Built by two jazz musicians as an alternative to more expensive recording studios in London, The Premises continues today as one of the most popular studios in the nation. The facility has played host to legendary acts and was one of the first studios to work toward greener recording.
Originally housed in two Victorian terrace houses, which have since been demolished, the studio operated successfully for a decade. In 1996, however, the studio, mired in financial problems, was sold to its current owner, Viv Broughton, who revived the operation, expanded it, and added music classes financed by nonprofit organizations.
The Premises bills itself as the most popular studio in London, and it has a client list to back up its claims. The studio has played host to such artists as Nina Simone, Dave Brubeck, Adele, Rihanna, Patti Smith, Al Green, and Amy Winehouse.
When concern for the planet’s warming atmosphere began to reach a crescendo in the last decade, the studio responded by converting one of its two recording studios into a completely solar-powered operation. Studio A, as the solar-powered studio is known, was the first of its kind in Europe.
Within the Premises is a cafe that opens early and closes late, where musicians, studio staff, and the general public can mingle. In previous years, the musicians used to run the cafe, but according to owner and CEO Viv Broughton, musicians typically don’t possess much business acumen and the cafe was often in the red. Adorning the cafe’s walls are signed photographs of many of the studio’s clients.
Today the studio boasts ten rehearsal and recording spaces and often holds music courses like jazz masterclasses and songwriting workshops.