ASTAR STUDIOS PARTNERS TEENSTAR IN MANCHESTER FOR 2014

Astar Studios is the Official Studio Partner for the Manchester region of Open Mic UK and Teen Star, the largest national singing competitions in the UK that travel across the country every year in search of the next major recording artists. As well as providing studio time to winners, Astar’s Mercury Prize nominated producer owner, Andy Ross is a member of the regional judging panel.

Manchester singing competition TeenStar is the UK’s first and only singing competition exclusively for teenagers and pre-teens! The Manchester singing competition is brought to you by Future Music - the company behind the discovery of artists such as Warner Music’s Birdy, Columbia Record’s Lucy Spraggan, Union J’s Jaymi Hensley and Jahmene Douglas both of which are now signed to Sony Music and Luke Friend who’s currently in The X Factor! 

For more info and to find out how to enter click on the Teenstar logo below:

2014 HEADS UP & 2013 RELEASE ROUNDUP @ ASTAR

Some exciting upcoming releases for 2014 include debut albums from pianist and singer songwriter Kris James, Scottish songstress and creative dynamo Baby Taylor, the extraordinarily talented blind artist Rikky James and one of Lancashire’s most hotly tipped guitar bands English Outback.

This follows the success of last year’s highest independent entry on iTunes by Kristyna Myles, whose debut album is released in March off the back of the hit Valentine’s single ‘Three Little Words’.

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Manchester songstress Kristyna Myles recorded Style Council classic ‘The Paris Match’ at Astar Studios. Co-produced by Steve White (Style Council, Paul Weller, The Who) and Astar’s Andy Ross, Paul Weller  personally gave Kristyna his blessing to record the song that features Steve White on drums, Damon Minchella (Paul Weller, Ocean Colour Scene) on bass, Justin Shearn (piano) and Ben Williams (guitar). The song to be released as a single on 9th September from which proceeds will be donated to homeless charity Centrepoint for which Kristyna Myles is an ambassador, celebrates the 30th anniversary of the legendary band The Style Council and the finished version has been described by the modfather himself as “absolutely stunning!”.  A full press and media campaign launches on 12th August.

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L-R Andy Ross, Justin Shearn, Ben Williams, Kristyna Myles, Damon Minchella and Steve White (Photo by Ben Schmidt) 

ACE – TOM SEALS (Cool Funk Records)

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The mantle of UK Piano Man has been dominated by Elton John, Jools Holland and Jamie Cullum over the past five decades and no one else has come remotely close – until now that is! Tom Seals is 20 years old and a fresh musical powerhouse of the piano. Already one of the UK’s most in-demand side men, working with a array of established artists including Beverly Knight and Daniel Bedingfield, Tom had to put his degree studies at Paul McCartney’s LIPA on hold to fulfill his live and studio commitments. Now Tom Seals is moving his piano centre stage to promote his solo career and is hoping his stunning debut album ‘Ace’ produced by Andy Ross and featuring some of the UK’s most talented musicians is set to make him the one to watch in 2013/14.

PLUS the 2013 YAMAHA NEW JAZZ SESSIONS, the debut album of Welsh jazz sensations KINKY WIZZARDS, the winners of the Exposure Music Awards ‘Indie’ category, Northampton 5 pce ‘THE ARBITORS’ who recorded their debut album with producer Andy Ross, NIKKI GARNETT (EP). The Manchester songstress signed to US management giant Azoff Music (home of Christina Aguilera) and now Rescue Records. STEPH WOODS (ALBUM – ‘Share My World’) - 21 year old Steph made judges houses on X-Factor at 14 and has been invited back for 2013. JACK TRAINER (ALBUM - ‘Knitting Club Every Monday Night’ – Squirrel King Records) a solo artist in the truest sense, Jack plays every instrument on his debut studio album, produced by Andy Ross. DEAD SAINTS (EP) AND MIKKI REDHEAD (ALBUM – ‘14’) - 14 year old singer song-writing prodigy Mikki is a huge talent whose beautiful voice and songwriting belies her years and petite frame.

YAMAHA NEW JAZZ SESSIONS CD SERIES HITS 100,000

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The ‘Yamaha New Jazz Sessions’ CD series produced by Andy Ross and recorded at Astar Studios has sold 100,000 copies from the Xmas / New Year cover of Europe’s leading jazz magazine, Jazzwise. 

Recorded each summer at Astar, established jazz artists who have appeared on the CD include Arun Ghosh, Gwilym Simcock, Anders Astrand, Mica Paris, YolanDa Brown, Georgina Jackson, Kit Downes, Jason Rebello, Julian Joseph, Ryan Quigley, Nigel Hitchcock & Liane Carroll.

The latest CD features tracks by the cream of new UK contemporary jazz talent alongside  CLARE TEALE – performing a track from the new Tim Rice musical ‘From Here to Eternity’, plus The KIT DOWNES Quintet AND Samara FT STEVE RUBIE.

A record seven Yamaha Jazz Scholars appear on this year’s CD thanks to the addition of a jazz scholar from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. All seven Yamaha Jazz Scholars have been selected by the Heads of Jazz at the UK’s leading conservatoires as part of an awards scheme supported by Yamaha, the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group, Jazzwise,  PPL and 606 Club. Previous CDs have proven a trailblazer for new British jazz talent such as Kit Downes and Calum Gourlay, Zem Audu and Josh Arcoleo. This year’s jazz scholars are Alex Woods (AS), Dave Ingamells (D), Angus Milne (DB), Peter Johnstone (P), Elliot Galvin (P), Sam Miles (S) and Lloyd Haines (D).

Andy Ross who produces the series was responsible for producing the Mercury nominated album ‘Golden’ by the Kit Downes Trio who he encouraged to form after Downes and drummer James Maddren guested on Calum Gourlay’s track ‘Roots’ in 2008. The 2013 album received its live launch at London’s famous 606 Jazz Club on Wednesday 4th December in front of a VIP audience including cabinet ministers Ken Clarke and Eric Pickles. The previous year Rolling Stones drummer and jazz fan, Charlie Watts attended. 

 

CD DESIGN BY CREATIVE HERO

ASTAR UP FOR ‘BEST STUDIO’ AWARD FOR SECOND YEAR RUNNING

For the second successive year, Astar Studios has been named among the top 4 finalists for ‘BEST STUDIO’ at the 2014 Pro Sound Awards to be held at London’s Ministry of Sound on 25th September. The prestigious awards, likened to the music production equivalent of the Brits honour excellence in recording and live music production across Europe.

Astar was selected by a panel of independent judges - experts drawn from across the pro-audio spectrum who recognised the quality of the studio and the innovative approach of its Mercury Prize nominated producer owner Andy Ross who has created a stunning sounding recording studio to serve artists at every level including the growing independent music sector. 

Andy  stated, “I am proud and delighted that the quality of our studio and the uniquely innovative approach we have taken has once again been acknowledged at the highest level. At Astar we aim to provide an enjoyable recording  experience and creative environment where artists can express themselves freely and feel inspired to produce their best performance.”

0% RECORDING LOANS DOUBLE - UP TO £10,000 NOW AVAILABLE

Astar’s highly acclaimed interest free Recording Loans  just got a whole lot better with the news that not only has the maximum available loan doubled from £5000 to £10,000, but also the 0% repayment term has been extended from 24 to up to 36 months.  Andy Ross explains, “This is a massive step forward and means more artists will be able to afford to make the best possible record here at Astar Studios and spread the cost while they build their career. Now with this increased limit a minimum 10% deposit will apply on all projects with the option to reduce monthly repayments. It’s a win/win for serious artists and bands looking to self-release into the market and compete on a level playing field within the independent sector.”

Astar Studios was a top 4 finalist in the ‘Studio of the Year’ category at the 2013 Pro Sound Awards. Since Astar’s Recording Loan Scheme was introduced 4 years ago it has been acknowledged in the ‘Best Initiative by a Studio’ category at the Pro Audio Awards and described by Soundblab as ‘An Offer Too Good To Refuse’,  The zero percent loans are provided subject to status and can be taken out directly by the artist or a third party on their behalf. The application process is simple and decisions instant.
 
For more information call 0161 280 0908 or email info@astarstudios.com
SKYPE CHOOSES ARBITORS SINGLE FOR NEW AD

Exposure Music Awards Indie winners The Arbitors’ single ‘Handlebar Hipsters’ has been chosen for the new Skype Blue Card Referee Web Video for 2013. The track is taken from the bands debut album, produced by ANDY ROSS and recorded at ASTAR STUDIOS. A preview of the video can be found on the artist page of the Astar website.

5TH YEAR FOR ASTAR CD ON XMAS COVER OF JAZZWISE

The latest ‘Yamaha New Jazz Sessions’ CD produced by Andy Ross and recorded at Astar Studios has made it onto the Xmas cover of Europe’s leading jazz magazine for the 5th successive year, taking the number of copies circulated to over 80,000. The 2012 CD will be out end November as a covermount on Jazzwise and receive its live launch at 606 Club, London on Wednesday 5th December.

To date established jazz artists to have appeared on the CD include Arun Ghosh, Gwilym Simcock, Anders Astrand, Mica Paris, YolanDa Brown, Georgina Jackson, Kit Downes, Jason Rebello, Julian Joseph, Ryan Quigley, Nigel Hitchcock & Liane Carroll. The CD, considered to be one of the most significant jazz releases of the year features tracks by the cream of new UK contemporary jazz talent alongside renowned jazz artists who this year comprise LED BIB, GARETH WILLIAMS POWER TRIO and EMMA SMITH. Six Yamaha Jazz Scholars are selected to appear each year by the Heads of Jazz at the UK’s leading conservatoires as part of an awards scheme supported by Yamaha, the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group, Jazzwise,  PPL and 606 Club. The 2012 CD is the 5th in the annual series that has showcased new British jazz talent such as Kit Downes and Calum Gourlay, Zem Audu and Josh Arcoleo. This year’s jazz scholars are Alec Harper (TS), Ben Mallinder (TS), Jonathan Davis (D), Chris Maddock (AS), Huw Williams (DB) and Matt Robinson (P). Andy Ross who produces the series was responsible for producing the Mercury nominated album ‘Golden’ by the Kit Downes Trio who he encouraged to form after Downes and drummer James Maddren guested on Calum Gourlay’s track ‘Roots’ in 2008. The album will receive its live launch at London’s famous 606 Jazz Club on Wednesday 5th December. last year’s launch to a sellout audience including Rolling Stones drummer and jazz fan, Charlie Watts was compered by award winning jazz broadcaster Helen Mayhew, a longterm supporter and fan of the CD series. The CD and Xmas double issue of Jazzwise is out end November.

CD DESIGN BY CREATIVE HERO

Legendary Peter Hook Records Spotify Ad @ Astar

Iconic Joy Division and New Order Bassist Peter Hook has recorded a new Spotify audio ad at Astar Studios for a month long campaign to promote Yamaha’s groundbreaking new THR desktop guitar amplifiers. Currently touring Europe with ‘Peter Hook and The Light’, Hooky has been playing Yamaha for around 40 years with his legendary Yamaha BB1200 Bass accompanying him on every tour and featuring on every Joy Division and New Order recording. Peter even brought his BB1200 to the studio to plug into Yamaha’s latest THR technology, along with his new Yamaha BB2024X bass.

Hooky received a warm welcome and shared some laughs with Astar’s producer owner Andy Ross, pictured below. The ad goes live around 16th April. 

For any guitarists reading this, you should seriously check out this amazing THR amp that opens up new opportunities for practice and is supported by a brilliant new free app from Yamaha.

ASTAR STUDIOS THE CHOICE OF REAL STRINGS & BRASS

Astar Studios live room is regarded as one of the best acoustic live rooms in the country and is the choice of top string and brass arrangers. Projects include the soundtrack for the ‘Alice in Wonderland’ & James Bond video games, Ronan Keating Tour and X-Factor artists.

Viva Espagna! - 3 songs RELEASED on GPUNTO album

Andy Ross has written three songs on the hit debut album ‘Da La Cara’ of Spanish ‘Popstars’ finalist Guillermo Martin’s band ‘G Punto’ (Vale/Universal Music Group). Guillermo (the Spanish Robbie Williams) is one of the country’s biggest popstars and in-demand personalities with 3 national TV shows.