Sean Dissington || November 29th
Passion is probably the most important thing for a creative person – clearly you must be good at what you’re doing; it’s no good being a magazine writer if you can’t write well for example – but being talented yet apathetic is probably even more so. Mitch Wellings has both in plenty of supply, the pride and passion emanates from him as he talks to me about the studio he has taken over, along with friend and business partner John Cummings. The pair first began working together on a project set up by John a few years ago called Pop Up Music Academy, where they took a mobile recording studio and DJ equipment to spots around the city, including the old Spode factory, where they offered free recording to artists looking to build their digital portfolio.
As an ‘indie city’ I didn’t expect Stoke-on-Trent to be overwhelmed with facilities to produce electronic music and Mitch explained that they are seemingly the only public studio locally based that is firmly open and set up to working with electronic musicians, as well as your more typical band formats.
Whilst Mitch has admitted he is predominantly associated with House and Techno music (which he has often been found DJing out over the years), he explained that he’s happy to take on most projects providing that he is into it and comfortable that he has the skills in that area to do it justice. Explaining this he said “I’m equally at home recording, mixing and mastering a pop ballad, as I am teaching someone how to make Industrial Berlin style techno. The main thing for me though is about the quality and getting the name of the studio out there that we, and therefore Stoke-on-Trent, is a place to come where there is high end work being done, most importantly across all fields of music. I am sure we will do this over time. We have a lecture series coming up – I really want to get some big industry names down to the studio to talk to people, you know, inspire them. This isn’t just a business for me, I’m determined to make sure that The Sound Kitchen has a name for itself in the music scene of the city and much further.”
Located in Hanley at the CREATED Academy School site, which is also used for youth sessions a few evenings a week, the Sound Kitchen has access to a studio of Apple Macintosh computers and running software that music creators need, as well as multiple DJ stations, along with the soundproofed recording room and a main studio control room.
As someone who’s not a musician this isn’t something that I’d use myself but it strikes me as vital that we have these facilities as a city, to keep not only the talent, but money in the city too. To boost our creative scene we of course must encourage anyone who wants to learn or record to do just that – and the fact that they have access to facilities right in the centre of town is ideal. Furthermore, to help grow the economy of the city we should keep money in it as much as we can, rather than heading for Manchester for a recording session, local artists can now head to Hanley. Key to supporting our City of Culture bid is not only having the talent, but the teaching and support that allows talent to flourish.
The team behind Sound Kitchen clearly have the passion to succeed, so if you’re interested in finding out more about what they can do then get in touch with them via their facebook page www.facebook.com/thesoundkitchenstudios