Our Interview with the Managing Director of HQ Recording

Fri 11th August, 2017 @ 2:59pm by seedcreativenetwork

Our Interview with the Managing Director of HQ Recording

HQ was established in 2011 by Yasin El Ashrafi. Yasin’s vision was to re engage and create opportunities for unemployed adults who have a passion or interest in the music industry. They have provided free music and arts projects that help nurture the talent within the city to try to help put the Leicester urban music scene on the map.

The idea was based around a five year plan to take the idea of a self sustainable social enterprise and make it a reality, and this has now been realised.

HQ has achieved this and more, over the last 6 years they have delivered many successful music, arts and events projects around the midlands.

The studio continues to go from strength to strength and the new record label (HQ Familia) is becoming the springboard for some of the most talented urban artists in the city to share their music with the world!

So, Tell us about the EP?

The EP is a compilation of the best five tracks we’ve been working on in the studio over the past year featuring a male model who models for Vans and Boohoo from Birmingham: Charlie Georgio, and a variety of Leicester acts. It’s just five of my favourite tracks to come out of the studio so we thought we would share them with the world.

A long time in the making?

Yeah, it’s been about a year in the making. One of the tracks was made a year ago, the most recent track was made maybe a month or two ago. A lot of work has gone into it from performing and visual artists, producers and the whole of the HQ Familia team.


Why Hip-Hop and Urban Music?

A lot of people I know are rappers and singers and when we first opened the studio it was too small for bands. So it was kind of natural to go in that direction. But it’s the music I’m into anyway, I listen to Hip-hop, I listen to Urban music so it just made sense. The fact the studio could only have a vocalists and singers meant it was perfect.

The limitations made it that way?

Yes, but now we’ve got a live room so we’re diversifying and we’re going to work with bands as well. We've got some collaborations with a pop/electric artist coming up soon as well; So it’s not a given that everything that comes out will be guaranteed rapping or urban but that’s kind of more ‘the feel’ of what we do.

What does HQ look like today and what is the future?

HQ is in a pretty strong position I’d say now. We’re becoming quite well established, we’ve just put our first EP out, we do a lot of funded projects. We’ve become one of the top recording studios, I’d say, for what we do in the Midlands. The quality and sound of what we record in HQ is really good. We do a lot of music projects through HQ CAN (HQ Creative Arts Network) providing funded projects with Big Lottery, Prince's Trust, the Talent Match Scheme among others. Every service we offer on a commercial basis we also offer for free to unemployed 18-24 year olds who sign up to Talent Match. The aim is to motivate and up-skill them through music. The plan is also always to try and push people as far as they can go and help them on their journey. The futures looking good for HQ.

Hopefully we’ll get a second studio next year. That will be nice.

Everyday on my way to work I notice a lamppost with one little HQ sticker it, is this an advertisement?

We’ve actually got them all over as well, people take them from here and take them on holiday with them. People keep taking pictures of them and sending them me, saying; “Birmingham Train Station”, “In Amsterdam” or they’re in Bulgaria or whatever so I think the HQ stickers are getting about.

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Tell us about the label and the artists you have signed?

The Label, HQ Familia, It was officially incorporated on July the 3rd and we initially signed one artist; which is Asher X. Whereas for everyone else on the EP I’ve signed particular tracks. I have recently signed Charlie Georgio so now I have two quality artists on my books.

First Leicester, next the world.

That’s it, and why not?

How do you find new talent?

I just stumble across it usually, sometimes talent finds me as well but so far a lot of the talent has come through music projects. If I see potential I find ways to give them more and more opportunities. My first signing Asher X came through the Talent Match project, she was so good that when her time on the project ended I decided to sign her to my record label.

What are you looking for in new talent?

I like to work with people who’ll take on board what we’re telling them, that want to be developed, that are open to working with multiple producers etc. I want people who are gonna be easy to work with and hungry for the opportunity.

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If an artist were to want to get involved, how would they go about it?

A lot of people do message asking how they can get involved, it’s not always easy as we are very busy now so the best thing for them to do is send music links to and I’ll do my best to get back to them

What’s the next project, what do you have in store?

We’ve got the first EP for Asher X - that’s nearly finished. We’ve got a project coming up with Jafro, one with Charlie Goergio and a few beat tapes coming out too.

And, in about three or four months there’ll be another compilation, a kind of ‘best we’ve been working on’.

How can people find you online?

We try and keep it simple, everything is HQ Recording.
The website is:
Facebook: @hqrecording
Instagram: @hqrecording
and Twitter: @hqrecording.



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