Highlights of 2018: Karim Fanous/ Fiona Gillott/ Christian Wright

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.
 

Karim Fanous, Innovation Manager – Abbey Road Red

Favourite album of 2018
Hello World, composed with Artificial Intelligence by Skygge. Because it’s a genuinely enjoyable record and really cool example of humans and artificial intelligence collaborating in composition and performance.

Favourite song of 2018
While My Guitar Gently Weeps (2018 mix). I didn’t know it was dropping on the same day as Glass Onion. So being able to listen to it was a lovely surprise to begin with. The vocal and instrument performances felt new to me, charged with so much more emotion than I was used to, a magical moment while walking along the Thames near the Tate.

Your highlight of the year
There are too many to name one. Starting at Red; working with all of our amazing founders; giving people ‘wow’ moments with music tech. Exhibiting at the Science Museum and Tate. Many more.

Tip for 2019
Adaptive music, which we’re exploring with our new incubated company, LifeScore. The fact that it matches adaptive technology with human composition, performance and recording to create evolving music experiences driven by humans and algorithms together. That and 5G from a tech perspective. When it’s as widespread as 4G it should change the game.

What are you most looking forward to in 2019
Breathing and being alive; listening to music every day; walking through the doors at Abbey Road; banter with my team-mates; helping founders explore and break the boundaries of what is possible in music and tech; smiling and making people smile; all that stuff and more.
 
 

Fiona Gillott, Studios Manager

Favourite album of 2018:
The 1975 - A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships, an amazing 3rd Studio album which is rich in life experiences and telling of this time; with amazing song-writing and production skills and a clever diversity of genres throughout.

Favourite song of 2018:
Elevate by Papa Roach, working with producers Nick ‘RAS’ Furlong & Colin Brittan to evolve their passionate anthemic rock sound for their new (10th ) studio album Who Do You Trust?

Your highlight of the year:
James Newton Howard’s summer residence in the Gatehouse for Fantastic Beasts : Crimes of Grindelwald

Tip for 2019:
Taron Egerton! From a singing gorilla in SING! To playing Elton John in Rocketman. I wonder what 2019 will bring from him.

What are you most looking forward to in 2019:
Avengers: Endgame – the highly anticipated part 2, sequel to Infinity War. Another MARVELlous production
 
 

Christian Wright, Mastering Engineer

Favourite album of 2018:
Young FathersCocoa Sugar

Favourite song of 2018:
Maribou StateTurnmills

Your highlight of the year:
Producing in Abbey Road with Lula Miranda, writing @ BMI writers camp in studio 3

Tip for 2019:
Model Man and Ro Ro - all things Mahogany Records also

What are you most looking forward to in 2019:
Planning, creating, writing, releasing. My annual trip to Prima Vera 2019 and Cape Town for exciting musical developments.