Business Spotlight: 10 Questions with South Lanes Studios

Updated: Jan 26

Music rehearsal and recording studio South Lanes Studios was founded back in 2019 by three University students (Luke May, Meg Carnie, and Sam Clines), whose aim was to create a safe, welcoming creative space, to provide exceptional services with a focus on inclusivity.

Studio 1. Photo by Charlie Woodward

South Lanes Studios have defied the odds of a standard new business by surviving the Covid pandemic in their first year trading as well as expanding the business, investing in more sound studios. Working with the likes of Extreme Music, Kablamo, BN1 Magazine, and more, South Lanes Studios have developed a fantastic client base and are excited to be expanding their services in 2022.


10 Questions with South Lanes Studios
1) Firstly, can you tell us in your own words about what your business does and its mission?

We are a music rehearsal and recording studio within the basement of Middle Street. With a mission to provide the highest quality of services across all aspects of the business, we have filled our rehearsal and recording studios with high spec equipment.


2) What inspired you to start your own business?

The three of us are very passionate, hardworking, and driven people, it was always our desire to give this a go because if not now, then when? There's also something special and dare-deviling about making something your own and creating your own path. We spent many nights planning way before we launched our space and kept the project to ourselves, but we see now how it is paying off and that our inspiration continues to come from the opportunities and incredibly talented community around us.


3) How do you find inspiration and what sets you apart from the competition?

We're all a bit nerdy in our own way. Luke is a geek and can list equipment makes and models from page to page, Meg is Excel and numbers mad, and Sam is always researching new plug-ins or has a keyboard nearby ready to write. We have inspired one another by trusting the process and assigning work out on individual strengths and not weaknesses. Our inspiration continues to be our clients and what we believe sets us apart is the exceptional customer service we provide (continuous investment in new equipment and fixing equipment promptly, quick responses to emails, and creating unforgettable studio experiences) as well as currently being Brighton's greenest music studio sourcing our power from solar panels!


4) What is your background and what skills have you developed since launching South Lanes Studios?

Meg studied BA Music Business and MA Entrepreneurship meanwhile Luke and Sam studied BA Music Production at University. Prior to this, the three of us have always worked customer-facing roles in the hospitality industry. Sam and Luke made their own production set up at home and Meg was running events and managing local artists. Since joining forces we have all developed skills and knowledge of each other's skill set, such as production vocabulary that Meg would never have come across and Excel sheets for Luke and Sam! Together, we've learned a lot about small-business responsibilities that are just naturally thrown at you along the way!


5) Describe your typical work-day?

Sam and Luke will be in the studio with clients, Sam in Studio 2 writing with artists or for music libraries in or mixing new music from artists that Luke will be tracking in Studio 1. Meg meanwhile can be flying around Brighton and Hove on her laptop on the go! We've recently recruited a team of people too who help in the admin and studio departments. Most of the time in Autumn/Winter 2021 was training up these people ready for 2022.


6) What has been your biggest challenge to date and how did you overcome it?

Would it be too obvious to say the C-word? The Coronavirus was and is still a struggle in the day-to-day practice of the studio and definitely has not been the easiest jump into new-business life, but it's something we have overcome and continue to adapt around.


7) What has been your greatest achievement to date?

Being able to successfully expand our studios within 2 years of trading and juggle the financial process is definitely the biggest achievement. Not one of us has given up and we are great at supporting each other in this process. We've grown the business organically and funded everything through work alone, which is a great achievement and has enabled us, in the long run, to focus on growth rather than focusing on repaying business loans, etc.


8) Which small businesses and/or entrepreneurs influence you / to do you look for guidance?

Luke - Sound On Sound Magazine

Meg - Steven Bartlett (Diary of a CEO Podcast - go right back to the beginning if you're going to listen)

Sam - Mix with the Masters


9) If you could go back, what's something you would have done differently? With this, what advice would you give to someone who is wanting to start their own business?

Looking back, we know now that we were rigid with planning and if we could do anything differently it would be to be more flexible with budget and time. Advice to anyone starting their own business is to give more contingency than you think is required for both time and money.


10) Where can we find South Lanes Studios online?

Inquiries or to book recording, please email - info@southlanesstudios.co.uk

Like us on Facebook - www.facebook.com/southlanesstudios

Follow us on Instagram - www.instagram.com/southlanesstudios

Follow us on Twitter - www.twitter.com/southlanesbn1

Visit our Website - www.southlanesstudios.co.uk

Book a Rehearsal - www.southlanesstudios.as.me

Subscribe to our YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKfO13SDRDv6VxSez-B4P-w


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Huge thanks to South Lanes Studios for their time.


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