BRONXVILLE, N.Y. What do Rhianna, Britney Spears, Christina Aguliera and Kelly Clarkson all have in common? In addition to the obvious that they are female pop stars, theyve all worked with Al Hemberger, one of the founders of The Loft Recording Studios in Bronxville.
Ive been fortunate enough to have worked with some really talented people, Hemberger said. Really fun to work with people who are signed and great singers.
What started out as a childrens film and theater center in 1968 on Kraft Avenue evolved into a fully functional recording studio in the 1980s. Hemberger and his brother Ted went from working on childrens productions to recording their own music.
It was a real community thing, Hemberger said of the childrens theater. When President Ronald Regan began cutting federal funding for art programs, we made our way into making this a studio full time.
Hemberger began recording artists in the 1970s with the likes of Donnie Osmond, a relationship created from producers Carl Sturken and Evan Rogers. They kind of made this their home base, Hemberger said. Rogers would eventually go on to discover Rhianna in Barbados when she was a teenager.
She was real young when she first came in here, Hemberger said. We got to see her come in as a real raw beginner, and now shes just a great performer. Now shes just hypnotic to watch.
The Loft isnt a large flashy studio, but Hemberger said they make do with what they have and it seems to work.
We good do a good job here, he said. We work with people here even though when you look around and you can see its kind of funky in here, but its relaxed. Its like your basement or living room.
When Hemberger is not working as an engineer or a producer hes creating his own music. His latest work includes a blues album with his band. The Renovators, which consists of his brother Ted on drums, Hemberger on bass and vocalist Bob Rasero on guitar.
For more information on The Loft studios visit www.theloftstudios.net .
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