We’re taking a peek into the life of 2013 BA (Hons) Fine Art Graduate, Rachel DiBiaso.
Rachel is the Creative Director at HP Music. Founded in 2015, Rachel has worked around the clock since its creation to put HP Music on the map! This award-winning studio has a wealth of accolades including:
- Two iTunes top ten singles in the UK Charts
- Two iTunes top ten EP UK Charts
- One iTunes top ten AUS Charts
- Working with a BRIT Award-winning Artist
But what happens behind the scenes of a busy recording studio?
My alarm goes off a little too optimistically and I snooze it for the next 45 minutes. After a quick jump in the shower, I jump in the car with my partner and off we head to the studio. I am normally a passenger, so I do my make-up on the way! I’m always pushed for time so any moments I have I make use of!
We get to the studio, turn on all the lights, equipment and prep for our first session of the day. With the mixing desk fired up, and all gear configured, it’s time to welcome our client and discuss what’s in store for the next few hours.
Our morning clients have travelled from London, Brighton and abroad and are booked in around eight weeks in advance so we’re super excited to see them! We work on pre-production, and I’m on hand to co-write top-line melodies and make any structural changes. Harrison, our Head Producer, takes the reins with the engineers and recording begins!
I speak with our PR firm to discuss this month’s calender – we are often invited to album launches and music events. We recently attended the Independent Music Awards as a sponsor, which was great for networking opportunities. I remember when I found out Christine and the Queens had been nominated, I got too excited about the prospect of meeting her as she’s a massive musical inspiration!
I still fangirl about musicians all the time – that will never change!
My next artist is in and the entire session is spent going over marketing and distribution for an upcoming release. I design album artwork ideas in Photoshop and begin making the assets necessary for Spotify, YouTube, and Apple Music. We upload the track via our platform and map out a four-week marketing strategy. I contact radio stations and playlist curators and schedule social media posts.
After a productive two-hour session, my next client is in and we’re storyboarding his upcoming music video. The artist is a grime rapper, and wants an urban/handheld vibe to the shoot.
I get busy checking and responding to emails, making social media posts and checking finances are all in order – I never stop and the day flies by!
I get a call from one of the brands we work with – they’ve just filmed a Cribs style ‘studio tour’ which will be released later this month, and want feedback. I watch the interview (silently cringing at my parts!) and develop some future plans.
After making some tweaks, I sign off the piece and say goodbye to our staff members for the day. From here on in, it’s just myself and my partner working with the artists.
Our evening clients are always regulars, which is great as we can be a little more relaxed! So I put my feet up and discuss all the exciting news. This artist is on BBC Introducing this weekend, so I need to make a social post about it. Whilst that’s happening, the artist begins tracking her vocals for her next single.
After an hour of tracking vocals, we begin ‘vocal comping’ (taking the best parts of the recording) and put together a rough edit for the artist to practise before full-scale production. Every day since we opened, we’ve never prepped for dinner, and by now I’m starving, so I nip across the road for snacks!
With vocal tracking finished, the session ends for the evening. We round up what we’ve done, discuss what we will be doing in next week’s session, and shelve the edit.
I get home, make some cereal (I am so backwards!), and we both jump in the hot tub! We spend about 20 minutes listening to our production, discussing business and how the day has gone. We then normally sit in silence and let our brains detox from a full day of music.
Finally, I’m in bed, still answering emails, it’s hard to switch off! I fall asleep scrolling through ASOS looking for a dress for an upcoming red carpet event and fall into a deep and much needed slumber.
Illustrated by alumna Beatrix Hatcher