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Meet the woman rebuilding Abbey Road Studios for a new musical era

Meet the woman rebuilding Abbey Road Studios for a new musical era
[Illustration: Artur Tenczyński]


Fats Waller, The Beatles, Queen, Adele, Kanye—they’ve all produced albums at London’s Abbey Road, the oldest recording studio in the world. But this pedigree has a downside: “Artists earlier in their careers assume we’re not that accessible,” says Isabel Garvey, who is working to attract emerging talent. She recently opened two smaller pop studios that can be rented at a drastically lower price point and launched the first free songwriting app, called Topline, in October 2017. “Producers and musicians were collecting their ideas on voice notes on their phone, which is a poor way of doing it,” she says. With Topline, an artist can capture ideas, layer in files, play with the tune, log it, and file it away. The app had 9,000 downloads in its first six months. Garvey, who is equally invested in the business side of music innovation, started an incubator called Abbey Road Red in 2015. So far, 14 of the emerging companies have raised more than $20 million, including De-mix (a source separation technology) and multiple audio hardware and software makers. “We’ve added four AI businesses to our incubator,” says Garvey. “Two are being used by artists [at Abbey Road].”

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