‘We need you’: £3k tree plea to resurrect Muswell Hill Christmas

Muswell Business traders’ association needs to raise more than £3,000 by the end of the month to ensure the inaugural Christmas tree in St James Square is in place once again.  

Calling for the community to chip in what they can, the local business group’s figurehead and our chief music producer Deanna Bogdanovic, said that “any amount is welcome”, and that “nothing is too small”.

“From creating magical memories, to helping our traders through some of their toughest times, we need you this festive season,” Deanna said.   

“We are planning to get the tree professionally installed and linked up to electricity to keep all those fairy lights twinkling over the festive season.  

Full article here

Link to donate here

19 EU countries to visa-free short-term touring for musicians

Finally some good news!

UK musicians and performers will be able to tour in a number of European countries without the need for a visa or work permit, the Government has announced.

New rules which came into force at the beginning of the year do not guarantee visa-free travel for musicians in the EU and have prompted fears that touring artists will incur large fees in many of the countries they visit.

However, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) said they have negotiated with 19 EU Member State countries to allow British musicians and performers to conduct short tours visa-free. 

We want to ensure that when Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, touring can resume and our world-leading creative and cultural artists can continue to travel widely, learning their craft, growing their audiences and showing the best of British creativity to the world

These countries are: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Sweden.

The Government said talks are ongoing with remaining EU Member State countries, including Spain, Portugal and Greece, to align their arrangements with the UK’s, which allows touring performers and support staff to visit for up to three months without a visa.

DCMS said in a statement: “We want the UK’s fantastic performers and other creative professionals to be able to tour abroad easily.

“We recognise challenges remain around touring, and we are continuing to work closely with the industry.

“We want to ensure that when Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, touring can resume and our world-leading creative and cultural artists can continue to travel widely, learning their craft, growing their audiences and showing the best of British creativity to the world.”

It comes after months of campaigning from musicians such as Sir Elton John and Ed Sheeran on the issue of post-Brexit touring, with Sir Elton previously warning the rules threatened “a generation of talent’

The Music Industry is fighting back !

The music industry has been hit hard by coronavirus with live performance revenue the biggest casualty and music studios who prepare artists for their events are no exception.

The industry is fighting back with new ways to monetize music consumption and innovative models and one of them is the live streaming!

The crisis is likely to accelerate underlying trends in the music industry, based on the importance of streaming which has grown significantly and we are happy to offer you our space as a live streaming platform.

The, recorded music, combines revenue from streaming, digital downloads, physical sales and synchronization revenues (licensing of music for movies, games, TV and advertising). Recorded music today is close to the industry’s pre-piracy peak, a testament to the growing adoption of streaming services by both music labels and consumers. Streaming now makes up almost half of recorded music revenue.

On 19th of July almost all restrictions on events, recording and rehearsals were removed, and, in theory, it’s full speed ahead. Although, we all know it’s not quite that simple; for audio professionals across the UK, this remains an uncertain time.

We are seeing a return in confidence with steady increases in enquiries every week, however, there still remains concern about how to safely return to in-person and what the next few months might hold for restrictions for artists.

We intend to use all our resources to support the safe return of in-person large group events, live streaming, recordings and rehearsals, and hope to see you soon.

One way or the other show is going on. And we are here to support you!

Muswell Hill Businesses hold Traders for The Earth Week

We are so proud to be part of our local community and this event.

Our chief Deanna Bogdanovic and part of Muswell Business committee said “Local businesses are really beginning to think about their environmental impact, and the Traders for the Earth Week is a great chance for them to show how they are making a difference.” Cara Jenkinson, Chair of Muswell Hill Sustainability said “Shopping locally can really cut your carbon footprint – there are so many places that will repair stuff for you – such as Simply Jewellery or Les Aldrich, and it’s great to see local independents really tackling single use plastic”. 

For link to Ham&High article click here

Celebrating 22 Years …and Counting…

Our studio will celebrate our 22nd anniversary on 1st of May. Happy birthday to us!

Despite pandemic our studio has worked on award-winning projects that have gained national and international attention and continue to work with heavy hitters in the industry.

We are going nowhere! 

Recording people are what gives us hope. They’re the reason we do this job. They love what they do, and they’re going to find ways to do it. It’s really hard. It’s never been easy. No one really knows what the results are going to be. But music really is the universal language. The people who do this work, they just live that. And no Pandemic can take that away from us!

People all across the world have had to be creative when it comes to getting work done while also social distancing during the pandemic. Musicians and recording studios are no exception, we all learned how to adapt and continue to do what we all love and enjoy. 

Unprecedented. Challenging. New normal. We have all heard these buzz words mentioned numerous times over the last year and change. But the truth of the matter is whichever words you choose, we have all been experiencing a vastly different world than we were last March.

Very suddenly we were tasked with the seemingly impossible: how to come together while remaining apart. 

Health safety protocols, while always important, became vital practices for all of us but making music needs to continue.

Despite the “unprecedented,” the “challenging” and the “new normal,” we still need to grow musically, and our clients deserve the best experience we can give them. The show must go on — whether in person, hybrid or online.

And go on it has! Even through a global pandemic, our clients and staff have risen to the occasion. Our studio is full of energy and our projects are excelling.

We are just so proud of all of sessions we worked on, staff and clients for continuing to make amazing music, despite the circumstances. Because in BonaFideStudio, the show will always go on.

A huge Thank You to all of our wonderful customers for these last 22 years! Here is to many MORE!

What kind of world will Businesses be facing when they are free to reopen their doors on 12th of April?

A long-awaited easing of the third coronavirus lockdown is fast approaching, major parts of the economy, including non-essential retail and hospitality, will be reopening.

Pubs, restaurants and cafes will be serving food and drinks outside in gardens and terraces and it will be table service, personal care premises such as hairdressers and nail salons will be able to take bookings for the first time since December, we are all desperate to get a haircut!

Even with the help of various support mechanisms such as the CJRS, cash grants and business rates holidays our traders still forecast that they’d be unable to pay their bills by the end of the year. There is the obvious financial imperative to reopen and restart trading but it’s not going to be business as usual. Businesses are preparing for the permanence of some changes that have come about in the past few months. What kind of world will Traders be facing when they are free to reopen their doors on 12th of April?

Some industries may see an immediate upturn in business back to comparable levels before the lockdown was introduced but others could be living with the effects and changes for years to come. It’s hard to imagine the restaurant and hospitality industry enjoying full-to-capacity dining rooms this year.

This is all without factoring in any possible prolonged economic downturn or reduction in the public’s discretionary spending. Less money for purchases means less going to businesses that badly need it and this deflationary chain reaction could prove to be the death knell for entire industries. If there’s one positive that has come out of the uncertain economic landscape we’re facing then it’s that more businesses are beginning to understand and recognise importance of our local community and need to support each other.

This means going beyond vague ideas of “shopping local” – small businesses and entrepreneurs must focus on sharing advice and methods of mutual support: Local Networking and support of Muswell Business – our Trading Association.

There are many long term benefits that adopting a local focus can offer. For one thing, it allows people with accessibility issues to more easily participate in networking, it saves time and it keeps money in Muswell Hill. Prioritizing working with local experts and businesses is the way forward. We should, we must use each other services as given.

With the advancement of modern communications technology, and adoption of decentralised working being accelerated by the current pandemic, localised business groups as ours now have an unprecedented opportunity to redefine how businesses can support one another. But we need all businesses and our residents behind us!

Our chief Deanna Bogdanovic, runs also Muswell Business traders’ association, warned it wouldn’t be “business as usual” Read more in “Ham & High” article.


International Women’s Day (8th of March) is celebrated in many countries around the world. It is a day when women are recognized for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political.

BonaFideStudio traditionally celebrate it by giving The Women of the Year Tribute and this 2021 we chose a singer, songwriter and entertainer Angie A.

Angies’ ethos is based on the belief that music and the arts or doing anything creative and fun is of the utmost importance in these tough times. Angie loves to involve local community in some of her creative projects and she runs a Soulful-Adult-Singing-Group too sharing her skills with others. As well as being a professional Vocalist/Songwriter/entertainer, Angie is a qualified Teacher. 

She sang at Muswell Hill Christmas Tree virtual lighting ceremony, supported us with her beautiful voice at Small Business Saturday and she kept us breathing through lockdown with her online classes  ‘KEEP CALM & SING’ WORKSHOPS FOR ADULTS – SINGING WORKSHOPS WITH A HOLISTIC TIP. Her AKCAS Nature workshops resume on Sunday 28th March, so put it in your diary! We also know that Angie worked hard on some new songs so watch this space. 

Angie was creative and busy with plethora of different projects over the Pandemic crises so we feel there is no one more deserving of our Award but her! 

Thank you Angie for keeping our spirits up and Happy International Women’s Day!

Angie is currently crowdfunding for PPE for her organisation’s venue based projects. Donate here

Website: https://www.angie-a.co.uk

Making music, creativity and lockdown

We often put off getting creative because of the fear of failure. We’re afraid to invest the time in making music without necessarily knowing how to go about it and we fear being disappointed with the results. So we procrastinate. At times like this, when there are few things around that stimulate us, how do we deal with that? You need to understand failure and even to gain inspiration from it.

People often think creativity is ‘having an idea’, but actually that’s just the starting point. After that, you must be able to evaluate and play that idea, in other words, try it out at home or our rehearsal room. 

There’s always an ‘expected’ result and an ‘actual’ result. If the two are pretty close, so much the better – but that’s rare. Often there’s a wider gap, and that’s fine as well. You just need to learn how to accept it, work on it more until you are fully happy with your song. ‘Test drive it’ in front of the others and ask for their opinion.

What is often called “failing” is actually “learning. An obstacle provides information that encourages reflection and can allow us to go a step further than our initial idea.

All the little failures are actually experiences that will feed us with the information that ultimately helps us to get closer to our original goal, little by little, or even improve upon it. Mistakes are an integral part of the creative process and shouldn’t be discouraging.

It’s true that at the moment we can’t explore our environment, play (and attend!)  gigs or exchange ideas with other musicians and our audience in the ways we are used to doing. But does this have to block our creativity? Of course not! 

Creativity is everywhere, and there are people who can create songs in the toughest conditions.

To develop this capacity, take advantage of the current situation to nourish your mind, educate yourself and treat each day as a new start. To move from a ‘normal’ state to a creative state, you have to add ‘elements’. In order to create a chemical reaction, you have to mix things together. It’s the same with creativity! Creativity doesn’t magically descend from the sky. Monitoring current trends is a great place to start, but it can be very time-consuming. The internet and social networks can offer plenty of content for inspiration. But expand your horizons beyond what you know and love. Delve into disciplines, niches, aesthetics or even sounds that you don’t know and perhaps might not like initially. Developing ideas also involves engaging in activities that make us feel good and that put us in the right mood to create in our free time, such as cooking, completing a puzzle or watching a good movie. Try preparing a list of activities that make you happy and aim to incorporate them into your days, as these can be things that will really stimulate you.

And come to us to rehearse and record. We are here for you 7 days a week.


What does the government’s Brexit deal mean for touring musicians?

Since the Home Office’s announcement in February 2020, we have known that EU touring artists will need a visa to perform in the UK from January 2021. Musicians are not included on the list of workers allowed to enter the EU without a visa, under the PM’s Brexit agreement. So, if the finalised deal is implemented, UK musicians will need a visa to perform in the EU.

Several industry leaders have pushed back on the omission, including three major bodies representing UK musicians: the MU, UK Music and the Incorporated Society of Musicians.Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, chief executive of UK Music, has urged the government to rethink its list, saying: “There is a real risk that British musicians will not be able to bear the cost of extra bureaucracy and delays which would put some tours at risk,” he said.

“If musicians and creators from overseas face barriers and costs getting into the UK, audiences here could miss out on seeing some of their favourite acts.”

The Incorporated Society of Musicians, which says it is “deeply concerned about the absence of visa-free travel provisions for working musicians”, previously for a two-year, multi-entry visa which was rejected by the Home Office.

The body’s chief executive, Deborah Annetts, has criticised the deal, calling it “hugely disappointing after everything the sector has been through over the past 10 months. How has this happened?”

From this month, anyone from the EU wanting to perform in the UK must apply for a visa. They must also provide proof of savings and a certificate of sponsorship from an event organiser.

Under the government’s Brexit deal, if implemented, the paperwork currently required of non-EU artists will be imposed on EU musicians.

Musicians may also be required to fill out a carnet, a passport for professional equipment – for example, a musical instrument – that involves paying a deposit.

The MU has warned the carnets will come at “a significant cost”.

The ISM has added that under the deal, UK performers will face the added complication of adhering to the immigration rules of each EU member state in which they worked. In other words, musicians may need to secure visas for each country they are scheduled to perform in.

“This will have huge implications for UK musicians who work within the EU, as the ISM’s most recent Brexit report found that 78 percent of musicians visit EU/EEA at least once a year to perform,” the ISM said in a statement.

The MU is urging the government to add musicians to the list of ‘Independent Professionals’, which would allow them to enter the EU without a visa.

Horace Trubridge, the MU’s General Secretary, said: “In the longer term, we will be lobbying for a reciprocal arrangement with the EU that will allow musicians to work unimpeded.”

Njoku-Goodwin of UK Music has said the trade deal still leave “many questions” unanswered for the music industry, which was worth £5.8bn to the UK economy in 2019.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s Oliver Dowden has taken to Twitter to show enthusiasm for the deal, highlighting UK autonomy over its data rules, but has yet to provide comment on the deal’s impact on the arts and musicians.

petition for the government to provide UK musicians with a free culture work permit is on nearly 200,000 signatures, with signatories including high-profile musicians from Louis Tomlinson to KT Tunstall, and actor and comedian Dawn French. We happily signed, join us (click here to sign the petition )

The petition’s creator, Tim Brennan, writes: “As a freelancer I and many like me travel through the EU countless times a year on different tours and events, this will become impossible due to cost and time if we do not have visa free travel.”

90,000 people have signed a second petition from The Musicians’ Union (MU), which calls for a Musicians’ Passport.

According to The Independent, ministers have been warned musicians will have no choice but to abandon tours, with rumours of visa charges and paperwork that could be, according to industry body UK Music, “the straw that breaks the camel’s back”.

There are also warnings that if the Brexit deal is implemented, UK concert lovers will miss out on seeing top EU artists, while UK musicians may struggle to afford to perform in EU countries due to new visa charges.

Lockdown 3.0, our government looks permanently surprised!

Our chief Deanna Bogdanovic said in Ham&High:

‘Much more clarity is needed from the government to ensure businesses can plan and are not left to guess from one week to the next. Communication, especially about when and how the economy can safely re-open has been scant, and announcements about business closing and financial support poorly timed and last minute. In an era of unparalleled uncertainty for all of us, the level of stress on cash finances and the mental health of business owners has been ratcheted up to fever pitch whilst confidence plummets. Not many businesses will survive this lockdown.’

Read the whole article here https://www.hamhigh.co.uk/news/covid-business-grants-government-camden-6885744?fbclid=IwAR2yTPwPKOvmvVLnwmhIFYPR8zRnZ_QERXHNd4jlybT4670-UxqVMAnebqg

Read Deanna’s New Years Message in Ham&High