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Wanstead recording studio, Pink Bird, attracts rising stars

PUBLISHED: 11:00 16 January 2018 | UPDATED: 10:34 17 January 2018

Rick David at work in his Pink Bird recording studio

Rick David at work in his Pink Bird recording studio

Archant

Big name artists and rising stars from across the capital are taking roost at a recording studio in leafy Wanstead.

Pink Bird Recording Co is a fully-equipped music studio at the home of founder Rick David, 29, who was born and raised in Wanstead.

Artists who have graced his studio include south London rapper Loyle Carner, producer and singer-songwriter Tom Misch, East Ham jazz pianist Alfa Mist and Forest Gate rapper Barney Artist.

“I think the studio being in Wanstead is the best place to be,” said Rick.

“It’s so leafy and green but it’s still in London.

“As an artist, you can think. You can get to the core of your creativity.”

Rick, assembled his studio three years ago, with help from a builder.

His first attempt at creating a studio, it took him a year to build.

“Building the studio was one of the hardest but most rewarding things I have done,” Rick said.

Rick David at work in his Pink Bird recording studioRick David at work in his Pink Bird recording studio

The studio’s rooms were designed by an acoustician and informed by Rick’s background in audio engineering, graduating in 2007 from the Alchemea School of Audio Engineering & Post-Production, and his years of experience as a performing musician.

Initially intended to be only for personal use, Rick decided to open his studio to other artists ranging from rock to classical and everything in between.

Explaining the decision behind the name he said: “I really wanted to call it flamingo studio.

“But, as you can imagine there are a lot of studios with the same. Especially dance studios.

“So my friend suggested ‘why don’t you be a bit more literal with it.’”

The studio largely gains its clients largely through word of mouth.

“We don’t advertise,” Rick said.

“But we are always open to working with new artists of other styles.”

Recent releases recorded at Pink Bird include Alfa Mist’s 2017 EP Antiphon.

At the core of the eight-track record are syncopated drumbeats, moody piano chord progressions and cool double bass lines.

Interspersed with the music are samples of conversations with family members.

The prodigious guitar solos from south Londoner Mansur Brown on second track Potential is a particular highlight.

Barney Artist – who records all his music at the studio – has been especially important to getting the studio off the ground, Rick said.

North London duo Luxe For Fun recorded their debut single, Motions, influenced by 80s pop/soul artist Sade and Kate Bush, in Pink Bird and a studio in Copenhagen.

Rick, who is also the studio’s resident sound engineer, is also a vocalist and makes his own left field electro music under the name of Lisska.

A tight-knit collective of established and up-and-coming is forming around the studio, with artists taking part in collaborative challenges and podcasts.

In a video titled Track in a Day, Rick, Tom Misch, Alfa Mist, Barney Artist and New Zealand singer songwriter Jordan Rakei team up to produce a song in a single sitting.

After a “lovely” breakfast at the Wild Goose Café, in High Road Leytonstone, the troupe bounce musical ideas off one another in the flamingo furnished studio.

Misch, whose Crazy Dream track has more than 2.9 million YouTube hits, lays the foundations of the song with a waltzing drum beat and his signature upbeat guitar patterns.

The song takes a darker and moodier turn after Misch 
departs and leaves the track in the hands of Alfa Mist and Jordan Rakei.

In addition to recording, Pink Bird hosts regular live shows at St James’ Church in Islington.

Discussing future ambitions for the studio, Rick said: “The ultimate goal is to have a venue.

“We would have our own shows put on every night, with a brewery attached to it and have our own beer.”

Get in touch with the studio at www.pinkbirdrecordingco.com/

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