Secret Studio

Universal Music Group, XLP and EMI Archive Trust


The EMI Archive Trust, in partnership with youth-community charity, XLP and Universal Music Group created Secret Studio, a three-day experiential music education programme. Aimed at a new generation of young artists, who were tasked to write a 21st century track inspired by the earliest recordings in music history. 

The challenge brought together six creatives, from a variety of backgrounds. Each participant was individually chosen by the charity’s community leaders based on their current situation, talent and personal drive. Under the banner “old becomes new”, the musicians heard the stories of the young entrepreneurs behind the music captured in 1901 on ten rare wax recordings, their historical context, and the 20th century technology used. 

The creatives split into two teams to write and record new tracks in the charity’s ex-police riot van mobile recording studio, the X-Mobile. The new releases were distributed by UMG’s unsigned artist portal, Spinnup, with 100% of royalties going to the musicians and XLP.  Born out of a long-term partnership between Universal Music Group, EMI Archive Trust and XLP, and driven by a commitment to support a diverse new generation of musicians, producers and technicians into the music business, the project showcased the transformational power of collaboration, and music.

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