Close Up: Kensaltown East

Kensaltown East


Fostering a Creative Community: From his early days working for Nile Rodgers at Skyline Studios and Hit Factory through his years recording at London’s Olympic and Sarm Studios, Camus Celli was inspired by those facilities’ sense of openness and community which fostered a unique culture, a collaborative spirit and allowed legends to regularly pop in and socialize in addition to doing sessions. In 2015, when he began sending his songwriters to Kensaltown U.K., a popular studio Martin Terefe had launched in 2004, he was struck by its similar community building aesthetic with half full-time “artists in residence” and half “public floater rooms.” He and Terefe discussed launching a Kensaltown studio in N.Y.C. for several years before signing a lease on a 10,000 square foot space in Union Square (formerly home to a community of film composers) just before the pandemic―and officially launched Kensaltown East in 2022. 

A Creative Oasis: Conceived on the idea that culture stems from collaboration and community, they call their multi-faceted, state of the art hub “A Creative Oasis in the Heart of Union Square.” Designed by award winning designer Martin Pilchner to focus on comfort and creativity while maintaining the height of sonic integrity, Kensaltown East draws on the rich history of N.Y.C. studios of old and the culture of Terefe owned sister studios Kensaltown London and ATLANTIS Studio in Stockholm. Jamie Woon, Billy Porter, Josh Groban, Jaboukie, Q,  Jason Mraz and Raining Jane were among some of the first artists to work at Kensaltown East, which has also welcomed 347 Aidan, Holly Humberstone, Ellery Harper and Sam Hollander for writing sessions.

Analog Meets Dante and Atmos: Pilchner designed the facility with many windows to allow control rooms the maximum amount of light. Since both Celli and Terefe started their careers in the analog era, Studio One has a vintage 1974 API Aengus from Indigo Ranch (one of only three ever made) and tons of vintage analog synths. Studio Two is a mixing space currently hosting artist in residence Alex Tumay, while Studio Three has resident ATMOS engineer S. Vaughan Merrick and is available for ATMOS listening sessions, writing sessions and vocal tracking. There are also five writer rooms ideal for songwriting collaborations and content creation. All eight rooms are equipped with Dante full band, allowing for seamless digital audio connection between spaces―so for instance, the Neve RMP-D8 mic pres can be placed in any room, and recorded through the API in Studio One, allowing for anyone in the space to access the API console through this network. It’s the ultimate fusion of old school recording and cutting-edge technology. Other selling points are a large kitchen―ideal for dinner parties―and privacy. 

Quote from Camus Celli: “Martin and I saw a renaissance in the N.Y.C. creative community happening and wanted to have a space that supported the new generation. It comes in waves, the N.Y.C. music scene―post 9/11―we had The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the Strokes, LCD Soundsytem, and we’re seeing a lot of that same sort of energy again out in the clubs.  We want to support these artists and be the center of the next wave of N.Y.C. culture―it's really inspiring. The idea is to create a place where people want to come for a specific amount of time yet feel comfortable about staying longer because there are great creatives hanging out… friends are made and great collaborations come out of that spirit of community.”

Contact: Kensaltown East: 840-800-1804