In the music industry a lot of people only see and hear the finished product without a thought about what goes on behind the scenes.
Magic Box Studios has been a one-stop shop for local talent since 2016. Owned by Troy Nelson, Daniel Forouhar and Scotty Anderson, the studio never had a grand unveiling – it began as a rehearsal space for their former band, Scary People, and gradually the focus turned from their own music to other local talent using knowledge picked up along the way.
Troy looks after the visual aspects, providing video, photos, and artwork.
He said: “Although we know what it is, describing Magic Box has never been easy because we are a collective of different services in the music industry – but if I were to try to narrow it down I’d call it a recording studio with arms and legs.
“Scotty looks after the audio and he records and produces the bands and artists, I look after the visuals to promote that music and Dan does all the repairs.
“He is a trained guitar tech who builds and fixes guitars and equipment for studio and live use. We aren’t limited to that list of services either.
“A lot of the younger bands that come through the door also need help and advice so we’re always happy to offer that.
“Magic Box was set up with the concept that someone can come in with an idea, enter each room and leave with everything you would need to make the most of it in today’s music industry.
“It took us years, lots of funding applications and hard graft to get it where it is.
“Nearly all of our equipment and furniture is custom-made by ourselves to suit our always-evolving needs.
“In terms of promoting our business we’ve kept fairly quiet, operating mainly on word-of-mouth. Dundee has a really tight knit music community that we’ve been a part of for more than 12 years now and that word has grown nationwide now as we have customers coming from all ends of Scotland to use our space.
“We’re also fortunate enough to be working alongside really good friends. Dan and Scotty were best men at my wedding – which we turned our spacious studio live room into a venue for.
“Every week there’s always something new going on in the room next door to you so we are often floating in and out of each other’s space to see what is being done. It’s a really creative and encouraging environment to be in.”
‘Music scene in Dundee is on the rise’
The studio gets a lot of talent through its doors, so is the local music scene on the rise again?
Troy added: “Definitely. Talent has never been lacking in Dundee, but avenues, for a multitude of reasons, for creatives to get their work to the public, have been in short supply.
“It’s a massive reason why we built this place. It’s always great seeing bands and artists we’ve worked with taking a chance on their art and seeing positive engagement from the public, and we believe that encourages others to do the same thing.
“Representation is extremely important. We throw a private get-together each year for our customers and music industry folk and it’s clear the Dundee music scene is alive and well.
“The only thing lacking now is a mid-sized venue for these bands to grow but we are working on that.”