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New Richmond music studio aims to be a hub of musical innovation

A new music studio opening mid-October aims to connect musicians from different cultural backgrounds

A new, Richmond-based music studio that provides rehearsal space as well as recording capability aims to become a creative hub where artists of all genres come together to make music -- without disturbing their neighbours. 

"We see ourselves as a group of grassroots musicians who hope to have some fun with like-minded people," said Alan Chen, one of the founders of the Deal Studio, located in the Riverside Industrial Park, just west of No. 5 Road. 

Studio founders are hosting an open house Oct. 16 to let people check out their newly furnished recording consoles, instruments and recording equipment. 

"Opening a music studio in a multicultural city like Richmond is going to be so much fun. We believe the studio will be transformed into a cultural hub to connect everyone," said Iver Zhang, the studio’s music producer.

Zhang envisions people of different cultural backgrounds working together to create innovative sounds and pushing the creative edge of different genres. 

"In the future, we could try to combine traditional Chinese music with musical elements from other cultures, such as Scottish flute or indigenous drumming. There is no right or wrong in music. In art, everything has a reason to exist," added Zhang.

Chen said the studio's name comes from his best pal's favourite response – “Okay, deal!”

"We have been very serious with our business, since we've spent the past eight years playing in the band and doing stage performances, (however) thinking of a name for our studio only took seconds," added Chen. 

Chen's band was founded in a Richmond basement in 2014 and has played at various local retirement homes and community events. 

Early on, after finishing a show, “some seniors kindly told us the drumming was a bit loud and noisy. So then we modified our music to more soft tunes and it turned out they loved it," smiled Chen, adding that they could change their music style to fit everyone’s taste.

Chen said the Deal music studio will provide music training to students of different ages and, with the aid of an experienced music producer, help local musicians produce their next album. 

Zhang noted that beginners often feel intimidated by the buttons and knobs, but he’s there to guide the process.

As a detail-oriented person, Zhang and the construction team spent tremendous efforts creating a quality music rehearsal space where performers won't be asked to "quiet down." 

"During the construction period, I arrived at the studio at 7:00 a.m. every morning and stayed there until midnight to work with the construction team to create a soundproof room that allows everyone to play with privacy and freedom," said Zhang. 

The open house event will be held on Oct. 16 starting at 10:30 a.m.