Friday, June 1, marked the grand opening of ZapBoomBang Studios, a multimillion-dollar, state-of-the-art video postproduction and recording studio. To mark the opening of one of the finest studios in the region, ZapBoomBang invited the children of the Houston charity Purple Songs Can Fly, which is dedicated to helping patients of the Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers, to write song lyrics which were then produced and recorded at ZapBoomBang by Andres Levin, the GRAMMY-winning producer, writer and founder of the nonprofit Music Has No Enemies. It will soon be submitted to iTunes, where proceeds will go directly back to Purple Songs Can Fly.
Joining Andres and the children is an all-star cast of musicians and performers, including Gustavo Galindo, a GRAMMY-nominated Latino musician who has performed on bills with acts such as Enrique Iglesias, Gloria Trevi and Juanes; Marsha Hancock of Nashville, a soulful country singer with a touch of southern blues; David Garza of Austin, Texas, who’s had the pleasure of working with Fiona Apple and Pearl Jam; and Suzanna Choffel, a sweet-voiced New York transplant who’s gaining critical acclaim with the 2012 International Songwriting Competition’s Performance Category.
ZapBoomBang is the brainchild of Alex and Cathy López Negrete, co-owners of the Houston-based Hispanic advertising and marketing agency Lopez Negrete Communications. Veterans of the industry for over 25 years, they dreamed of making Houston a major destination for recording artists and commercial producers alike, founding the studio as a standalone entity with complete autonomy to compete for business in the region. Along with their other enterprises, Lightning Strikes Entertainment and Tippit & Moo Advertising, ZapBoomBang Studios falls under a holding company that the pair has been molding over the years.
“This occasion marks more than just the start of a new enterprise. It signals the beginning of a new era as Houston becomes a world-class destination for the music, entertainment and advertising industries,” said Alex López Negrete. “It is important to us that, in launching the studio, there is a component that gives back to the community we call home. We invited Purple Songs Can Fly to bring the children’s song to us to be recorded at ZapBoomBang, which will soon be available via iTunes and whose proceeds will go directly back to Purple Songs Can Fly. Needless to say, we are so very excited and appreciative for Andre Levin’s generosity and talent, as well as that of the many other talented performers who have so selflessly given of themselves to this cause.”
The studio is housed in an award-winning, post-modern building just outside of the Greenway Plaza financial center in Houston. Matching the wonder of its cutting-edge technology is the décor, masterfully designed by Cathy López Negrete, who left no stone unturned in making it as luxurious and comfortable as any recording and production facility of its kind. “The luxe interior design gives artists, musicians, clients, producers, creatives and visitors a completely unique experience,” said Cathy. She then added: “… core to the design is its mix of function and style – the latest in technology and equipment – without ever compromising on beauty and comfort. All studios, control rooms and sound booths feature artworks that double as functional sound elements. I wanted to create something that was as amazing technically as aesthetically – an escape from the normal world that would be conducive to creativity.”
ZapBoomBang is run by Studio General Manager Patricia Torres-Burd, who has over 20 years experience in local, national and international broadcasting and media; and Director of Multimedia Services Matias Lanzi, who oversaw the studio’s creation, technical designs and advancements. Manning the two sound studios, five video editing suites, and three airlocks are Eric Rubalcava, operations manager; David Cochran, senior video editor; and Edmundo Gómez, recordist, sound designer and mixer. Vanessa Cardona is in charge of the front desk and client services. Diego Arrieta is the studio runner.