Over the summer, the Bridge Sound and Stage — a cutting-edge recording studio located just off Mass. Ave. in North Cambridge — served as a host of the Cambridge Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program.
When the dozen or so kids arrived at the workplace of Janos Fulop, the Western Massachusetts, native better known as hip-hop producer The Arcitype, they found a guy who owns and operates a business, works with interesting and creative people and makes music for a living. Some days in his office, someone realizes their dreams. Some days, it’s Fulop himself.
The Bridge is the recording home to much of Boston’s emerging and established talent — primarily hip-hop acts, but an increasing number of cross-genre ones too (rockers Tigerman Whoa! completed their full-length project there). Now nominated for a Studio Producer of the Year Boston Music Award, “Arc” made his bones in hip-hop, producing tracks and projects with everyone from REKS, Slaine and Edo G to Termanology and Michael Christmas, developing a reputation for strong musicianship and sample- (and lawsuit-) free beats.
He has also found other enterprising ways to keep his business profitable, generating atmospheric audio for television, films and online ventures. “It’s sound creation — making [the] bed music for TV shows we all know,” he says. If you’ve ever watched “Keeping up With the Kardashians” or ESPN’s “First Take,” you’ve likely heard the way Arc pays some of his bills.
Offering a “project studio approach in the classic studio scale,” the Bridge recognized both the needs of the community and the shifting economy that leads many musicians to blanche at the cost of studio time by opening a second, more affordable room. Arc also runs his own music label, AR Classic Records, which sees him work with talent like Moe Pope, ESH the Monolith, Fran P., and now the veteran Boston rapper Slaine, whose recent “Slaine Is Dead” comeback EP marked his first with the label.
Arc’s ambition for the Bridge when he opened it in 2009 was to create an environment that would not only draw young artists seeking to make their name, but one where they could cross paths with their musical heroes.
This year, that vision has begun to crystallize, with the Bridge breaking into what Arc calls “that next echelon.” One recent six-week stretch saw the Bridge host studio sessions with Macklemore, Bun B, Atlantic Records, Kanye West’s Good Music label and the Dropkick Murphys.
“It was like ‘Dude, this is really happening.’ And all the while, in between, [we were] literally servicing a kid recording his first song,” Arc says. “In my opinion, that’s awesome.”