994) (#9 UK, Gold)
Different Class (1995) (#1 UK, 4x Platinum)
This Is Hardcore (1998) (#1 UK, No. 114 US, Gold)
We Love Life (2001) (#6 UK, Silver)
Intro – The Gift Recordings – non-album singles compilation (1993)
Countdown 1992-1983 – compilation of tracks from the Fire/Red Rhino era (1996) No. 10 UK
Pulp Goes to the Disco (1998)
Freshly Squeezed... the Early Years – North-American release (1998)
Primal: The Best of the Fire Years 1983-1992 (1998)
Pulped 1983-1992 – four-CD box set, featuring the first three albums, plus Masters of the Universe (2000)
Hits – official greatest hits compilation (2002) No. 71 UK
The Peel Sessions (2006) – compilation of all the Peel sessions from Pulp
Steve Mackey has also made appearances on the following albums as a musician:Various Artists – See You Later Agitator (compilation, 1987)
Trolley Dog Shag, : "(This is) The Business Boys" z1987
Marianne Faithfull – Kissin' Time (2002)
Track: "Sliding through Life on Charm"
Various Artists – The Last Great Wilderness Soundtrack (2003)
With band The Nu Forest, track: "I Picked a Flower" (also released as a single)
Various Artists – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Soundtrack (2005)
With band The Weird Sisters, tracks: "Do the Hippogriff", "This is the Night", "Magic Works"
Various Artists – Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs and Chanteys (compilation, 2006)
With artist Jarvis Cocker, track: "A Drop of Nelson's Blood"
Jarvis Cocker – Jarvis (2006)
Jarvis Cocker' – Further Complications (2009)
Serafina Steer' – The Moths are Real (2013)
Steve Mackey has appeared on the following albums as a Producer:Marianne Faithfull – Kissin' Time (2002)
Track: – "Sliding Through Life on Charm" (with Jarvis Cocker)
M.I.A. – Arular (2005)
Tracks: "Sunshowers" and "Galang" (both with Ross Orton and Maya Arulpragasam)
M.I.A. – Kala (2007)
Tracks: "Bird Flu" (with Ross Orton )
Bromheads Jacket""- Dits from the Commuter Belt (2006)
With Ross Orton
Ultra Brain – Neo Punk (2006)
With Ross Orton
The Long Blondes" – Someone to Drive You Home (2006)
Florence and the Machine – "Kiss With a Fist"
Summer Camp – "Welcome to Condale" (2011)
Palma Violets – "180" (2013)
Willy Moon – "Railroad Track/ Here's Willy Moon" (2013)
Arcade Fire - "Everything Now" (2017)
Steve Mackey is also known for his remixes, and he has remixed the following tracks (among others):Looper – Up a Tree Again (The Chocolate Layers' St John's Ambulance mix)
Appears on: Looper
– Who's Afraid of Y2K? / Up a Tree Again
Black Box Recorder – The Facts of Life (The Chocolate Layers' Remix)
Appears on: Black Box Recorder
– The Art Of Driving
single (2000) and The Worst of Black Box Recorder
Death in Vegas – Dirge (Cossack apocalypse mix by the Chocolate Layers)
Appears on: Death in Vegas
promo single (2000)
The White Sport – Complete Control (King Precare Mix by Two Desperate People) (Jarvis Cocker)
Appears on: The White Sport
– Complete Control
Cornershop – Topknot (Cavemen Remix)
Appears on: Cornershop
M.I.A. – Galang (Cavemen Remix)
Appears on: M.I.A.
M.I.A. – Bird Flu (Cavemen Remix)
Appears on: M.I.A.
album (bonus track) (2007)
Budnubac – Indestructible (Cavemen's 'Insecure' Mix)
Appears on: Budnubac
Dark Globe – Break My World (Break My Bones Mix – Steve Mackey and The Fat Truckers)
Appears on: Dark Globe
– Break My World
The Kills – Love is a Deserter (Cavemen Remix)
Appears on: The Kills
– Love Is A Deserter
Death from Above 1979 – Romantic Rights (Cavemen's Death From The Inside Remix)
Appears on: Death from Above 1979
– You're a Woman, I'm A Machine
The Perceptionists' – Party Hard (Cavemen Remix)
Appears on: The Perceptionists
– Party Hard
promo single (2005)
Archie Bronson Outfit – Dead Funny (Cavemen Remix)
Appears on: Archie Bronson Outfit
– Dead Funny
Kelis – Bossy (Cavemen Remix)
Appears on: Kelis
""The Horrors"" – "She is The New Thing"
Notes:The Chocolate Layers remixes are by Steve Mackey and Jarvis Cocker
The Cavemen remixes are by Steve Mackey and Ross Orton