Friday, October 7, 2022
HomeProperty InsuranceA Recording Studio in Manhattan, a Waterfront House in New Jersey

A Recording Studio in Manhattan, a Waterfront House in New Jersey


Since shifting to Weehawken, N.J., final fall, Stanley Brown has developed a nightly behavior: He works lengthy hours on the recording studio he runs in Midtown Manhattan, and normally takes an Uber dwelling at 2 or 3 within the morning. When he arrives at his condo constructing, which sits alongside the Hudson River with an unfettered view of Manhattan, he takes a quiet stroll alongside the riverfront to course of his day.

“I take that stroll religiously,” mentioned Mr. Brown, who lives alone. “I’ve conversations with town at evening. I wish to see what it’s that I’m shopping for into, or what I’m constructing there. It’s time to consider what’s occurring and what’s coming tomorrow.”

Mr. Brown, 54, has been working within the music trade since he was in his early 20s. He grew up in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, the place he performed drums and keyboard in church. In his 20s, he met the members of the hip-hop group Run-DMC and commenced taking part in keyboard for them. (You’ll be able to see him within the music video for “Pause,” decked out within the group’s signature rope chains and taking part in a solo on the keytar.)

Quickly, mentors like Jam Grasp Jay and the producer Hiriam Hicks taught him the ins and outs of manufacturing. Since then, he has written and produced for a variety of R&B and gospel acts. He has labored with artists, together with Salt-N-Pepa, Dru Hill and Michelle Williams from Future’s Baby. He additionally served as senior director of artists and repertoire for RCA Inspiration, a label below Sony Music, and lately signed a distribution take care of Roc Nation.

In 2004, Mr. Brown bought a two-bedroom home in North Hills, N.Y. He constructed a recording studio, full with a vocal sales space, in his basement, the place musicians and different producers would usually go to from New York Metropolis. However these journeys from town normally meant a two-hour drive again after a recording session.

Final yr, when the pandemic heated up the true property market on Lengthy Island, Mr. Brown realized that he may get a very good worth for his home, and he set his sights on Stroudsburg, Pa. He had two good buddies who lived in a gated neighborhood there, the place he figured he may construct out a home with a recording studio and host songwriting camps.

However there are not any trains that make for a simple commute between New York Metropolis and Stroudsburg. Mr. Brown’s buddy, the producer Rodney (Darkchild) Jerkins, identified the holes in his plan. “He was like, ‘You’re going to be up there by your self,’” Mr. Brown remembers. “‘No person’s coming to work up there.’”

As doubt set in, a brand new alternative materialized. A buddy referred to as to let Mr. Brown know {that a} recording studio in Manhattan had opened up: Did he wish to take the lease? The reply was an apparent, speedy sure.


$3,500 | Weehawken, New Jersey

Occupation: Music producer

His weekend pastime: “I’m a motorbike man. I trip bikes actually onerous. Nevertheless it’s at all times on open highways, so it’s safer. I’ll trip with my buddies to Jones Seaside or the Hamptons. [Interstate] 495, on the proper time of day, is huge open.”

On taking days off: “I’ve no drawback working weekends, however I don’t wish to kill my engineers. So I give them the weekends off. Sundays I’m working, as a result of I’m at my church in Jamaica, Queens. I run the music division. I’ve been there for 21 years.”

For Mr. Brown, having a studio “is like water to a fish — I would like it to exist,” he mentioned, laughing at his unintentional rhyme. “Music is all I do know. It’s all I’ve ever carried out. And if I’ve a studio, I can at all times write, I can at all times play music, I can at all times play with different artists.”


A plan emerged: He would use the cash from the sale of his home to put money into the Manhattan studio, which first started as a number of rooms and shortly expanded to the entire flooring as Mr. Brown created suites for a few of the producers who labored with him. “Now we will simply create across the clock, and we don’t should share the area with strangers — you possibly can sustain the vitality,” he defined.

With the Lengthy Island home bought and the Pennsylvania plan nixed, Mr. Brown started on the lookout for leases. He had lived in Edgewater, N.J., on the flip of the millennium and commenced trying alongside the waterfront in close by Weehawken. The second constructing he checked out, a waterfront property owned by Veris Residential that was a stone’s throw away from the Port Imperial ferry terminal, instantly felt proper.

“The vitality was nice,” Mr. Brown mentioned. “Strolling in, it felt like a resort. I favored that it was new. And the view performed a giant issue.”

He moved right into a $3,500-a-month, one-bedroom condo there final October, after placing practically half of his belongings in storage. He will likely be shifting to a two-bedroom, with a wraparound balcony, within the constructing this fall. When he’s not on the Manhattan studio, he’s usually on his constructing’s roof deck, consuming his morning espresso and taking a number of calls earlier than heading into town. The deck and pool space make the place really feel like a luxurious resort: “It’s like I get to have a staycation day-after-day at dwelling,” Mr. Brown mentioned.

The constructing additionally provides him an enviable commute. When he sees the ferry approaching from the floor-to-ceiling home windows in his condo, he is aware of he has eight minutes to get on. From there, it’s simply six minutes to Manhattan, and a short shuttle takes him a number of blocks from his studio.

For somebody who works lengthy hours, this kind of ease is a luxurious. “It simply makes me be ok with what I do, the place I’m,” Mr. Brown mentioned. Because it did for thus many individuals, the pandemic supplied him a possibility to prioritize what mattered and discard the remaining. Being in charge of his dwelling area and his time permits him to focus his inventive vitality towards the work that sustains him and that has outlined his life, he mentioned.

The studio is a dream come true, however an costly one. “I gotta pay for it, so I’m there day-after-day working and writing, continually discovering new writers and engineers to maintain it going,” Mr. Brown mentioned. “It’s an funding. However at this level, if I’m going to roll the cube and guess, I’m going to guess on me. As a result of I’ve no intentions of dropping.”

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