Drummer Jimmi Naylor, of Leeds-based band The Pigeon Detectives, has stepped in to save a former music studio in Headingley, where the likes of local talent Corinne Bailey Rae and The Kaiser Chiefs have recorded in years gone by.
The future of Cottage Road Studio had looked uncertain after its previous owners left but now Jimmi and fellow producer and engineer Christian Cawood have come to its rescue.
After restoring the studio with top-of-the-range equipment for recording, producing, mixing and mastering, the duo hope to attract both established and aspiring artists.
Jimmi said: “I’ve been wanting to open up a recording studio of my own for a while and when I knew Cottage Road Studio was potentially going to be turned into flats, I had to get involved.
“I felt it would be sad to see it go, and I’m sure the thousands of musicians who’ve recorded here over the years would agree with me.”
The countless artists who have recorded in the 180-year-old building since its initial opening in 2006 also include: Thabo, Wayne Kramer, Pulled Apart By Horses, The Eagulls, Howard Marks, Hawk Eyes and Keith Allen.
Jimmi said: “I’ve always loved the feel and layout of the studios since I first stepped foot in the building in 2008. Not only that, but you can’t ignore its amazing location in the heart of Headingley which in itself has a youthful, lively and creative aura about it. Initially I visited the place to record some demos but ended up recording a full album with my band.”
He said the studios also boast plenty of space for resting, with a cosy living area kitted out with vintage games consoles plus a private garden and courtyard.
Jimmi added: “Part of Cottage Road Studio’s charm for me is that you don’t feel like you’re cooped up in a bunker.”