A LITTLE HELP FROM A FRIEND| February 7, 2023
When colleagues are willing to share the wealth of their knowledge and knowhow, there’s always enough to go around
If you’ve noticed the words “Edgware Studios” on recent album covers and are wondering where Edgware is, and why a frum recording studio in Monsey is named after it, just ask GERSHY SCHWARCZ, the talented producer and recording engineer behind some of the works of popular singers from Lipa to Yaakov Shwekey to Beri Weber to Meilech Kohn and dozens of others.
“Edgware, right near London, is where I’m from,” Gershy explains, “and it’s where I had my first studio, originally in my room in my parents’ house, then in a garage that I single-handedly I built.”
But Gershy never expected that little home studio to make it to the big leagues. At the time, he was divorced and working at Moshe’s Food and Deli on Finchley Road in Golders Green by day, and at night he’d record music.
The hobby turned more serious, though, when Gershy met Gedalia Weiser at a wedding in Manchester. Gedalia, nowadays familiar to Jewish music consumers as the talent behind GW Lighting, the company that provides lighting for many frum productions and videos, pushed Gershy to do more and to achieve more.
“At the time I was far from professional, I didn’t have confidence or that much knowledge, but he pushed me to maximize my talents,” Gershy recalls gratefully.
When well-known studio engineer Moshy Kraus of MK Studios was to make a trip to Europe for a wedding, Weiser insisted that Gershy meet with him and find out how to go further in the industry. “Moshy was so nice, friendly, and down-to-earth, says Schwarcz. “He always answered my messages, patiently guiding me.”
When Gershy Schwarcz married and moved to Canada, Gedalia Weiser pushed him to ensure he set up a little studio there too. And when the Schwarczes moved to Eretz Yisrael and Gershy took a job in a cellphone store to earn a living, his old friend made sure that he also built himself up in music by renting a room to use as a studio.
“My wife, who could see the music in me and wanted me to work in the field I loved, also encouraged me. I rented a little machsan on Yirmiyahu Street, and one day in 2015, a shy, humble fellow came in. His name was Meilech Kohn, and he had written a song called ‘Ve’Uhavtu.’ I realized his potential, and things started to happen.”
In 2016, after a car accident that landed both Gershy and his wife in the hospital, they decided to move to Monsey. “Gedalia Weiser contacted Moshy Kraus, who told me there was a job waiting for me. Moshy took me in for two years, introduced me to so many people in music and in the voiceover scene, and even encouraged me to open my own studio.”
Gershy also credits Shragee Gestetner a”h, who answered all Gershy’s beginner's questions when he was starting out — a kindness and acceptance that went a long way. Meanwhile, Gershy’s wife continued to study for a higher degree and pushed herself so that he could remain in the field he loved. Although there is so much competition in the industry, he feels strongly that anyone who has a genuine talent for music can find a place in it, and is deeply thankful to Hashem that he has found his.
Gershy’s own niche focuses on sound, mixing and editing vocals to make them shine. He says the first thing in the process is being able to relax the singer. “A lot of singers who really shine from the energy of the audience come to a studio and just close up. In here, there’s no audience, so it’s my job to get them comfortable and create the best vibe for them to loosen up and sing. And there’s always really good coffee here at Edgware.”
Although he doesn’t sing much himself, Gershy has released one single together with his brother Duvid, called “Kol Nidrei.” The two are now working on a Hebrew single titled “Mi Yagein Aleinu.”
“I actually can’t stop singing that song,” he says. The moving lyrics are written by an Israeli named Yaheli Abramson, and as Gershy wanted them to reach a maximum audience, his sister, Dobby Baum, will be singing a women’s version of the song on her upcoming album too. “I think it will really resonate in these times of uncertainty and fear.”
(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 948)
Oops! We could not locate your form.