There's a lot that goes on in the music world that I, a normal person, will never know. But from obsessively watching Shawn Mendes interviews, I've just discovered an insider fact.
A-list musicians often record their albums in luxury studios, essentially booking a residency at the recording studio for an extended period of time. One of those beautiful studios is Woodshed Recording in Malibu, California, where Shawn Mendes recorded his latest self-titled album. Shawn recently sat down for an interview with The Project, an Australian news and talk show, in which he showed off what makes the studio's piano legendary.
As it turns out, the artists and producers who are lucky enough to work at Woodshed Recording are invited to sign the inside of the piano. In a mini-documentary uploaded to YouTube, owner and long-time music producer Richard Gibbs explains how the phenomenon started with Jonathan Davis of Korn.
“I was working, producing Korn on MTV Unplugged. Somewhere along the line, I say, ‘[Jonathan Davis], why don’t you sign my piano?’ He was the first signature, Jonathan Davis. And from there, any time somebody came in, I said ‘hey, sign the piano,’ and everyone has.” – Richard Gibbs
There's one rule behind whose autographs wind up on the piano, to keep it all sentimental: "the only requirement we have is that you work here to sign the piano.”
In piecing together footage from Shawn's interview on The Project, the Woodshed Recording documentary and a photo on the studio's website, these are some of the most amazing autographs on the piano.
Ariana kept it first-name only on the piano, but it's definitely her signature considering she's listed as a client on Woodshed Recording's website. Plus, there's nothing more on brand for Ariana than a "<3 always" autograph.
It doesn't get more iconic than all-around superstar Lenny Kravitz's signature on a piano. While not the neatest, this matches well with pictures of Lenny's autograph online.
Music producer and performer Kygo's got a double signature, writing down both his autograph and his logo on the piano.
The U2 frontman has one of the most fun autographs on the piano, complete with multiple layers. In fact, it almost looks like Bono didn't like the marker he used on the first try, so he went over it a second time.
It's blurry, but it's there: John's got one of the smallest signatures on the piano, sitting right next to Ariana's autograph.
Naturally, The Nanny star took up the most real estate on the piano. Fran's definitely not a recording artist, but her client part of the studio's site links to her cancer awareness organization that sells a "Trash Cancer" DVD.
I haven't found a Ryan Lewis autograph, meaning Macklemore likely worked at the studio since their partnership went on hiatus in 2017.
Just like Ariana, Barbra went first-name only with her signature. But considering she's listed on the studio's site and few others spell their name "Barbra," I'm certain it's her.
Of course, Shawn signed the piano, too, after working in Woodshed Recording's studio while working on his self-titled album. A new legend amongst world-class legends.
Wanna find more names for yourself? Check out a high-quality photo of the piano on Woodshed Recording's site and hunt for your faves.