As you walk inside the Black Rock space at Bridge Studios NY, you’re quickly confronted with the fact that despite its plain exterior, it’s all business inside.
Most walls are decorated with TV screens and speakers. A large vinyl collection hangs on the wall next to his two turntables, and an engineer bustles around the space.
Beats Anonymous, Brennon Hall, sits in a small room that serves as the command center for the recording isolation booth.
“At first they want you to come in and just be inspired,” he said of the studio atmosphere. “So when you come out of the street, I want you to literally move your body to a whole new place.”
Hall has made a name for himself locally, nationally and internationally not only as a hip-hop producer and engineer, but also as a curator of artists.
It’s Bridge Studios, New York, where Hall not only shares his musical wisdom, but also the music business.
Returning to Buffalo from Brooklyn in 2015, Hall realized the area needed recording space for music artists trying to make a name for themselves, who might not be able to afford the time costs of larger studios. rice field.
“For certain clients, we also need a professional setting,” he said. “You can’t just bring everyone home and record in your closet. , I thought, “Hey, let’s take some of the things we saw.” He goes back to Brooklyn and takes them to Buffalo, just like moving that model to a small city, a big city model to a small city. ”
This model has worked well for Hall, who not only recorded Griselda members Benny the Butcher and Conway the Machine, but also Jay-Z protégés Beanie Sigel and Freeway at Bridge Studios. I counted.
“It was a great time,” he said of recording with legendary Philadelphia hosts Siegel and Freeway. “They spent a couple of days here. Beanie Sigel literally didn’t go out for 36 hours. It was one of his greatest experiences.”
But it’s not just studio time that Hall is concerned about. What he’s trying to get artists to understand is the nature of the music business. That’s why he created Beats Auctions, a place where music producers can buy merchandise and aspiring hosts and singers can buy beats cheaply.
Hall said it’s important for artists in all walks of life to take ownership of what they create.
“Over the last decade or so, I’ve noticed that music producers are losing their footing in the music scene,” he said. “Meanwhile, YouTube is becoming a popular source for local artists to get their music.”
During Memorial Day weekend, Hall held an auction at a bar in North Buffalo.
“So what we do here at Beat Auction is get as many people involved as possible,” he says. “On average, we now have about eight producers at each event, contributing three beats each. From there, you’ll be able to bid and buy beats and actually own them, instead of downloading them from YouTube and making a song and then judging them, you’ll actually own them. Oh my god, I don’t own the song.”
It’s an aspect of ownership that Hall hopes to convey to the artists and producers he works with.
“As a studio owner, I often invite people to record all the music from YouTube,” he said. “They said, ‘Can you remove this beat from YouTube? I don’t have any legally owned beats, so I don’t know how to publish legally owned music.’ would say.”
Bryant Tony, aka Tony Boy, is a producer, engineer, DJ, rapper, and well-known figure in the Buffalo hip-hop scene.
Hall was the first person Tony Boi contacted after he returned to Buffalo from Florida where he was studying sound engineering.
As a multifaceted artist, Tony Boy has a keen understanding of the music business and why beat auctions are important for producers to get their name out there.
“We have to be respectful as producers,” he said. “You know producers are always pushed under the rug, so I’m honoring them now.”
What is it like to help artists achieve their creative visions?
“It’s more stressful than I imagined,” he said of the creative process. “It’s more stressful with the higher level artists you work with because you’re working on deadlines. You’re working with managers, you’re working with labels. Who is paying us and so on.”
business of business.
Cee Gee is also a local producer who has worked with Griselda member Westside Gunn.
A self-described workaholic, Cee Gee estimates he works on 20-30 songs a day.
“I use my computer almost every day,” he said. “I’m just listening to the sound, and as soon as I hear it I go to the beat machine, the MPC, and once it’s on I go to the computer and I’m in the zone.”
Jack-of-all-trades talents like Cee Gee and Toney Boi, along with a group of young engineers spending time in Bridge Studio Hall, have cultivated a unique culture within the studio with him setting an example.
“Some of us have been doing this job for 15+ years, others are in their first or second year,” Hall said. “And we want to blend these guys so that they can learn from each other. These will be radio-quality masters.Let’s make a new guy, Adam Graf, and have him with us for a day so we can learn some of his processes.”
But Hall doesn’t want to stop there. He has ambitions to create a larger space for all artists.
“The big thing Buffalo is missing right now is kind of a collective creative space,” he says. “In this place, I want to put it in a place where you can go out and realize, ‘Oh, there are photographers,’ and wherever you go, you’ll meet someone and what are they doing? Oh, I design clothes in the hallway, so it’s kind of like a creative gathering place.”
Until then, Hall will continue to nurture artists, both musically and commercially, at New York’s Bride Studios, creating lanes for producers to put their music out there through beat auctions.