Pirate Studios

Pirate Studios

Pirate Studios: the global network of studios creating opportunities for all walks of music

Pirate Studios comes from humble beginnings, and unarguably with the best interests of the musician at its core. Founded to combat the rising costs of studio hire for musicians; a community-driven ethos has been in place straight from the get go. Just over two years ago, the company consisted of a few rooms in an abandoned Bristolian police station. Today, the network spans two hundred studios in seventeen cities across England, Wales, Scotland, Germany and the U.S. – with no less of a community focus than when it first started out.

If you’re unfamiliar with Pirate Studios, its offering appeals to the broadest range of musicians imaginable. Rehearsal rooms for bands are kitted out with top-class backline, DJ rooms are decked out with club-standard equipment, and production suites are built to the utmost professional standards.

Pirate Studios

There are certain ‘extra-mile’-esque, artist-driven efforts that Pirate Studios makes to help convey the image of a company not solely out to profiteer and conquer, but rather to provide a genuine platform for grassroots artists to build from. For instance, the studio facilities are open 24/7 utilising a digital code-lock system to negate the need for staff to be present onsite. This high-tech system allows for cost-savings to be passed directly onto the artist, driving down prices and greatly increasing the standard of equipment on offer.

Affordable, well-equipped studios are a commendable step in the right direction, but they don’t generally tend to offer a direct route to wider progression for an artist, such as gigs and festivals. This is where Pirate Studios puffs out its chest and really begins to shine. The company has steadily built up a burgeoning reputation for discovering and showcasing new talent to the masses. NME and Brit Award winner Kate Nash summed it up rather neatly, “what Pirate Studios is doing for the music scene is the coolest and most supportive thing I’ve seen in years. Get involved!”, referring to the company’s role in developing fledgling artists through its two flagship sub-brands: Pirate Live and Pirate Sessions.

Pirate Live is the live streaming platform operating from Pirate Studios locations worldwide, which has garnered over 6 million views in the two years since its inception. So far, the broadcasts have featured stellar, household names along with some of the most exciting up-and-comers on offer. The likes of Bryde, Table Scraps, Little Triggers, Carl Barat and many more have benefitted from the platform. XamVolo, an early featured act, has since gone on to be signed, largely owing to the exposure gained from his Pirate Live appearance.

Pirate Studios: Live

Through the Pirate Live initiative, the Pirate community is afforded a unique opportunity to grow fanbases and progress their careers at gigs and festival stages worldwide. Pirate Studios recommends artists from within its community to its partners across the industry; labels, promoters, festivals, agents and managers, ranging from AIM to one of the UK’s biggest rock’n’roll promoters This Feeling, have all recognised Pirate Studios as a new evolution of the talent development pipeline.

Pirate Sessions is the newly launched, electronic music wing of Pirate Studios. Its 360, VR-ready livestreams and sold-out club events offer a unique platform for the DJs of the Pirate community to perform alongside the biggest names in underground dance music. Previous headliners have included Plastician, Oneman, Jamz Supernova and Toddla T. “Pirate Sessions is the prime platform for up-and-coming producers and DJs”, noted Plastician, “the chance to appear on curated events and streams will give them a great foot in the door to reach new ears and build bridges with established acts.”

Pirate Sessions

As well as opportunities for playing Pirate Live and Pirate Sessions, the community is also regularly provided with competitions via the Pirate social media channels; prizes for which appear to have been carefully chosen with the benefit of the musician’s career in mind. Previous prize pools have included top-class equipment, recording sessions, studio credit, and even festival stage gig slots.

Pirate’s most recent and arguably most prominent escapade – Pirate Prodigy – really took the music industry by storm this year. Jon McClure, lead singer of Reverend & the Makers, said of the initiative, “it’s refreshing to see genuine opportunities for bands, like Pirate Studios’ Prodigy programme… It’s proper. The way it should be.”

The programme may be the foremost indicator that Pirate Studios is truly going above and beyond to promote new music, and offer a considerable helping hand to the artists within its community. Pirate Prodigy makes the bold promise of breaking three acts in 2018. With the kind of backing the programme has garnered – it doesn’t seem such a far fetched proposition. The teams behind Liam Gallagher, Charli XCX and The Libertines are joined by the likes of Flying Vinyl and CMU in voicing their support for Pirate Prodigy.

Pirate Prodigy vote

Over 2000 artists entered the competition in the space of a month, and the competition is now down to ten finalists from across the UK. There will be three winners in total. Voting is open from Monday 30th April and closes on Wednesday 16th May.

Head to www.piratestudios.co.uk/prodigy and cast your vote.

Whilst the company continues to expand its global reach at a startling pace, it’s clear that it does so with the with the best interests of the musician firmly rooted in the core of its ethos. Schemes such as Pirate Prodigy, Pirate Live and Pirate Sessions offer a unique opportunity for grassroots music to be seen and heard by large-scale audiences. The best part? You can get involved.

Bands or solo artists looking for gig opportunities with Pirate Studios should head to: piratestudios.co.uk/apply-to-play

DJs and producers looking for gig opportunities should head to: piratestudios.co.uk/apply-to-play-dj

Chris Bye

Chris Bye is Head of Artist Development at Pirate Studios UK. You can follow Chris on Twitter at @ChrisnBye

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