Ten 87: music production and artist studios in Tottenham

In partnership with Ten 87

DT had a sit down and chat with Rob Burn, founder and owner of Ten 87 Studios in South Tottenham. Ten 87 offer professional soundproof recording studios for producers, engineers and artists. They own studios in Gaunson House, 39a Markfield Road (which houses) Five Miles and recently opened a third space in The High Cross Centre on Fountayne Road. They have also just secured funding for a fourth site in South London.

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Rob explained how it all started: ‘I was originally a sound engineer and rented some space from some friends in a studio in Stoke Newington. It was open plan and we were struggling to find artists to record. We ended up splitting the space up into a few different rooms and rented them to producers we knew. From there, myself and another producer, Stef Smith, applied for government startup funding for the studios in Gaunson House.’

‘There has always been a strong demand for quality music production space in London. I’ve heard horror stories of producers renting basements or corners of warehouses that are damp and their equipment getting damaged, or them getting asthma from mould, or being disrupted by a band practising next door. That was the catalyst and the driving force for developing the business.’

‘In 2014, we built our first six studios in Gaunson House. That enabled us to prove that our model worked. We rented the spaces to some friends and people we knew in our network. The studios are still being used 24/7 every day.’

A year and a half after opening the first six studios, they came up with the idea for Markfield Road. The 26 studio complex with Five Miles (cafe, bar, event space and brewery) in the middle opened in May 2017. The space also includes co-working and office space used by a number of creative businesses.

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‘We spent two years planning and finding a suitable site. When we found Markfield Road, we went to planning with a design team, architects, acousticians and engineers. We did that with funding from Haringey Council’s Opportunity Investment Fund (who were really helpful and guided us through the startup process), Arts Council England and the GLE (Newable). Fast forwarding to last December, we opened our third site in the High Cross Centre containing 10 long-term let recording studios (a minimum of 40% are rented to people in the local community and one is available for daily hire) again funded by Haringey Council.’

We asked Rob about the idea behind the mixed use event space at the Markfield Road site. ‘We tried to consider what our artists and producers would need and compliment their day to day experience. It was important that we found something different that wasn’t just a cafe and restaurant so we started approaching club operators. The guys at Real Gold, who run Five Miles, put together an amazing business case.’

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‘We had to come up with soundproofing solutions that would protect the recording studios and allow our producers to work 24/7 whilst the Five Miles events run in tandem. There’s over four feet of soundproofing in between the club and the studios which enables that to happen. It was definitely nail biting when they first turned on the speakers – we were all like: “has this worked?” It also means that the club itself doesn’t interrupt the neighbours – the sound is really contained.’

Rob told us they have a lot of left-field electronic artists using the studios, but are open to all genres. ‘We really make an effort to curate the space so artists and songwriters from a certain genre are in a similar area. We also help set up studio shares which makes it more affordable.’

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Rob told us they are in the process of setting up mixer events for the Ten 87 community. The concept being ‘everyone is invited to meet up, have a few drinks and play records.’

They recently announced a year long partnership with NTS Radio’s WIP program; WIP offers a focussed programme of support for eight artists or bands including mentoring, access to free audio equipment, paid live performances, recording and practice studio time. ‘Community engagement is top of our list for this year.’

Rob said that building the Markfield Road complex has been the biggest challenge for the business so far. ‘Blood, sweat and tears went into building this. I almost cut one of my fingers off building some of the acoustic treatment! That made it all the more rewarding when we finished and rented all the rooms out.’

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Ten 87 is home to some critically acclaimed and established, as well as local, artists and producers. We caught up with three of them who told us about their work and their experience at the studios. ‘It’s amazing to see them creating in the community and growing under our roof,’ said Rob. We spoke to Lophiile, Yvng Face of Capsun Proaudio and Adam Englefield, one half of Blonde.

LophilleS
Lophiile

Hi Lophiile, H.E.R recently won a GRAMMY for her album which you were involved with. Tell us more!

That was a huge surprise. I was initially told the song we wrote, Avenue, wasn’t going to make the record. They decided to add it at the last minute, then it went on to win a Grammy which was very exciting for the whole project.

What else would you say has been your biggest achievement?

Being able to make the transition to doing music full time. Definitely didn’t think I’d ever be able to do that.

What’s it like being part of the Ten 87 community in Tottenham?

Definitely a new experience. Music has always been a pretty independent endeavor for me so to be surrounded by a bunch of creatives in the same space is pretty inspiring. I’m excited to get to know everyone better. I also love spying into everyone else’s rooms for inspiration.

How did you first get into production?

One day my dad came home with a free version of ACID Pro, which is a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) that doesn’t exist anymore. Neither me or my dad knew what it did but he knew that I’d try to figure it out. And man, it sure did stick.

Is there anyone else on your radar that you’d be keen to work with?

Big fan of Bryson Tiller, Drake, and J Cole. Those are kind of dream collabs. There’s a few in the UK that I’d love to create with as well like Octavian and Dave.

Upcoming projects to look out for…

Currently finishing up the new Radiant Children record.

YvngFaceS
Yvng Face

Yvng Face told us about his work with Capsun Proaudio. What do you do?

As Lead Sound Designer for Capsun ProAudio, I do various things: creating and designing original sound content for bestselling music sample packs, some post production and overseeing projects.

What’s it like being part of the Ten 87 community in Tottenham?

Ten 87 is a great hub for people working in music and audio and the guys are always on hand to assist with anything. It is a great thing being surrounded by others in similar work.

How did you first get into music and sound design?

I’ve been a recording artist and producer since the mid 2000s. I began sound design when I started working with Capsun ProAudio as a freelancer. I simply got approached by Capsun and asked if I wanted to help with a sound pack, and it went from there.

Biggest challenges to date?

Consistently putting out the highest quality and inspiring content is always a challenge. We pride ourselves on our methods of creation and don’t take any shortcuts.

Biggest achievements to date?

Our partnership with Splice Sounds has been great in regards to building a community of producers. Sharing sounds and sample packs is not a new idea, but through Splice Sounds and its community, artists and creators are now able to proudly share sounds that directly represent their music and tastes, make revenue fairly, and even build careers through the success of their projects.

Personally, having my sounds used regularly in tracks by big artists.

Upcoming projects to look out for…

Continuing our partnership with Splice Sounds, we have some great projects already lined up, including the follow up to our #1 pack Bedroom Beats & LoFi Hip-Hop. Personally I’m always producing artists, in particular look out for North London based trap/dancehall artist LEVi.

Adam Englefield
Adam Englefield

Hi Adam! Can you give us a brief overview of what you do?

I’m a producer and songwriter, so I cover a few different bases, but that suits me fine as I love every day being different. Some days I’m writing toplines for dance artists and others I am producing records for singers.

What’s it like being part of the Ten 87 community?

I’ve had studios in other places before and never really felt any sense of community. That’s why when I found out about Ten 87 I jumped at the opportunity to get a place here. Rob and Flynn are both creatives themselves which means they get the way things work within the community and how important collaboration is. I’ve collaborated with five people who have studios at Ten 87 in the few months I have been here, and it’s fostered a fair few working relationships I can see becoming long term.

How did you first get into music?

I was in bands at school and when I went to university I really fell in love with electronic music. It was then that I started DJing, promoting and focusing more on music production. Then I had a break with a production duo I was part of called Blonde. We had two top 10s in the space of a few months, so that really launched me into doing this professionally.

What’s been your biggest achievement to date?

Probably co-writing Lay It All On Me – Rudimental Ft. Ed Sheeran. That’s probably the biggest record I have been part of and it was a great experience. It turned platinum in the UK which totally blew me away.

Upcoming projects to look out for…

I’ve just started a new vocal project called Bengle. I am launching it with a handful of select features. The first, 10 days, is out on 31 May on Crosstown Rebels. I did it with one of my favourite house producers Bontan. I’m really excited about this one as its a bit more leftfield from what I’m known for – it’s a real passion project.

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In the future, Ten 87 are keen to support upcoming artists as well as established artists and producers and the studios are open to professional musicians and producers of all levels. ‘It’s great to see really talented artists using the space mixing together with producers of all levels – it doesn’t matter about status.’ Although they are home to a lot of electronic artists they are open to all genres.

For more information on Ten 87 Studios visit: http://ten87studios.com/

Lophiile Soundcloud
instagram.com/yvngface
capsunproaudio.com
instagram.com/capsunproaudio
instagram.com/blondeofficial
10 days – Bontan, Bengle, Osunlade

 

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