Claude Zdanow, 24, founder and CEO of Stadiumred (stadiumredny.com) is busy turning a Harlem music recording, mixing and mastering studio …… (at Harlem’s historic Lee Building at 125th and Park Ave.) into a unique music brand – catering to hip hop, pop and even classical music that run the gamut from A level Hip Hop artists like Ludaris, Wyclef Jean, Nicky Minaj, Drake, Eminem, Mya, Mos Def, Jeremy Carr, Chris Brown to others like Yo-Yo Ma, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
When Zdanow found the ‘right’ space for Stadiumred, — a 5,000 square foot music studio in Harlem’s iconic 12-story Lee Building that once housed the iconic Jazz saxophonist & musician Ornette Coleman’s Harmolodic Studios — he “felt an energy in the space” he couldn’t describe.
“The building and studio has a great history… there is a music spirit alive here and it spoke to me,” said Zdanow whose studio today features five separate state-of-the-art recording studios.
”Great jazz has permeated the walls and I felt it was the perfect space to build my dream.”
“The fact that it was in Harlem was a huge plus,’’ adds Zdanow who opened Stadiumred in 2007 when he was just 19!
“Our clients love coming to Harlem and being part of the music made here.”
Today Stadiumred clients are associated with 10 Grammy Awards and a total of 19 nominations and include: A level Hip Hop artists like Ludaris, Wyclef Jean, Nicky Minaj, Drake, Eminem, Mya, Mos Def, Jeremy Carr, Chris Brown and others like Yo-Yo Ma, The Chicago and San Francisco Symphony Orchestras, Melonie Fiona and others who come to work on their music with major record labels such Warner Brothers Music, Atlantic, Universal /Motown/ Sony BMG,Capitol Records, Geffen, EMI, Epic, and Triple Crown Records.
These days Zdanow is busy today expanding the studio entertainment company into managing and developing music talent, streaming live concerts and holding major entertainment events in NYC, the Hamptons and beyond.
This year Stadiumred celebrates its 5th anniversary with a remarkable growth rate of over 40 % annually with revenue close to over $2 million expected in the coming year!!
This past summer, Stadiumred Music released its first record along with its first A-level music video for Jeremy Carr’s “Just One Breath” the success of the song and the video featured on MTV and VH1, has positioned them as the newest label out of the gate!
Zdanow has also recently launched three other very successful divisions of Stadiumred, which include:
- Stadiumred Music (an artist development company and record label)
- Stadiumred Life (an event creation company) that hosts events in the Hamptons (at the Stadiumred Estate a 15,000 sq. ft mansion on 30 acres) and elsewhere with partners like Blue Star Jets, BMW, Barcardi, Red Bull and Rolls Royce
- Stadiumred Live ( a concert/event video streaming company) that has teamed up with Quello to distribute live music related content around the world.
Zdanow soon also plans to announce a strategic partnership with Quirky Inc. to launch line of headphones in over 5,000 stores (Stadiumred/Gear) and has partnered with a software developer to create a music industry specific subscription based, software solution (Stadiumred /Digital).
And if all that is not enough Stadiumred’s brand recognition has lead to its first partnerships with A-level Hip Hop artis Ludacris and Top-40 House music artist DJ Chuckie to work towards opening additional Stadiumred Studios in Atlanta, Aruba, Cabo San Lucas and Amsterdam.
“To me music is the universal language,” says Zdanow. “It is the thing that connects more people around the world then most anything else. It is suprising that there is still no brand that people globally associate with music.”
This is the gap in the market that we aim to change,” added Zdanow. “The journey and building a brand that not only represents all music – but also the lifestyle that surrounds it.”
A lifetime musician and tech guru, Zdanow’s entrepreneurial experience began with his first business, ROCKIT Studios, a recording studio he started while in Locust Valley Private School where he grew up in Brookville, Long Island.
After graduating, Zdanow moved to Manhattan to attend college, where he worked as a composer for TV and in event promotions. Shortly after, he was approached with an opportunity to tour the country as the bass player for Patent Pending (WPO Records) during their 2006 tour. For four months, Claude experienced life on the road with bands like Red Jump Suit Apparatus, Zebrahead, Catch-22 and Authority Zero.
In the end, Claude made the hard decision to leave the band and return to college and the city he loved. But in no time, his passion for music and business led him to drop out of college at the age of 19 and take over the Harlem studio space .
When Zdanow, at 19 and a college dropout, opened Stadiumred’s doors in the Lee Building in Sept. of 2007, New York City was experiencing a sharp decline in the music industry business. The Grammys had moved to Los Angeles and two other prominent music recording studios in New York — Sony and The Hit Factory — had just closed their doors. At that time, the perception was that the music industry was failing.
But Zdanow, a Long Island native, (who now lives in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen) saw this as an opportunity and ran with it.
“We spent three months day and night remodeling the original Ornette Coleman jazz studio in the Lee Building, with the help of my friends and family,” said Zdanow, who practically slept there every night until the renovation was complete.
In 2008 he expanded the Studio’s space from 3,400 sq. feet to nearly 5,000 sq. ft featuring five separate state of the art recording studios — as business grew and word spread that this was a very cool place to record good music!
Today the Harlem facility has grown and evolved into a force in music making here in New York — from classical to hip hop to electronic dance music, (EDM). They also now cater to ad agencies, video game producers and film companies .
Zdanow grew Stadiumred against all odds using a unique business model. Unlike typical recording studios that focus on singular genres of music or that only rent out the studios for periods of time, Stadiumred attracts clients by having top engineers and producers from around the world work in house.
Zdanow comes from a family of hard workers and entrepreneurs where his dad is retired as CEO of CitiGroup Finance and his mom was owner of a travel agency and popular Long Island Health Spa.
His older brother Marc Zdanow helps him at Stadiumred as director and COO, building relationships and growing the brand globally. Marc brings years of diverse experience working at Conde Nast as manager of production systems where he helped expand the company’s electronic distribution of Conde Nast publications.
Well known in music industry circles, Zdanow has been written about in MIX Magazine, Pro Sound News and Sonicscoop.com as well as participating in events such as The Recording Academy, Grammy-U, Winter Music Conference and ASCAP.
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