Nestled away on the outskirts of Bexhill in a barn is a recording studio that has been the starting point for careers of countless musicians.
Broadoak Studios, run by music producer Harvey Summers, has been producing artists for more than 20 years.
Harvey himself has more than two million album sales to his name and list of credits including Steeleye Span, Danny Thompson, Sir Paul McCartney, Liane Carroll, Claire Hamil, Geoff Leigh, Flavio Costa, Junk Deluxe, Jet Cohen and the Aerials, Otti Albietz, Ellie Ford, Phil Thornton and many others.
His music is also a regular feature on many TV shows and in movie soundtracks including HBO’s Looking, Saving Grace, Eastwick, Top Gear, Chilly Dogs, Amreeka and many others too.
Harvey has just released the first single, Skeletons, from his forthcoming album, Human. The record features guest vocalist and songwriter Laura Cole, a rising star in her native Canada who came to Harvey’s attention when she recorded a duet with legendary producer, Daniel Lanois, who produced U2, Bob Dylan and Neil Young.
Laura Cole burst onto the scene in her native Ontario, Canada with the song Papineau, a duet with producer Daniel Lanois, releasing her debut album Dirty Cheat soon after.
She has been a regular feature on radio, TV and other media in Canada and the USA where she is being compared to the likes of Amy Winehouse and Etta James.
Also playing at all of the big music festivals in Canada, she was invited to come and collaborate with Harvey in April last year. She and bass-player partner Chris Chiarcos spent three weeks with him, in that time writing and recording seven songs together and recording her vocals for four others.
This is Harvey’s first solo project since his critically acclaimed album, Jupiter, from 2013.
Harvey said: “I’d like to carry on working with inspiring artists and pursuing other areas of music I’m interested in. This new album is a whole different style to me, compared to Jupiter.
“It’s been an idea I’ve had bubbling away for years, to make a record with a vocalist with a great voice. I found Laura Cole on Facebook and told her about the idea, asking her if she would be interested. She was and came over to Bexhill last spring. I’d always wanted to make an album where everyone is playing live in a room.
“The process in itself in making the album is interesting and I’ll be making a documentary about it.
“The album (Human) is about human interactions and collaboration. All kinds of different styles came together. It was great fun and exactly what I wanted the album to be.
“We are flying to Canada soon to release the album and doing a tour from Detroit in the USA to Montreal, featuring radio and TV spots. It’s great to be taking something of my own out there live, as I’ve not had the opportunity before.”
Other musicians on Harvey’s album include Danny Thompson, renowned Egyptian percussionist, Hossam Ramzy, Steeleye Span drummer, Liam Genockey and Grammy nominated James McMillan on trumpet among many others.
Harvey grew up in Bexhill and started getting into music when he was 12. He had an interest on how electronics and sound worked together.
Keen to pursue his interest, he decided to build a small studio at his home.
Harvey said: “By the time I left school I knew I wanted to do my own work and have my own studio. I had part-time jobs and put some equipment together.
“The interest was always making my own music but I’ve ended up working with other people.
“I was commissioned to write music for various people when I had this first studio. All kinds of bizarre commissions came in. I was writing music for New Age albums, which I found interesting.”
Broadoak Studios includes a mixing desk, which dates back to the 1970s. It was once based at the famous Olympic Studios in London and used to mix albums by David Bowie, Pink Floyd and Queen among others.
Harvey added his music has ended up on all sorts of programmes, ranging from Top Gear, Doctor Who, Dora the Explorer, American Idol and X Factor.
He said: “I’ve also worked on computer games, among other things, producing sounds. I worked on a game called Bedlam, based on a novel of the same name. That was a lot of fun and it was very different, compared to my other work.
“I produced sounds to create countless footsteps in the game, the noises of all of these crazy weapons used in the game, as well as music that interacted with game play.
“Music is very important to me. Nothing is more exciting than getting an idea and developing it, ending up with a result I like.”
Harvey gave his thoughts on the changed the music industry has seen since he first started out.
He said: “It’s changed so much due to the internet, which is both a bane and a blessing. It gives an opportunity for everyone to be heard but it makes the independent route the only viable option. With web streaming, it makes it harder to earn any money. You could have millions of listeners but earn pennies.
“The only way artists are able to make a decent amount of money is making music for film and TV, as that can pay a decent royalty.
“Without that it would be a struggle to rely on album and single sales alone.”
The track. Skeletons, is available from Harvey’s new web-store at www.HarveySummersMusic.com where he is offering downloads in super-high resolution audio format (88.2kHz, 24-bit) as well as CD quality download, mp3 and physical product.
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