By JANIYA WINCHESTER, The Gaston Gazette
GASTONIA, North Carolina (AP) — A new business at Eastridge Mall will provide local artists with access to a recording studio, photography and other multimedia services.
Nathaniel Jones opened Legacy Music in October on the second floor of the Eastridge Mall near Belk’s.
“We want to showcase more artists in the Carolinas and create a family-friendly place for artists to collaborate,” said Jones, 49, who has been involved in music for more than 10 years.
The media space offers two recording studios with a full vocal booth, a rehearsal room, podcasting services, and a music industry classroom and business fundamentals workshops.
The space also offers a 1,240 square foot photography studio with an infinity wall designed to facilitate photography and video editing, as well as a collaboration room between studios for artists and producers to meet.
“I was very intentional to include the collaboration room to allow people to organically meet between sessions and network,” Jones said of the room filled with ping-pong tables and lounges.
The company also has the ability to broadcast two radio broadcast platforms, Raw 704 and WRDR, where artists receive compensation for airing their music.
Artists can also use the same radio station equipment for their own podcasting services.
Media service costs vary between $60 and $100 per hour depending on the services requested. Most media services require a minimum of two hours for session reservations.
“We want to give people more reasons to come to the mall than just to shop,” Jones said.
Jones grew up in a family where music was ever present, from his father’s deejay events to his aunt being a music executive in Atlanta.
He studied audio engineering at Elizabeth City State University and worked in Atlanta as a sound engineer, managing artists, promoting clubs and more for over 10 years.
“When I started I was frustrated because I wanted to do what I have here with Legacy Music and that frustration took me out of music for a while,” Jones said.
He always maintained a day job to feed his musical dreams, including working in real estate and property management.
“I feel so blessed how God took everything I touched to bring me to this place,” Jones said. “I always knew I would get back into music, but I didn’t know how.”
Jones left Atlanta and came to Gastonia in 2007 with his 19-year-old wife, Teneia, to run the Eastridge Mall and be closer to family.
“It wasn’t until my son, who was 9 at the time, told me he wanted to make music that I saw how God was bringing her back into my life,” Jones said.
Jones was looking for studio space for his son in the Gastonia area when staff at the Eastridge Mall told him about studio space.
“It wasn’t until I entered the space that I had the vision to create studios since we were already spending so much on studios, why not own one?” said Jones. “Then I just thought about everything he would need and how it could become a service to others.”
Jones began building the studio 11 months ago in hopes of creating a safe, family-friendly environment for artists young and old.
Her son, Prince Navon, now 16, and her two other children, Idrius and Ghaliyah, are also involved in creative arts and music at the studio.
“I couldn’t do this without my family and the amazing teams I have around me,” Jones said.
Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.