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Friday, 22 August 2014

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Graham takes a firm grip on sounds from his studio

A NEW professional recording studio is opening in Barrow.

East Beach Studios, based in Victoria Hall in Rawlinson Street, will offer recording, production, mixing and mastering for all music genres when it opens on Tuesday.

Professional musician and producer Graham Newby, also known as DJ Gripper, is the man behind the project.

The 43-year-old has spent the last 20 years producing and mixing for well-known artists such as Usher, Shaun Ryder, Mobb Deep and Stephen Jones from the band Babybird, as well as producing original music.

Around 10 years ago, Mr Newby, who lives at Victoria Road, Barrow, began to have problems with his eyesight.

He had to leave his job as a draughtsman in the shipyard and decided to get involved in music full-time.

Mr Newby said: “I’ve been involved in music for a lot of years, but I got to the point where I had a lot of eyesight problems so I had to leave my job at the yard and diversify.

“I’ve got my music and that’s something that I’ve always wanted to fall back on, so I decided to set a studio up in Barrow.

“I spent about five years trying to set the studio up.

“I noticed there was a lot of funding money coming into Barrow to regenerate it and what I wanted to set up was of cultural benefit to the town, so I thought I’d get some funding support.

“I never ever got the support.

“It got to the point where the demand for a recording facility in the town was that great it was at a critical point – either something was going to be done, or it would never be done.

“So I took the plunge, looked for a venue and when the Victoria Hall came up, it was ideal and it appealed to me so I went for it.

“It’s taken me three months to get the set up right and we’re opening at the start of April, so it’s ready to go.”

Mr Newby says there have always been good bands from Barrow.

He said: “I was in a local punk band in the late 70s.

“That’s where I started and there was a lot of other people in local bands of every description.

“There’s talented bands and artists in Barrow coming through all the time. There are bands we don’t even know about – the ones you see playing locally are just the tip of the iceberg.

“You’ve got the ones that are writing, but don’t play locally, you’ve got the ones that are writing that can’t play locally and you’ve even got the ones that don’t know how to play but are still writing and creating stuff.

“So that whole wealth of music in the town is only ever getting to a certain stage.”

Mr Newby’s experience has given him an insight into the quality levels musicians need to make an impact.

He is hoping to pass that knowledge on to local artists and bands.

He said: “I’ve produced my own records and other people’s records up to the stage where they’re being commercially released, manufactured, distributed, sold and promoted as part of the big music industry machine.

“In order to get into that, you need to have a certain quality level – your writing and performance needs to be good, but also your presentation and production needs to be good.

“The quality of your product has got to stand up against whatever’s out there.

“If you’re recording something and you want to get it out to people, they’ve got a choice whether they spend £10 on your music or the latest Kings of Leon album.

“But if you’re at least creating music that’s of the same quality, you’ve got a better chance.

“All of your favourite albums of all time have been recorded well, produced well and that’s why they’ve stood the test of time.

“Anyone who wants to record their music to the best level they can get it and have it produced and mixed to a professional level will benefit from coming in here.”

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