W Hollywood Sound Suite
In early June, W Hotels Worldwide unveiled a music studio and writers room at its Hollywood location. The “Sound Suite” as its called, is part of an initiative to facilitate creativity among hotel guests and local musicians.
The studio is the brainchild of W Hotels’ North American music director, White Shadow, who’s best known for being Lady Gaga‘s DJ and producer. It provides hotel customers and local artists with an easy and comfortable way to write and record.
The W Hollywood isn’t the only location with a Sound Suite, though. The company recently launched studios in Seattle, Bali, and Barcelona, and there are plans to roll out more.
Like many great ideas, the Sound Suite came out of necessity.
After traveling with Lady Gaga on her Born This Way tour, White Shadow realized there needed to be an easier way for artists to record while on the road.
“It was inconvenient and costly to rent a studio in every city,” he tells us “So we put a studio in a flight case and set it up in our hotel rooms. But it takes a while to set up, and you’ve got people banging on the door if you’re making noise above a certain level.”
A couple of years later, White Shadow approached W Hotels about adding studios to their locations so that guests could use them.
“The W brand is super passionate about music,” He says. “It’s a big part of their DNA.”
“I knew that the studio would fit because they were willing to take a risk that I’ve never seen another big brand take. There wasn’t a 45-page case study about how to get a return on investment. It was like, ‘How do we come up with an idea and make everybody feel good?'”
DJ White Shadow
While the Sound Suites are equipped with the best available technology, they’re smaller than traditional studios.
“We didn’t want to overdo it because studios are moving into smaller and smaller spots,” White Shadow explains. “You can sit in your room with a laptop and your headphones on.”
A smaller space is also more affordable and easier to use.
“I wanted up-and-coming artists to be able to use it and feel like they’re in an incredible studio in an incredible hotel,” he says. “We’re still trying to work out the kinks, but it will be available to customers at a special rate.”
Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S49 and Maschine Jam
The studio isn’t limited to guests, though.
“We’re going to do artist-in-residence programs,” White Shadow adds. “We’re also going to host special events for things that we think are cool and Native Instruments is going to do product showcases here.”
Of course, White Shadow is one of those artists.
“I’ve been recording in here non-stop for the first three weeks to make sure everything is on par,” he says. “We’ve done really good sessions in here already, and we didn’t have to go out of our way to create a vibe. The vibe was already here.”
Genelec 1038B monitor
Wall art by Bisco Smith
Words by Anthony Polis and photos by Julian Melanson.
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