Highlights of 2018: George Oulton/ Dominika Dronska/ Judith Nicholas/ Miles Showell

2018 has been an extraordinary year for music and it fills us with pride to know that Abbey Road has played a small part in making it happen.

Over the last year we’ve been fortunate to welcome some incredible artists and projects into the studios including, Brockhampton, The 1975, Jayden Smith, Emeli Sande, Noel Gallagher mix projects for Ariana Grande, Beoynce and Jay-Z, live sessions with Paul McCartney, Krept and Konan, Slaves, Rudimental and George Ezra and scoring for some of the biggest film and game releases such as Bohemian Rhapsody, Fantastic Beasts: The Crime of Grindelwald and Mission: Impossible – Fallout with some wonderful composers including James Newton-Howard, Ludwig Göransson and Alexandre Desplat.

In one of our busiest periods ever, our mastering suites have been packed out with some brilliant projects, with new releases from Sade, Rita Ora, Dido, Suede and Goat Girl and re-masters for Paul McCartney, Bryan Ferry, The Beatles and Japan. In March, Nile Rodgers joined the team as our first Chief Creative Advisor, making Abbey Road Studios his primary creative base in the UK and making use of every space in the building. Giles Martin, who is very much part of the fabric at Abbey Road and famed for his acclaimed new mix of The Beatles, AIXS took a new role with Universal Music as Global Head of Audio and Sound.

2018 has witnessed the continuation of innovation, Abbey Road Red has been busy developing the future technologies help how we consume music with their music-technology incubator, exploring artificial intelligent and spatial audio. Meanwhile, our Topline app won both Best Music App, and Best Design/ UX at the UK App Awards.

As we get closer to the end of the year, we can’t help but reflect on the wonderful year we’ve had. We asked around the studios to find out the highlights of some of our staff and engineers, and to get a little inside tip on what 2019 has in store.
 

George Oulton, Assistant Engineer

Favourite album of 2018
Submotion OrchestraKites

Favourite song of 2018
Nao - Another lifetime

Your highlight of the year
Either Emily Burns’ album launch gig or recording the Sugar Plum Raid (a big band arrangement of the Sugar Plum Fairy) from King of Thieves

Tip for 2019
I could see the Amazons having a big year.

What are you most looking forward to in 2019
Toy Story 4 coming out
 
 

Dominika Dronska, Senior Digital Marketing Manager

Favourite album of 2018
There’s tones of interesting new material this year from Chrome Sparks to The Polish Baash. Our listening behaviour has changed so much that I rarely listen to albums in whole anymore, I tend to follow releases from my favourite DJ’s as singles rather than new album releases.

Favourite single of 2018
I Thought About Killing You by Kanye West from eponymous album Ye
Not so much for the usual Kanye controversy but for the almost painful honesty of his message, and for igniting a much needed mental health conversation in the industry.

Your highlight of the year
AudioRiver, one of the biggest electronic music festivals in Europe, hosted at the Vistura River in beautiful surroundings, featuring artists like: Bonobo, Damian Lazarus, Maribou State, Jan Blomqvist, Architectural, Helena Hauff. Loads of great vibes with the best sets involving a great combination of complex beats and dreamy vocals.
Our Topline app for songwriters, winning two awards in the UK APP AWARDS: Best Music App /Best UX . It’s great to see that an app which was created with musicians needs at heart is appreciated exactly for those reasons.

What are you most looking forward to in 2019
The next of Abbey Road Red’s 36h hackathons, where producers collaborate with innovators on the most futuristic ideas. Started this year with AI driven Rap battle opponent called Rapple, I can’t wait to see what we create in 2018.
 
 

Judith Nicholas, Abbey Road Shop Manager

Favourite album of 2018
Joey Dosik - Inside Voice

Favourite single of 2018
Joey Dosik - Past the point
Your highlight of the year
UMG Women’s event in June, Meeting Imelda May, Rebecca Allen President of Decca Records and Miranda Sawyer who works @bbc 6 discussing women in the industry on stage and behind the scenes.
It was an amazing talk and it was where I also met Novelists’ mum Dion on that day and sparked a new friendship.

Tip for 2019
Remain on my path and not let anyone steal my joy for music and life!!

What are you most looking forward to in 2019
To finally release my album. It’s been a labour of love .. and creating good music takes a long time if it’s to stand the test of time, spanning decades and influencing new generations to come .
 
 

Miles Showell, Senior Mastering engineer

Favourite album of 2018
Marianne Faithful - Negative Capability – Marianne along with Nick Cave, Warren Ellis, Ed Harcourt and Rob McVey made one of the most honest and heart wrenching albums of recent times.

Favourite song of 2018
Charlie Puth - Done For Me – You cannot beat a bit of cheese. This is a ripe brie topped off with some stilton, a round of camembert, a chink of Manchego, a mini baby-bel and some haloumi.

Your highlight of the year
Remastering the Chic 1977-1979 catalogue with Nile Rodgers a hero of mine.

Tip for 2019
The death of Brexit. Well, I can only hope. When it does happen I will celebrate with a nice plate of gammon!

What are you most looking forward to in 2019
The forthcoming 2nd series of Abbey Road / Universal Music deluxe half-speed mastered albums which I have just started working on. I have yet to hear everything, but already there is some great stuff in the pipeline!